The GTS is the fastest, most athletic model in the 911 Carrera line up. If you want even more responsive handling from your 911 you’ll have to look to the GT3 or GT3 RS, and if you’re after even more straight-line performance you’ll be interested in the Turbo versions. As far as the Carrera is concerned, the GTS is top dog.
There are five variants of the GTS at launch – Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa, with the first two available with two or four driven wheels – but this rear-wheel drive Coupe with a manual gearbox, sticky track-biased tyres and bucket seats could just be the pick of the GTS range, and therefore the entire Carrera line-up.
The GTS borrows the 3-litre twin turbo flat-six from the standard Carrera models, with power lifted to 444bhp. That’s a 30bhp gain over the Carrera S and a useful 20bhp advantage over the previous, normally-aspirated GTS. Peak torque is 406lb ft.
The standard transmission is a seven-speed manual, driving the rear wheels via a mechanical limited slip differential. Porsche’s twin-clutch PDK gearbox and four-wheel drive system can be specified. So equipped, a GTS Coupe is the fastest accelerating model in the Carrera range, setting a 3.6 second 0-62mph time. The model tested here is no slouch, though, recording a time of 4.1-seconds. Its top speed is 193mph.
Incidentally, it wasn’t all that long ago that a near-450bhp 911 with a pair of turbochargers, no front driveshafts and a manual gearbox was badged ‘GT2’. Let’s call it progress.
Just like before, the GTS is more of an options list cherry-picking exercise than a thorough reengineering of the existing Carrera. What’s different this time, though, is that all GTS models use the wider 911 bodyshell. That means you can now buy a rear-wheel drive GTS with the 44mm-wider rear body for the first time, which makes the car look more muscular as well as conferring a modest dynamic advantage. More importantly, though, it now means there’s a significant, appreciable point of difference between a rear-driven Carrera S and Carrera GTS.
This range-topping model features Porsche Active Suspension Management with the sports chassis as standard, which means the GTS rides 20mm lower than a base-spec Carrera and 10mm lower than the Carrera S (although you can drop the S just as low by specifying the sports chassis). Interestingly, Porsche’s engineers were prepared to modify the GTS’ springs and anti-roll bars to suit the wider shell, but in testing they found it just wasn’t necessary.
Sport Chrono is also standard fit, which incorporates dynamic engine mounts and a switchable sports exhaust system.
Rear-wheel steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (adaptive anti-roll bars) are available as optional extras. A certain W. Rohrl reckons rear-wheel steering is only much use in an emergency lane change and in our experience no 911 has ever been more enjoyable with PDCC fitted, which means neither option is a must-have.
Porsche quotes a fairly absurd 7min 26sec Nurburgring time for the GTS, which is cut by four seconds if the car is fitted with the optional Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, as this one is.
Visually, the GTS is distinguished from the rest of the Carrera family by its smoked rear lights and the thin black strip that runs between them, plus the centre lock wheels and some minor styling tweaks. Finally, Porsche will delete the rear seats if you so wish, which both saves a bit of weight and encourages those GT2-lite comparisons.
The main criticism we’ve made of current day 911s is that they just don’t feel much like 911s of old, which is to say their steering is a touch vague and wooly and their bodies are so tightly controlled at speed you could drive one flat out for 1000 miles and never feel like you were working it particularly hard.
The new GTS, in this specification at least, feels more like a 911 of old. Or, in other words, it’s the best 911 on sale short of the Turbo and GT3 models. In fact, as a road car it’s more fun than the Turbo and as a daily it’s much more usable than the hardcore, track-focussed versions.
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what it is that makes this car more fun to drive than a Carrera S since the chassis settings are more or less unchanged. The wider rear track must count for something, but more likely it’s the optional Corsa tyres that make the difference, this being one of the rare occasions where a stickier, more robust tyre actually makes the car more enjoyable to drive – in the dry, at least. It’s also very possible that by ramping up the mechanical grip the steering and the chassis as a whole have become more communicative and easier to read.
That means you feel so much more involved in the process of picking apart of good stretch of road. Whereas certain Carreras can be aloof and distant even when driven quickly, this GTS is with you every step of the way, whether you’re stroking it along or scaring yourself silly. The manual gearshift is fantastic and the steering is very good for an electric system, too.
It is true that this turbocharged 3-litre engine doesn’t get close to troubling the previous normally-aspirated unit for soundtrack and delivery, but it’s also true that the six-pot is one of the most linear and responsive turbo engines on the planet. It revs well to the limiter at 7400rpm and it delivers massive overtaking punch, too.
At £94,316 the GTS is rather pricey for what is effectively a tricked-up Carrera. Add £4000 of bucket seats and sticky tyres and you’ll be troubling the six-figure mark. A handful of options on top of that would almost certainly see it matching the cost of the forthcoming new 911 GT3. At least you can walk into a dealership and order a GTS, though.
Outside of the Porsche stable Audi’s R8 is a stern rival for the GTS. Even the entry-level V10 model starts at £122,450, though, which suddenly makes the 911 look like pretty good value. Jaguar’s F-type SVR is a little closer on price at £110,000 and it does have a certain brutish charm, but the Porsche is the more enjoyable sports coupe.
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Press Release
‘Gran Turismo Sport’ models offer outstanding levels of Porsche performance
Porsche today announces the second generation of the 911 Carrera GTS, ahead of its arrival in showrooms this November. It will join the acclaimed Boxster GTS, Cayman GTS and Panamera GTS in the range of sports cars from Stuttgart.
Each of the four new 911 Carrera GTS models – a Coupé and a Cabriolet, available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive – build on the established core values of the iconic rear-engined 911 by adding further technical features to generate even higher levels of dynamic performance and driving enjoyment.
Under the rear engine lid lies an evocative flat-six power unit, tuned to develop 430 hp, an increase of 30 hp over the Carrera S. This is combined with the Sport Chrono package offering dynamic engine mounts, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damper system which lowers the car’s ride height by ten millimetres.
Improved efficiency has also led to quicker acceleration and higher top speeds, and Combined fuel consumption figures remain unchanged from the favourable level of the S models. For example, when combined with the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox, the 911 Carrera GTS can return 32.5 mpg and also sprint from zero to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds (Cabriolet: 4.2 seconds). With the standard seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, a top speed of 198 mph is possible.
The exteriors of the new 911 Carrera GTS – like other GTS models – differ significantly from the other Carrera models. All versions feature the 911 Carrera 4 body with wide-flared rear wheel arches and a wider track. Also standard are 20-inch diameter alloy wheels with centre-lock mechanism, painted in an exclusive matt black finish. Accentuating the nose styling are special trim elements and smoked bi-Xenon headlights with the addition of the Porsche Dynamic Lighting System (PDLS). The air intake grille on the rear engine lid features bespoke GTS black trim strips and black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes add to the strong visual identity.
Further aural distinction is delivered via the standard sports exhaust system, which delivers an unmistakable GTS sound.
The driver and front passenger sit in an exclusive Alcantara interior with leather-trimmed sport seats. The centre seat panels are finished in Alcantara, as on the other Porsche GTS models.
With the addition of these new top models, the 911 Carrera range now consists of 12 sports cars at three power levels, as Coupés and Cabriolets, and in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configuration.
The new 911 Carrera GTS models are available to order from Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland from today, with first cars arriving in showrooms during November.
911 Carrera GTS range
911 Carrera GTS Coupe
911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe
911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet
911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet
Standard equipment includes black tinted bi-Xenon headlights with Porsche Dynamic Lighting System, sports exhaust, Sport Chrono Pack with dynamic engine mounts, leather/Alcantara interior trim, sports seats, 20-inch centre-lock alloy wheels, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with rear limited slip differential, 7-inch colour touch-screen Porsche Communication Management with satellite navigation, digital radio, a universal audio interface offering MP3 connectivity, automatic climate control, Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Porsche Vehicle Tracking anti-theft system, three year warranty and three year roadside assistance package.
The 911 Carrera 4 GTS models add Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive.
Customers will also be able to explore the potential of their new car by participating in a complimentary course at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.