The Carrera, Carrera S, and their all-wheel drive Carrera 4 variants are the only models updated to the new 991 basis thus far--the Turbo, GT3, and other variants are yet to come.
For 2013, the major mechanical updates are limited to the addition of the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 and 4S.
The base engine, found in the Carrera and Carrera 4, is a 3.4-liter flat six that packs 350 horsepower thanks to direct injection and a free-revving nature. The Carrera S and 4S get a 3.8-liter six good for 400 horsepower. Either engine can be paired with either the seven-speed manual or the PDK transmission. With the PDK, the Carrera gets to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, while the Carrera S does it in 4.3 seconds; Carrera 4 models eke out 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds, and the C4S does it in 4.3 seconds. Cabriolet models add about 0.2 seconds to those times.
The new 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 adds all-wheel drive to the mix, and along the way, picks up rear fenders that are 1.7 inches wider, to better house the larger wheels and tires equipped. The resulting increase in track width should add even more stability to the all-wheel drive models.
Add the Sport Chrono package, which adds launch control, and you take 0.2 seconds off each car's 0-60 mph run. Top speeds clock in at 179 mph and 188 mph respectively for base and S models, while Carrera 4 and 4S models top out at 177 and 185 mph.
The PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system, optional on base and standard on S models, offers dynamic suspension response to the road and driving conditions through a series of settings from Comfort to Sport Plus.
Porsche's advanced Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is also available on the S models. The PDCC system adjusts the car's roll stiffness through the use of anti-roll bars. The Sport Chrono package is also available on the base Carrera--and as the name indicates, a key element of the package is a stopwatch on the dash that ties into the car's computer to enable lap timing and other functions.
In every 911, handling is almost unassailable. Gone are the days of the 911's vicious end-swapping reputation (earned in its early days by its rear-mounted engine placement). In its place, the 911 has developed a stability and balance that any sports car would envy. Nimble, easy to place on the road, brisk in acceleration, and phenomenal on the brakes, the 911 is almost the perfect package. We say almost only because of the electronic power steering system, which while the best of the EPS implementations to date, still doesn't match the feel we're used to from hydraulic power steering.