The latest version of Porsche’s evergreen 911 has been released internationally in four-wheel drive guise, and Ferrari is developing a rumbling V8-powered entry-level machine for drivers on a shoestring budget . . .

The latest version of Porsche’s evergreen 911 has been released internationally in four-wheel drive guise, and Ferrari is developing a rumbling V8-powered entry-level machine for drivers on a shoestring budget…

The Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S all-wheel-drive versions of the new 997-generation 911 are the latest in a line of all-wheel-drive coupés dating back to 1988, the year of the first C4’s release.

Seventeen year’s later, the new models are 44 mm wider over the rear fenders than their predecessors, which allows the Carrera 4 to be fitted with 18-inch wheels and tyres, while the Carrera 4S runs on 19-inchers.

The Carrera 4 is powered by Porsche’s successful 239 kW 3,6-litre engine, which propels the car from standing to 100 km/h in 5,1 seconds and on to a top speed of 280 km/h. The 4S is fitted with a 3,8-litre powerplant, producing 261 kW and capable of accelerating the sportster to 100 km/h in 4,8 seconds. Top end for the Carrera 4S is a claimed 288 km/h.

The all-wheel drive system has a multi-disc viscous coupling to transfer between five and 40 per cent of the driving force to the front wheels. The set-up works in conjunction with Porsche Stability Management (PSM).

The brake system is pre-primed and ready for full brake application, eliminating the initial air gap between the pads and discs to reduce stopping distances. A hydraulic pump builds up extra pressure to bring the wheels into the ABS range for optimal braking.

The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) programme offers the choice of a basic shock absorber setup, or a firmer “Sport” setting and is standard on the 4S model (optional on the Carrera 4).

Both models can also be fitted with a sports suspension to lower the body by a further 20 mm. A mechanical differential lock is available at the rear.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Ferrari is currently preparing a snappy sportscar for those on a budget.

The entry-level Ferrari will be built in the spirit of the Dino of the late 60s and early 70s and the car (rumoured to be called “Project Califormia”) will be aimed specifically at the US market.

The modern Dino will have a lightweight 4,2-litre V8 engine in a front mid-engine layout, with a conventional steel monocoque chassis and an integral transaxle-transmission at the rear.

This is the first new project for Ferrari since its split from Maserati earlier this year, but it is expected that the car will use a modified version of the Trident’s 298 kW 4,2-litre powerplant. It will slot in beneath the F430 in the Italian manufacturer’s line-up.