If power and handling aren't enough to make you want to drive the Carrera 4S, then its looks should be another variable in the desire equation. The C4S shares its body design with the 911 Turbo, giving you the Turbo look without the Turbo price. The lower front spoiler has three large intake grilles, just like the Turbo. The upper front spoiler differs slightly from the Turbo's to accommodate aerodynamically for the difference in weight and weight distribution. Obviously, the Turbo's side intake ducts aren't present on the C4S as they're not needing for the normally aspirated engine; however, the C4S does have the Turbo's lower rear quarter panel louvers. The automatically deployed rear spoiler is the one used on other Carrera models. The wheels are also Turbo style, measuring 8x18 in. in the front and 11x18 in. in the rear, and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires, sized 225/40R18 and 295/30R18, respectively. Visible through the wheels are the signature red calipers from the Turbo.

Still need another reason to lust after the C4S? It also has the additional luxury amenities of the Turbo, including full leather seats with power adjust and memory, power heated side mirrors, electric sliding sunroof with tilt, programmable remote entry and integrated foglights. Porsche Cars of North America allowed us to order our C4S with whichever options we wanted-and we chose a fair amount. We opted for the leather sport seats (no additional charge) instead of the aforementioned power adjust seats, but asked that they be lowered by 10mm and heated, which cost $705 and $410, respectively. The Porsche Communication Management II option is the GPS navigation system, a $2,630 addition. We added the Bose High-end Sound Package ($795)-which consists of a 100-Watt switching amplifier with five additional 25-Watt linear amps and 12 loudspeakers-and the boot-mounted six-disc CD changer ($715), and turned our C4S into an awesome rolling sound system.

ec's new long-termer also has the 18-in. Sport Techno wheels, a $2,860 option (instead of the standard Turbo-look wheels), the Xenon Headlamp Package for $1,080, a rear window wiper for $345, a roof transport system (i.e., roof rack rails) for $400 and something called "Exclusive Options" for $540. All told, our C4S with a base price or $81,800 now retails for $93,055, including a $765 destination charge-that's $10,490 worth of extras. A bit steep? Maybe, but we figured that if someone could afford an $82k car, they could afford a $93k one.

I drove the then-new C4S nearly 2 years ago through the northern Italian lake district and came home raving about it (see european car, May 2002). So when we put in the order for our new long-term Porsche, my anticipation was high and the months of waiting for it seemed to be almost an eternity. Was it worth the wait? Time, and other ec staffers, will tell. But here's a clue: It's a Porsche Carrera, one of the most desirable cars on earth.

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