Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (2002)

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

The 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S combines the 320-horsepower normally aspirated 911 Carrera engine with the all-wheel-drive chassis, body design and feature content of the 911 Turbo. The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S replaces the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe in the Porsche line and arrives in Porsche dealerships with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $80,200 ($117,500 in Canada).

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is the third new model to join the 911 Series for 2002. The 2002 Porsche 911 Targa also arrived in February, and both follow the turbocharged GT2 flagship model. Like the redesigned 911 Carrera models that Porsche introduced for 2002, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is powered by an enlarged 3.6-liter, 320-horsepower engine. The engine makes these the most powerful normally aspirated 911 models ever offered in North America.

Turbo Body

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S shares the 2002 911 Turbo's basic body shell but adds unique design elements. Like the Turbo, the Carrera 4S measures 2.3 inches (60-mm) wider in the rear compared with the 911 Carrera to accommodate massive 295/30R-18 rear tires on standard Turbo-style wheels. The wheels give a plain view to the red-painted brake calipers, also shared with the Turbo. As on the Turbo, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S offers metallic paint choices at no extra cost.

Instead of the Turbo's two-piece rear spoiler, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S retains the automatic-deploying rear spoiler used on other 911 Carrera models. The Carrera 4S gets its own rear glass-reinforced plastic decklid. From the rear, the quick tip-off to the model's identity is its exclusive reflector strip connecting the taillights.

As on the Turbo, three large dark-finish intake grills dominate the lower front fascia. Bi-Xenon headlights, included with the optional Advanced Technic option package, use high-intensity gas discharge bulbs for both the low and high beams. The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S employs a different front spoiler than the 911 Turbo. To give an idea of Porsche's attention to detail, the slightly raised center section of the spoiler helps compensate aerodynamically for this model having a different weight and weight distribution than the Turbo, as well as the different rear spoiler.

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S deletes the Turbo's large intake ducts ahead of the rear wheels, since these are only required on the Turbo to supply air to the turbo intercoolers. The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S does retain the Turbo's lower rear quarter panel louvers. Despite design differences between the 911 Turbo and Carrera 4S, aerodynamic performance is similar - the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S with a 0.30 coefficient of drag (Cd) compared to 0.31 for the Turbo.

Turbo Chassis

All-wheel-drive, the Porsche Stability Management system (PSM), and 18-inch wheels inherited from the 911 Turbo combine to make the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S one of the best-handling Porsches ever. Aside from its own specific shock absorber tuning, the Carrera 4S shares the 911 Turbo suspension, including its engine mounts and longer rear control arms.

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S also inherits its larger-diameter brake rotors from the 911 Turbo. Any additional weight compared to a rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera has minimal impact on the car's performance: the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S can accelerate from zero-to-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 5.1 seconds, compared to 5.0 seconds for the standard rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera. The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S can be equipped with either the standard six-speed manual transmission or the advanced Tiptronic S five-speed automatic that also allows manual shifting control.

Luxury Content

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S shares the additional standard luxury content of the 911 Turbo, which includes full-power adjustable leather seats for the driver and passenger (with driver's side memory), programmable remote entry, and security system with alarm and immobilizer.

The driver can control the seat memory and open the luggage compartment remotely. 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 memory buttons to the left of the seat.

The new optional Bose automotive sound system combines 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. In the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, the 12 advanced speakers, including a subwoofer, blend seamlessly into cabin trim, raising and widening the sound stage and ensuring balanced stereo.

Comfort and Convenience

Like other 911 Carrera models for 2002, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S shares its instrument panel with the 911 Turbo. The standard onboard computer conveys information on an LCD display within 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.

Likewise, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S benefits from interior enhancements to the Carrera line, including a three-spoke sports steering wheel and redesigned center vents. The lockable glovebox and a cupholder integrated into the center dash add convenience, while matte surfaces for the switches enhance tactile quality. The 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. The front trunk is equipped with an anti-entrapment release with internal handle, and the car keys feature a color Porsche crest.

New 320-Horsepower Engine

Porsche increased displacement of the six-cylinder boxer engine in the normally aspirated 911 models, including the Carrera 4S, from 3.4 liters to 3.6 liters. The larger displacement, along with other powerplant changes, has boosted horsepower to 320 (235 kW) from 300, increased torque and provided more powerful and smoother engine response.

Although based on the 911 Carrera engine introduced in MY 1999, the engine in the 2002 models uses an entirely new spinning assembly (crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods). 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).

Engine architecture remains 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 911 engine is the adaptation of the VarioCam Plus valve timing and lift system from the 911 Turbo. 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 broaden 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 - also helps boost power and torque at midrange engine speeds. The 2002 911 engine produces 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of peak torque at 4,250 rpm, with at least 236 lb.-ft. (320 Nm) available from 2,500-7,000 rpm and a midrange torque "plateau" of at least 265 lb.-ft. (359 Nm) from 3,800-6,000 rpm.

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. Mufflers with less backpressure than those on 2001 911 models emit a more powerful sound through newly designed oval tailpipes.

All-Wheel-Drive Handling Advantage

The all-wheel-drive system that the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S shares with the 911 Turbo is, at just 120 pounds (54 kg), one of the lightest such systems in the auto industry. This proven system is based on a viscous multi-plate clutch located directly behind the front differential. The system directs torque to the front wheels at a rate of five-to-40 percent, depending on available traction and power applied. The viscous unit compensates for differing wheel speeds during cornering. The 911 Turbo exhibits outstanding traction on all road surfaces.

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 flat 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. The standard aluminum alloy wheels from the 911 Turbo measure 18 x 8 inches in front and mount 225/40 ZR18 tires. The 18 x 11-inch rear wheels mount 295/30 ZR18 tires.

Brakes from the Turbo

The 2002 911 Carrera 4S employs the four-wheel vented disc brakes derived from the Porsche GT1 racecar and shared with the 911 Turbo. One-piece ("monoblock"), four-piston brake calipers reduce unsprung weight and improve heat dissipation. The front and rear discs measure 13.0 inches in diameter (330 mm), but differ in thickness - 1.34-inch (34 mm) in front and 1.1-inch (28 mm) in the rear. The cross-drilled rotors dissipate heat to maintain braking performance and brake feel even under hard usage. In comparison, the brake rotors on the standard 911 Carrera measure 12.5 inches in diameter and 1.1-inch thick (318 mm x 28 mm) in front and 11.8 inches in diameter and 0.95-inch thick (299 mm x 24 mm) in the rear.

Porsche Stability Management

The Porsche Stability Management system (PSM) is standard equipment on the 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and the 911 Turbo and optional on other Porsche models. PSM can enhance handling under a variety of driving conditions. 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 4S going in the direction the driver steers. The PSM system operates so quickly that most drivers likely will not feel the corrections. The driver can disengage PSM with a dashboard switch. However, for safety, PSM will engage under braking and then disengage whenever the driver lifts off the brake. While the system provides dynamic handling aid, Porsche cautions drivers that PSM cannot counteract the laws of physics.

Choice of Transmissions

Porsche offers a choice of two transmissions on the 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: a precisely-shifting standard six-speed manual and the optional Tiptronic S five-speed automatic. Porsche increased the torque capacity of the manual transmission for the more powerful 2002 911 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 2002 911 Carrera 4S and other normally aspirated 911 models adopt the Tiptronic S transmission from the 911 Turbo, which can handle greater torque output than the transmission used 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 4S comes a high level of occupant protection. A patented crumple zone body structure protects the reinforced passenger compartment. New seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters supplement the three-point inertia-reel seatbelts in all 911 models 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 as standard equipment.

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 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 role as a grand touring sportscar, the 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S comes with many standard luxury features:

  • Anti-theft system with engine immobilizer and alarm
  • Auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors with integrated rain sensor windshield wipers
  • Automatic climate control with dust/pollen and activated charcoal odor filters
  • Bose digital audio system
  • Full-power adjustable leather front seats
  • Heated power sideview mirrors
  • Heated windshield washer nozzles
  • Leather-covered telescoping steering wheel
  • On-board computer
  • Power sunroof
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Remote locking system

All 2002 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, the 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 (80,000-kilometer) 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 car's 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 911 Carrera 4S 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.