For those who find the base Porsche 911 Carrera too tepid while the GT3 variant too extreme or impractical, the German sports car maker bridges this gap with the GTS model range, where within this specific line-up customers can opt for varying levels of performance, depending on the model they choose. The 911 GTS range is made up of five versions; the 911 Carrera GTS with rear-wheel drive, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS with all-wheel drive – both of the above available as a Coup£ and Cabriolet – and the 911 Targa 4 GTS.
To begin with, all 911 GTS models now get a bi-turbo 2,981 cc flat-six power unit that makes 450hp – 20hp more than the Carrera S. Rather than resorting to the ‘Power Kit’ electronic trickery, Porsche has developed new turbochargers for the 911 GTS range to increase the engine’s output. As a result, all five versions of the 911 GTS are capable of top speeds in excess of 300km/h. Naturally, acceleration times have also improved and each variant reach 100km/h from a standstill 0.2 seconds faster than the equivalent S model.
Besides an increase in power and performance, Porsche’s engineers have worked hard to improve the way the GTS sounds with a sports exhaust system as well as ditching some sound proofing material to let more engine noise into the cabin for a more emotional driving experience. Those who plan on using the 911 GTS for track days would do well to specify their cars with the optional Ultra-High Performance (UHP) tyres specially developed for this model range.
With a tyre compound, sidewall profile and profile depth tailored specifically to high performance, these tyres are exclusively available from Porsche dealerships. Apparently, the UHP tyres allow drivers to maintain consistently fast lap times for longer on the racetrack. Equipped with these tyres, the GTS lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife four seconds faster. The rubber on the front axle measure 245/35 x ZR20, and on the rear axle 305/30 xZR20.
If you’re serious about working on your track times, the enhanced Porsche Track Precision app is available for the new GTS models for the first time. This smartphone app, which has its origins in motorsport, connects directly to the vehicle systems and automatically records and displays information obtained when driving on racetracks, as well as performing detailed analyses of this information. Drivers can start and record their own laps on 130 preset race tracks around the world. If the desired circuit is not already available, drivers can add it themselves within the app.
Once the car is out on the track, the app displays the driving dynamics directly on the smartphone. In addition to section and lap times, it also displays animated deviations from the reference lap. To enable this, the app uses highly precise vehicle data, coupled with accurate GPS information directly from the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system. Graphics and video analysis of the driving data can help drivers to achieve continual improvements in their driving performance.
The video garnered uses the smartphone’s camera and supplements the images with animated driving data. To provide an extra perspective during the drive, video can also be captured using a second, external camera. By analyzing the driving data and comparing it with other laps, drivers can quickly identify the optimal braking points and ideal racing line. The app also provides an acoustic read-out of lap times and can share recordings with friends via social networks. In addition, the recorded video analyses and driver data can be exported for even more in-depth analysis on a computer using additional software.
Additional functions are also available to Apple Watch owners, such as measuring their heart rate while driving and recording it for further analysis.4 As with the previous generations of 911 GTS, the latest version based on the Type 991.2 generation, uses the wider rear axle taken from the Carrera 4 models. To make the most of the additional stability offered by the wider front and rear track (+12.7mm), the ride height is also lowered by 10mm. The GTS Coupes exclusively feature the PASM sports chassis, which lowers the body by a further ten millimetres (-20mm in total).
The additional featured systems are said to also improve the steering behaviour, precision and agility of the 911 GTS: Models with the optional seven-speed manual transmission, for example, feature Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and a mechanical rear differential lock, while GTS models with PDK feature Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+) and an electronically controlled rear differential lock. Both systems are capable of automatically braking the inside rear wheel to sharpen the turn-in response.
For good measure, active PDCC anti-roll stabilisation, which is available as an option, has been modified in line with the higher power of the GTS models, which hopefully will lead to more fluent transitions through the corners. For the first time, optional rear-wheel steering is available on the GTS models. Besides the improved stability with high-speed lane changes and better agility on tighter turns, the rear-wheel steering also offers the practical benefit of a tighter turning radius at slow speeds, which improves maneuverability in tight spaces.
Distinguishing a GTS from the other variants of the 911 should not be too difficult as the range uses black accents extensively on the badgework as well as exterior trim and wheels. Darkened head and tail lamps are also another giveaway. For the 911 Targa GTS, its iconic roll hoop will be finished in black rather than the standard silver finish. Inside, Alcantara is the material of choice in the cabin, which adds to the sporty sense of occasion.