2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: If You Absolutely Think You Need ItS

Porsche has been stirring the pot of technological goodies this year, creating a 911 Carerra 4S that not only breathes fire, but can mete out that power judiciously to all four wheels for people who think they need that kind of thing.

In other words, you can get a 400 hp, all-wheel-drive Porsche with a seven-speed manual transmission, but you can also get a computer controlled driving machine that helps you go fast, get better gas mileage, and avoid crashes on the highway.

Among the list of improvements for the 2013 model was a stronger focus on using aluminum in the car's construction. The car shed 143 pounds over last year's model, less than a percent about 5% of its 3,131 curb weight. A 350 hp, 3.4-liter flat six and a 400 hp, 3.8-liter flat six propel the car to 62 mph in 4.5 and 4.1 seconds, respectively, so buyers might not necessarily feel that minor weight reduction.

Porsche claims that lightweight body parts have played a major role in giving the car 16 percent better fuel economy, but its optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) twin-clutch automatic transmission undoubtedly makes a difference. With the car shifting for you, Porsche says that both the 3.4 and the 3.8 will get better than 30 mpg. Not bad, although you'd probably have to keep your right foot light to achieve those kinds of numbers.

In addition to PDK and PTM (the company makes us always feel like we're talking about southeast Asian political parties), Porsche will offer Adaptive Cruise Control and Porsche Active Safe, which are designed to keep you far enough away from the car you're behind to prevent a collision.

Some of us aren't crazy about nanny controls on the track, but we hope they'll make cars safer in the hands of careless dentists on the mean streets.

Ultimately, the number of people who need a Porsche that moves all wheels is tiny, but the number of people who think they need it is actually rather large. Thus, Porsche will continue to build it.

Porsche will debut the car at this year's Paris International Motor Show.

Photo credit: Porsche

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: If You Absolutely Think You Need ItS

Photo credit: Porsche

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: If You Absolutely Think You Need ItS

Photo credit: Porsche

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: If You Absolutely Think You Need ItS

Photo credit: Porsche

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: If You Absolutely Think You Need ItS

Photo credit: Porsche

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S: If You Absolutely Think You Need ItS

Photo credit: Porsche