While we all hanker for the high-tensile thrills of a GT3 RS or the upcoming GT2 RS scary monster, the new GTS might be the genuine sweet spot of the 911 range
Before you’ll read this article it is good to know that we are fans of pretty much all Porsche products. Sorry for being so honest. We have all gotten used to 911s being pretty damn good at well, pretty much everything they do. That they are brilliant drivers’ cars is now a given. I’ll argue that they are practical, too.
Driving one around town is as simple as driving a Golf, getting in and out won’t crush that well-ironed business shirt and the front boot swallows up more luggage than it has any right to, especially compared with all previous generations except the 997 and 996. No, you can’t fit a set of dubs in the boot, but if you have any 911 you should be driving it rather than driving a three-wood anyway. And you can always chuck the dubs on the back seat, which is useful for pre-teen children or short hops for even shorter adults.
So, 911s are great to drive, they are practical and reliable and if you look in the back of this magazine, they are all five-star cars. But which one is the best?
The new 911 GTS that we have here may just be the sweet spot of 911s. Ithas all the brilliance of the ‘regular’ Carrera S turned up a notch, combined with a lot of the visual appeal of the GT3, just turned down a notch. It’s also extremely comfortable in a way that defies belief, but I’ll come back to this.
So, what do you get over a Carrera S?
First up, the engine; the 3.0-litre flat six is fitted with larger turbochargers and it now produces 331kW and 550Nm, those are a handy and noticeable 22kW and 50Nm more than the regular Carrera S. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, with the option of rear or all-wheel drive. A manual gearbox (also with seven speeds) is also available, but sadly we didn’t get to experience it.
You get larger brakes, re-tuned sports suspension that sits the GTS a lot lower than a Carrera S. The GTS also features 305mm-wide rear boots mounted on black 20- inch, race-style centre-lock wheels that look the ducks and that you cannot stop staring at If you curbed one you would cry and if you are prone to doing just that (curbing, not crying) order two spare wheels and keep them in your garage should disaster strike. One scratch and the visual appeal of the car is destroyed. The bodywork changes are also rather extensive, with the GTS having an aggressively styled front bumper that sits, to my eyes at least, somewhere between Carrera and GT3. The revised bar also aids cooling of the GTS’ massive brakes, meaning that there is purpose behind the look. The rear of the car is also a noticeable 44mm wider.
The changes don’t stop there. Inside, the cabin of the GTS gains a lot of carbonfibre and my favourite interior surface covering, Alcantara. It also adds sports seats and a smaller steering wheel that excludes the information and entertainment buttons from the Carrera S. Everything looks spot on and very focused, but not in an overly pared-back-to-basics way. The only fault with the interior, as with all 911s, is the lack of centre storage. All of the above equates to around $50K worth of additions over the Carrera S, but for only $26K more. On paper, the ‘upsell’ should already equal an Hipsold’ to anyone looking at a Carrera S. But does it equal a $26K better driving experience? In short, the answer is a firm yes.