2014 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Test Drive

Gary Witzenburg on

Our 400-horsepower, all-wheel-drive 2014 Porsche Carrera 4S, stuffed with nearly $40K worth of options, stickered at an eye-popping $145,305 MSRP. What's to say about the design? While the 911's basic shape (check out a '60s model) has changed little in its five decades, it has grown longer, wider and much more muscular through the years with bigger wheels and tires under beautifully flared fenders. And its details -- inside and out -- are regularly tweaked to fine-tune its iconic good looks and help 911 aficionados differentiate one year and model from another.

On twisty two-lanes, the Carrera 4S performs, corners and brakes as well as just about anything we've experienced. Its ride is reasonably smooth on rough surfaces (much stiffer in Sport and Sport Plus suspension modes), its PDK transmission shifts cleanly, quickly and sweetly, and that wonderful 3.8L 400-hp flat-six winds to its 7,400rpm redline with a lusty animal growl, made much louder with Sport Exhaust activated.

It can rocket from rest to 60 mph in just 3.9 sec. with the PDK and available Sport Chrono package, yet its EPA economy numbers are quite respectable at 19/26 MPG. We averaged 23.3 MPG over 370 miles of mixed local, freeway and aggressive two-lane driving. Unlike most serious sports cars, the 911 has always offered vestigial rear seats... unusable for real people but handy for small items that won't fit in the tiny (4.4 cu.ft.) front trunk.

Our 2014 911 Carrera 4S's interior was as purposeful as it was attractive, with a full set of gorgeous gauges (included oil temperature as well as pressure) and most every button and switch well marked and easy to find and operate. The big central tachometer is flanked by a slightly smaller speedometer to its left and an comprehensive selectable driver information screen to its right. Besides the usual trip, audio, navigation and phone information, it can display engine data, adaptive cruise control settings, tire pressures, front-to-rear torque split, Sport Chronometer (track lap and acceleration times) or even G forces. Your transmission gear is dead-center in the tachometer (whether or not you're shifting manually), and at the bottom is vehicle speed in big, easy-to-see numbers.

A lot of good stuff comes standard, including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Torque Vectoring (PTV), Stability Management (PSM), huge (13.4-inch six-piston front and 13-inch four-piston rear) vented-disc brakes, heated and ventilated leather seats, a leather-covered steering wheel, variable-ratio electric power steering, dual-zone automatic climate control, load leveling Bi-Xenon headlamps, nine-speaker premium audio with Sirius/XM and HD radio, 6-disc CD/DVD changer, navigation, a remote entry alarm and a suite of eight airbags.

But a lot of still-better stuff doesn't. Most significant on our test Carrera S4's option list was an 800-watt 12-speaker Burmeister ultra-premium audio package ($5,010), a black/platinum grey leather interior ($4,120) and Porsche's terrific Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) automatically shifted seven-speed manual transmission ($4,080), Adaptive Sport Seats Plus ($3,465), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control ($3,160), Sport Exhaust System ($2,950), Adaptive Cruise Control ($2,490), Sport Chrono Package ($2,370), a Premium Package Plus with 18-way power seats, a power sunroof ($1,990), leather Sport Seats Plus ($1,870) and black-painted alloy wheels ($1,635).


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Nearly 800,000 Jeeps Recalled for Ignition Switch Issues

Stanley Yee on

Jeep has prompted the recall of around 792,300 of their vehicles due to a possible fault with the ignition switch. The recall affects the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and the 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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2014 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Test Drive

Ben Lewis on

If you want to make new friends  – or get in touch with old ones – get a Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo. It seems like everybody has something they want to buy, move, donate or dump that’s too big for a car, too grungy for a leather-lined SUV and too personal for an open-air pickup.

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2015 Hyundai Tuscon Priced at $21,500

Stanley Yee on

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1958 Edsel Citation Appreciation
Stanley Yee on

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Named after the son of Henry Ford, Edsel was determined to become one of the top luxury car manufacturers. It was the late 50s, a time filled with long tail fins and out of the box design, which the Edsel Citation certainly had under control. The Citation’s unique nose split audiences into two very different groups of people: those who like it, and more likely, those who hate it. more

Jaguar F-Type Coupe Built as Tour de France Support Vehicle
Stanley Yee on

Jaguar has partnered with Team Sky on the Tour de France, building a custom F-Type Coupe support vehicle. The bespoke F-Type concept will run support duty on Stage 20 of the 2014 Tour de France, which travels from Bergerac to Perigueux.

By modifying the rear window, Jaguar was able to build a special bike mount on the F-Type Coupe, which will hold a pair of racing bikes. The clever bike rack system, which features cutouts to fit the skinny bicycle tires, will hold two Pinarello Bolide TT bikes. The Pinarello bikes, built for speed and light weight, use an extensive amount of carbon fiber, just like the F-Type. more

We Are Racers: Porsche and Michelin at Le Mans Video
Stanley Yee on

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Production Begins On Just 100 Maserati Quattroporte Zegna Editions
Ryan ZumMallen on

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Diesel Car Sales Rise 25 Percent in 2014
Stanley Yee on

Sales of diesel cars in the United States have increased by 25 percent in the first six months of the year, according to a new report. Clean diesel technology, a relatively new addition to the American market, has shown considerable advancement in the past few years.

Up until a few years ago, most Americans would probably have associated the word diesel with big pickup trucks and 18-wheelers, spewing black smoke as they churned along the highway. In reality, the stereotype diminished years ago, and the negative stigma has only recently started to disappear. Compared to Europe, where almost half of all cars sold are diesel, the U.S. has never quite caught on to the diesel trend, until now. more

2015 Toyota Sienna Revealed Exclusively Online
Stanley Yee on

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Minivans are often the key vehicle for growing families, so it only made sense to give families the chance to introduce the redesigned Sienna. Toyota enlisted the help of three social media driven families, who created a series of videos to introduce the new Sienna. more

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Sets Timetable for Autonomous Cars
Stanley Yee on

Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., announced the company’s current timetable for Autonomous Drive systems. Under their current plans, Nissan hopes to work step by step to make self-driving cars viable by 2020.

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Stanley Yee on

The smart fortwo, one of the most recognizable city cars on the market, has been refreshed, changing its look and adding new features for 2015. The fortwo will launch alongside the larger forfour, a larger European-only variant of the smart car.

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BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Announced
Stanley Yee on

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will be the first ever front-wheel drive BMW, ending the company’s long time rear-wheel drive elitism. Check to see if hell has frozen over, and if pigs can fly, because you heard that correctly, BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer will be front-wheel drive.

Before reaching for the nearest torch and pitchfork, perhaps it is best to look a little deeper into the newest Ultimate Driving Machine. After all, front-wheel drive cars have been improving massively in the past few years (take a look at universally admired hatchbacks like the Ford Focus ST, for example). Could a front-wheel drive BMW really be such a bad thing? more

2015 Ford Mustang Boasts Up To 435 Horsepower
Ryan ZumMallen on

A pony car isn't much without a fearsome engine, and power figures for the 2015 Ford Mustang have been revealed that clearly keep it atop the standings.

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