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Porsche 911 C4S
2981cc 6cyl twin turbo, 4WD, 414bhp, 369lb ft
Claimed MPG:
31.7mpg, 204g/km CO2
0–62mph in 4.2secs, 189mph
Price £90,843/£103,999 as tested

The fact that I’m writing this four weeks after the C4S was supposed to go back following many calls to plead for more time and rearrange/ delay its collection goes some way to articulating just how deeply the team at Top Gear have enjoyed this car. In fact, I cannot think of another that has been more unanimously approved of and enjoyed in all my 14 years at TG.

But with the delivery lorry on its way, it’s time for us to face facts and accept that one of the most diverse, beautiful, balanced, engaging, entertaining, capable and versatile cars in the world is going to be leaving us.

Much had been written about the 911 having lost some of its soul and purity since the whole range went turbocharged. But having lived with the C4S for the past six months, while you could miss the mechanical purity of the naturally aspirated flat-six, in the real world the increased torque and efficiency make it a better and more flexible car day-to-day, in my opinion. The manual gearbox was something of a revelation, at a time when about 65 per cent of 911s are specced with the PDK, optioning the seven-speed manual brought back a layer of interactivity and enjoyment that we never grew tired of. Rifle-bolt changes and slick rev-matching on downshifts in Sport mode made every gearchange an event, and combined with the sport exhaust (which is a must-tick item on the C4S spec list) to give the car an addictive layer of involvement and a soundtrack to match.

Sat on the same “wide body” as the 911R, I never grew tired of looking at its stunning form and admiring the purity of purpose of its stance. Lurking beneath those wide hips sits another purists’ problem area, namely the AWD system. Purist it might not be, but few things will demolish a greasy road like a C4S, and given where we live and the conditions of our roads most of the time, I cannot think of a more capable and desirable all-rounder. It will be massively missed.

Tester’s notes: Looks, flexibility, performance – the perfect family sports car and ultimate winter weapon.

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