Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet (2002)

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

Porsche for 2002 has given the Porsche 911 Carerra models a larger, more powerful engine and a new look inspired by the 911 Turbo. The new engine makes these cars the quickest and fastest normally aspirated 911 models ever offered in North America.

Increasing displacement of the six-cylinder boxer engine in the Porsche 911 Carrera models to 3.6 liters from 3.4 liters, along with other powerplant changes, has boosted horsepower to 320 from 300. Additional modifications increase torque and provide more powerful and smoother engine response.

All Porsche 911 Carrera models for 2002 benefit from a strengthened body structure, which enhances handling, ride and safety. The Porsche 911 Carrera models for 2002 also gain new seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, plus interior enhancements and a new optional Bose digital sound system.

The model line for 2002 includes the Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet and the all-wheel drive Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. A new version of the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe will be released later in the model year. In the Coupes, the rear seatbacks fold down to create a flat cargo floor. The fully automatic power soft-top on the Cabriolet models folds compactly into a compartment behind the rear seats. A solid tonneau cover fits flush against the body with the roof lowered, preserving the sleek, uncluttered appearance. In the Cabriolet models, a glass rear window with integral defroster replaces the polycarbonate window for 2002.

New Look Enhances Aerodynamics

For 2002, the Porsche 911 Carrera models keep their unmistakable 911 profile and adopt the headlight design of the 911 Turbo, plus a newly shaped front end, widened rear quarter panels, and redesigned oval exhaust tailpipes.

The design changes are much more than cosmetic. The new front air intakes increase airflow to the radiators by 15 percent. Reshaping the radii of the front wheel arches and adding small, flexible spoilers ahead of the front wheels has reduced lift at the front by 25 percent and at the rear by 40 percent. In addition, new air intake ducts enhance front brake cooling, and a new underfloor duct enhances transmission cooling by 20 percent.

The new headlight design improves lighting performance. The Bi-Xenon gas-discharge headlights that are standard on the 911 Turbo are a new option for the Porsche 911 Carrera models. These light units use high-intensity gas discharge bulbs for both the low and high beams, compared to low-beam only for the Litronic HID lights offered previously.

Enhanced Comfort and Convenience

Porsche also enhanced the comfort and convenience in the 2002 911 Carrera models. The instrument panel comes from the 911 Turbo, including the standard onboard computer that conveys information on an LCD display in the lower third of the tachometer. In addition to information about fuel consumption and driving range, the computer can display engine oil level, outside temperature and 35 different warning messages in plain text.

A three-spoke sports steering wheel is now standard, replacing the previous four-spoke wheel, and the center vents have also been redesigned. The remote entry system now controls seat memory function when the optional power seats are ordered. The remote determines which of the four car keys is in use and transmits the information for driver's seat position and exterior mirrors to the memory control unit. Apart from the function provided by the four programmable keys, the driver can select two other seat positions via buttons to the left of the seat.

The new lockable glovebox and a cupholder integrated into the center dash add convenience, while matte surfaces for the switches enhance tactile quality. A new optional parking aid with sensors integrated into the bumper covers can help prevent parking maneuver fender-benders by sounding an audible alert as the car gets closer to an obstacle. Finally, the trunk is equipped with an anti-entrapment release with internal handle, and the car keys feature a color Porsche Crest.

New Bose Digital Audio System

For 2002, Porsche offers a high-end digital audio system from home and automotive audio manufacturer Bose. Each system has been custom-engineered for that particular model. The optional Bose sound system replaces previous audio system upgrades in the Porsche 911 Carrera models.

The new Bose automotive music systems combine balanced stereo, a panoramic sound stage, deep bass and smooth frequency response to produce lifelike music reproduction even in the challenging environment of a car interior. Digital amplifiers provide clean, uncolored sound at any listening level. The 12 advanced loudspeakers (11 for Cabriolet models) and a subwoofer blend seamlessly into cabin trim, raising and widening the sound stage and ensuring balanced stereo.

New 320-Horsepower Engine

Although based on the Porsche 911 Carrera engine introduced in MY 1999, the engine in the 2002 models uses an entirely new spinning assembly (crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods) to increase displacement and performance. The stroke has been increased from 3.07 in. (78.0 mm) to 3.26 in. (82.8 mm), while bore remains the same at 3.78 inches (96.0 mm), increasing displacement from 206.7 cu. in. (3,387 cc) to 219.4 cu. in. (3,596 cc). The new 3.6-liter engine produces 320 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, versus 300 horsepower at the same speed for the previous engine.

Engine architecture remains largely the same. An aluminum cylinder block and heads make the engine light. Patented LOKASIL high-silicon cylinder liners help reduce friction and wear to such a level that Porsche can recommend a 15,000-mile (24,000 km) oil change interval and a 30,000-mile (48,000 km) oil filter change interval.

New VarioCam Plus

Aside from the displacement increase, the biggest change to the Porsche 911 Carrera engine is the adaptation of the VarioCam Plus valve timing and lift system. The VarioCam system on the previous engine used variable cam positioning to vary valve overlap to boost torque through the midrange without sacrificing high-rpm horsepower.

On the 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera engine, VarioCam Plus not only adjusts camshaft position to provide continuously adjustable valve timing, but incorporates two camshaft profiles and two sets of tappets to vary both valve lift and duration, as well. The new system helps "fatten" and smooth out the torque curve, while helping to reduce emissions.

Broader Torque Curve

The dual-stage resonance air intake system - optimized for the larger displacement engine - helps boost power and torque at midrange engine speeds. The driver of a 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera will feel the greatest difference over the 2001 model from the torque output and characteristics. The 2002 911 Carrera engine produces 273 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,250 rpm, versus 258 lb.-ft. at 4,600 rpm for the previous 3.4-liter engine. The new engine produces 214 lb.-ft. as low as 2,000 rpm and at least 236 lb.-ft. from 2,500-7,000 rpm, including a midrange torque "plateau" of at least 265 lb.-ft. from 3,800-6,000 rpm.

The Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe can accelerate from rest to 62 mph (0-100 km/h) in just 5.0 seconds, the Cabriolet models in 5.2 seconds. The top track speed increases slightly to 177 mph (285 km/h) from 174 mph (280 km/h) for all versions with the manual transmission. A five-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission remains an option for all Porsche 911 Carrera models.

New Engine Control

The new ME 7.8 unit calculates the precise supply of fuel needed from the tank. Previously, fuel not needed by the injectors - but heated by the engine - went back to the tank. The new system reduces hydrocarbon emissions caused by heated fuel.

Sequential multi-port fuel injection features separate fuel mixture control for each cylinder bank, and a coil-on-plug ignition system provides quick response and reliable operation. The ME 7.8 engine control module incorporates the E-Gas electronic throttle. In place of a traditional throttle cable setup, E-Gas electronically transmits pedal position to the engine control unit. New mufflers with less backpressure than before emit a more powerful sound through newly designed tailpipes.

All-Wheel Drive Supercar

Based on the 911 Carrera Cabriolet, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet differs most in that its drivetrain powers all four wheels. The current-generation model uses an all-wheel drive system based on a viscous multi-plate clutch located directly behind the front differential. Weighing just 120 pounds (54 kg), the all-wheel drive system in the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet qualifies as one of the lightest such systems in the industry.

The all-wheel drive system directs five to 40 percent of the torque to the front wheels, depending on available traction and power applied. The viscous unit compensates for differing wheel speeds during cornering. While the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet exhibits superior traction on all road surfaces, Porsche did not intend the all-wheel drive system as an all-weather traction assistant.

Subtle exterior differences that distinguish the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet from its rear-wheel drive sibling include plainly visible titanium-color brake calipers and a titanium-color "Carrera 4" logotype on the rear engine hood.

Porsche Stability Management

Porsche equips the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet with the advanced Porsche Stability Management system (PSM) as standard equipment, and offers it as an option on the Porsche 911 Carrera. Using data from several sensor inputs, PSM can detect a loss of grip at the front or rear and reduce instability by applying braking to individual wheels and, if necessary, altering engine power.

On slippery roads, PSM can help keep the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 going in the direction the driver steers. The PSM system operates so quickly that most drivers likely will not feel it make corrections. The driver can disengage PSM with a dashboard switch. However, for safety, PSM will engage under braking and then disengage when the driver lifts off the brake. While the system provides dynamic handling aid, Porsche cautions drivers that PSM cannot counteract the laws of physics.

Aluminum Suspension Components

The 911 Carrera and 911 Carerra 4 models share suspension systems. Porsche optimized shock absorber damping on these models to support the increase in engine performance. The four-wheel independent suspension features a Porsche-optimized MacPherson-strut design in front and a multilink setup in the rear, both with aluminum suspension components to reduce unsprung weight. Front and rear stabilizer bars and gas-charged shock absorbers provide flatter cornering. Standard power rack-and pinion steering yields a quick 2.98 turns lock-to-lock and a tight 34.8-ft. (10.6-meter) turning circle.

A "staggered" wheel/tire array (wider wheels and wider, lower-profile tires on the rear) contributes to neutral handling in the Porsche 911 Carrera models. New Carerra II 17-inch wheels use a slender spoke design to reduce unsprung weight by two pounds per wheel. The optional 18-inch wheel package reduces unsprung weight by more than five pounds per wheel compared to the previous 18-inch wheel design.

The standard aluminum alloy wheels measure 17 x 7 inches in front and mount 205/50 ZR17 tires; the 17 x 9-inch rear wheels mount 255/40 ZR17 tires. The optional 18-inch wheel/tire package further enhances the already sharp handling. The wheels measure 18 x 8 inches in front (0.5-in. wider than in 2001) and 18 x 10 inches in back; tires are 225/40 ZR18 in front and 285/30 ZR18 in back (compared to 265/35 ZR18 for the 2001 model).

Racecar-Derived Brakes

The Porsche 911 Carrera models stop with four-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS 5.3 anti-lock control. Derived from the Porsche GT1 racecar, one-piece brake calipers reduce heat and unsprung weight. The front discs measure 12.5 inches in diameter and 1.1-inch thick (318 mm x 28 mm). The rear discs measure nearly as large at 11.8 inches in diameter and 0.95-inch thick (299 mm x 24 mm). The cross-drilled rotors dissipate heat to maintain braking performance and brake feel even under hard usage. (Porsche requires brakes to provide 25 consecutive full-force stops without fade.)

Two Transmissions

As before, Porsche offers a choice of two transmissions on the Porsche 911 Carerra models: a precisely-shifting standard six-speed manual and the optional Tiptronic S five-speed automatic transmission. Porsche increased the torque capacity of the manual transmission for the more powerful 2002 models by using a stronger alloy steel on key components. In addition, the output shaft runs in three bearings instead of two, and the differential uses stronger bevel gears. As before, a dual-mass flywheel ensures low vibration, and a hydraulic clutch provides consistent performance.

The Porsche 911 Carrera models adopt the Tiptronic S transmission from the 911 Turbo for 2002, which can handle greater torque output than the version in the 2001 models. The lock-up torque converter and shifting programs have been specially tailored to the naturally aspirated engine. With the advanced Tiptronic S, the driver can place the shift lever into "D" and let the transmission do the shifting, or shift into "M" and control gearshifts with steering wheel-mounted thumb switches.

Tiptronic S uses one of five programmed shift maps to respond to the driving style. For example, during leisurely driving, Tiptronic S will upshift early to provide a quiet ride and the best fuel efficiency. Quicker gas pedal action will call up a sporty shift program, which holds each gear longer for crisp response and power.

The computer-controlled Tiptronic S responds like a driver working a manual transmission, downshifting or holding lower gears when cornering and driving on hills. Tiptronic S also allows the driver to select manual mode by pressing an up- or downshift button, even with the shift lever in the "D" position.

Innovative Safety Technology

With the high performance potential of the Porsche 911 Carrera models and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet comes a high level of occupant protection. A patented crumple zone body structure protects a reinforced passenger compartment. Supplementing the three-point inertia-reel seatbelts, the Porsche 911 Carrera models gain new seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters for 2002. All new Porsche models include dual front airbags plus the Porsche Side Impact Protection System that includes boron-steel door reinforcement beams, energy-absorbing door panels, and door-mounted side airbags. The 30-liter capacity sidebags provide additional protection for the chest, head, and pelvis.

In the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet models, the boron-steel reinforced A-pillars and windshield header combine with an automatic-deploying supplemental rollover structure to reduce the risk of injury in the event of a rollover accident. The optional Park Assist feature audibly warns drivers of obstacles behind the car.

Available U.S. Child Seat

At a customer's request, a U.S. Porsche dealer can install a system that deactivates the passenger airbags when a U.S. Porsche-approved child seat is used. The system features a cross brace with belt lock in front of the passenger seat. Buckling the special child seat into this brace deactivates the airbags. To install the system, the dealer also must reprogram the airbag control module.

Luxuriously Equipped

Reflecting its evolution into a grand touring sportscar, the Porsche 911 Carrera models come with many standard luxury features:

  • AM/FM cassette stereo system
  • Anti-theft system with engine immobilizer and alarm
  • Automatic climate control with dust/pollen and activated charcoal odor filters
  • Heated power sideview mirrors
  • Heated windshield washer nozzles
  • Leather-covered telescoping steering wheel
  • On-board computer
  • Partial leather seats with power recliners
  • Power sunroof (Coupe)
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Remote locking system

All Porsche models feature light-emitting diode (LED) interior orientation lights. One LED provides gentle illumination of the cockpit and center console. An LED on the driver's side door handle illuminates the ignition lock and light switch, and an LED illuminates each door latch. The optional Porsche Communication Management system (not available in Canada) integrates controls and displays for Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation, onboard computer, and climate control. A five-inch (diagonal) LCD color screen displays all functions.

Custom Options

Porsche Cars North America offers customers in the United States and Canada the opportunity to personalize their cars through two option-selection channels. Together with the choice of limited-availability special paint colors, the special options allow a customer to make a Porsche into a truly one-of-a-kind car.

The Porsche Exclusive program offers a wide array of optional features installed at the factory. Options include custom interior trim packages and individual trim items. The Porsche four-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty covers all Exclusive options, and Porsche dealers can include the cost of the options in the lease or finance contract.

The Tequipment ("Tech-quipment") program offers a line of accessories available only from authorized Porsche dealers. Tequipment options include such items as special wheels, a new-for-2002 aerobody kit, instrument panel trim kits, CD changers, and custom floormats. Customers can order Tequipment options at the time of purchase or return to the dealership for installation later. While installation of Tequipment may require some modifications to the car, such modifications do not affect the standard limited warranty. Tequipment items come with a two-year warranty when installed by a certified technician at an authorized Porsche dealership.


In addition to the limited-availability special paint colors, Porsche will even paint a Porsche 911 Carrera to match a sample from the customer. The Porsche 26-step corrosion protection and paint process ensures that the custom paintwork meets the same quality standards as a regular production paint color. The Porsche three-year/unlimited mileage paint finish and 10-year/unlimited mileage corrosion perforation warranties apply to any custom color.