Yes it is, as you can note from the "4" designation on the cars in this official picture. The AWD set-up is available for the Coupe and Cabriolet bodies in both 350hp Carrera and 400hp Carrera S forms.
Rear end sees traditional horizontal light band.
As with tradition, the rear end has been widened by 22mm to give the Carrera 4 and 4S models a more dramatic presence on the road. Plus, there's the horizontal light band on the rear.
Two other new features include an interior monitor to display the AWD action and automatic cruise control (to automatically adjust the car's distance from the one ahead), the latter one set to also be available in other 911s in the future.
But Thailand hasn't got snow.
True. But that's not always the goal of AWD cars. Unlike how Jaguar sees things (see sidebar), Porsche believes that AWD offers additional benefits for increased driving security on normal road surfaces.
Average hands may find the classic rear-wheel-drive format of the 911 a little tricky to handle on the limit, and here's where the AWD option becomes handy. And let's not forget that some 911 punters simply like to have that broader-looking rear end for the sake of machismo.
Got it. What's its performance like?
The 4 and 4S have practically the same performance as their rear-drive 2 and 2S brethren.
However, Porsche stresses that the 4 and 4S are some 16% more frugal on fuel than before, as well as 65kg lighter in weight.
The Coupe in 350hp guise goes from 0-100kph in 4.5sec, reaches a 285kph top end and records 11.6kpl on average. The go-faster 400hp version has figures of 4.1sec, 299kph and 11kpl.
In all cases, the Cabriolet version is 0.2sec slower to 100kph, 3kph short on top speed and 0.1kpl less efficient on fuel.
Prices are set to range from 13-16 million baht when Thai sales start at the end of the year. The AWD 911s will premiere at the Paris Motor Show late next month.
What's next in the 911 family?
Probably the Turbo and Targa models, both due next year.
While the ultra-quick Turbo is set to evolve with 500hp-plus performance and AWD, we hear that the Targa will be ditching the vast retractable glass-top and will be returning with the removable roof and prominent B-pillar roll-bar of the original model which was a big hit way back in 1967.
Drive is normally apportioned to rear wheels.
Jaguar goes all-wheel-drive
Reflecting on a similar strategy adopted by BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar has given its XF and XJ saloons an all-wheel-drive option for increased driving security.
With 4x4 know-how lent from sister brand Land Rover, Jaguar can now extend the appeal of its luxury cars in snowy places such as North America, Russia, China and Europe.
The AWD system can split torque evenly between the front and rear axles, although under normal conditions most of it is sent to the rear wheels.
The AWD option is only available with the new 340hp 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine that's coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission _ now standard across the range in place of the six-speeder _ and automatic stop-start system.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor