In 1989 Porsche once again proofed that the 911 was trully immortal by introducing the new Carrera 4. At this time business wasn't going all too well for Porsche, and this car had the important task of rescueing Porsche. Sales had collapsed because of Porsche's lack of long-term vision in the mid-eighties.
The result was a car that was 85% new compared to the Carrera 3.2. The engine's capacity was once again further increased, now to 3.6 litres. But the most important new feature was of course the four-wheel drive system. This was one of the many techniques that was copied from Porsche's exclusive supercar, the 959. Some people even said the Carrera 4 could be seen as a '959 for the people'.
In 1990 the Carrera 2 replaced the Carrera 3.2, that still had been on sale. The carrera 2 doesn't have the Carrera 4's four-wheel drive system, but besides from that the carrera 2 is identical to the C4. In 1990 both cars were available as Cabriolet, Targa and coupé.
The Carrera RS
Another new model for 1990 was the RS-series. The Carrera RS was based on the cars used in the Carrera-cup. Therefore it didn't have all the luxuries of the Carrera 2 & 4. It did however have slightly more power ( 260 bhp instead of 250 bhp ) and other features to make it better suited for the track. It had Recaro seats, a seam-welded body, lighter doors and windows, less sound-deadening, an aluminium hood, 17 inch wheels, and was lowered 40 mm. The RS was a true lightweight at only 1230 kg. (the Carrera 4 weighed 1450 kg). The RS was also available with the touring option, making it suited for use on the road. A RS touring weighed 1300 kg, still a 150 kg's less then a 'standard' car, making it seriously quick. A total of 2051 were built, of which about 76 were delivered with the touring option.
Because of american safety regulations the RS wasn't available in the US. Therefore in 1992 a special 'RS america' was develloped for US and Canadian markets. The RS america was however not intended as a racing version. While the european RS was $20.000 more expensive then the 'standard' models, the RS america was actually $10.000 cheaper. It did have some of some of the light-weight features of the european RS, but it had a standard engine. On all RS america's the folding spoiler was replaced by a light-weight flat spoiler.
The weight saving was only about 70 kg's. The picture on the left shows the RS america's interior. The cord was used to open the door (this was introduced on the european RS to save weight). The pictures also shows the switches for the electric windows (the european RS didn't have electric windows). The steering wheel seen here is equiped with an airbag. The RS america didn't have back seats, and the interior was trimmed with a cheaper fabric.
When the Carrera 4 was introduced it had 7-spoke 'club-sport' wheels. But in 1992 both Carrera 2 & 4 got 5-spoke 'Cup-design' wheels. That same year the old mirrors from the 911 SC were also replaced by more aerodynamic ones and the Carrera 2 became available with the 'Turbo-look' option.
Also in 1992 Porsche offered a limited edition Cabriolet: the American Roadster. It had the wide arches of the Turbo, the moveable spoiler of the Carrera 2 & 4, a power top and some other conveniences. Because it cost over $15.000 more then a regular Cabriolet only very few were sold. Eventually 250 were made.
In 1993 the 911 celebrated it's 30th birthday. Therefore Porsche came up with a special 'anniversary model'. This car was based on the Carrera 4, with a 'turbo-look' body. It had special paint, a leather interior, and a special 'anniversary' badge. A total of 911 were built.
In 1993 Porsche introduced a new speedster based on the Carrera 2. Just as the previous speedsters this car featered a lower, more raked windscreen, a lower top, and a fiberglass cover.
The 1993 speedster never was available with the 'turbo-look' body, although this was the most popular option on the previous model.
Another exclusive model, that went on sale in 1993, was this RS 3.8. This was a special version of the RS with 300 bhp,a twin level rear spoiler and 18 inch composite wheels (picture on the left).
Carrera 4 Wide Body
In 1994 Porsche produced a Carrera 4 with the 911 Turbo's body, except for the moveable Carrera rear spoiler. This car was produced to boost sales before the 993 arrived in 1995.
Carrera 4 Leichtbau!
This car is a lightweigth version of the Carrera 4. It uses the same engine as the RS, but without catalytic converters or mufflers.The engine produces 300 bhp.