Updated All-Wheel Drive Leads 2013 Porsche 911 4S Charge
With 400 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque on tap from a 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine, it's clear that any all-wheel drive system charged with handling this amount of output needs to be ready to swap torque from one axle to the other at a moment's notice. The Porsche Traction Management system (the German brand's name for its all-wheel drive feature) can do exactly that, responding to requests from its computer-controlled brain in just 100 milliseconds. This allows the system to switch from 100 percent of torque driving the rear wheels (thus preserving traditional sports car driving dynamics) to a maximum of a 54 percent rear / 46 percent front split when dealing with extreme low-traction situations. A digital display just to the right of the tachometer keeps track of how much power is being sent where, although it's difficult to keep an eye on this small screen while the car is completely sideways.
'Extreme low traction' is an excellent term to apply to the courses set-up for us by the Porsche Driving Experience crew at the Mecaglisse rally school roughly one hour north of Montreal, Quebec. Making use of the same grounds as the Porsche Camp4 driving school, we were treated to an ice-coated skid pad, a tight, technical course, and a shorter drift course complete with dramatic elevation changes. Although we were given expert instruction just before each element, during the actual driving I was paired up with another journalist and essentially told to have as much fun as possible while keeping the 911 between snowbanks.