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First drive: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. Image by Porsche.

First drive: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
The GTS badge has been added to the 911 line-up, creating arguably the best model yet.

   



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Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

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Arriving earlier in the Porsche 991's lifecycle than its predecessor the 911 Carrera GTS sits between the Carrera S and GT3 in price and promise. It's a spec-sheet special that's more than the sum of its parts - so long as you pick the right one.

Test Car Specifications

Model Tested: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS coupé
Pricing: £91,098
Engine: 3.8-litre flat-six petrol
Transmission: rear-wheel drive, seven-speed manual
Body style: two-door coupé
CO2 emissions: 223g/km (Band H, £205 per year)
Combined economy: 29.7mpg
Top speed: 190mph
0-62mph: 4.4 seconds
Power: 430hp at 7,500rpm
Torque: 440Nm at 5,750rpm

What's this?

Another 911 derivative, making Porsche's sports car range unquestionably the most comprehensive out there. The GTS badge was introduced late in the 997's lifecycle, and to great acclaim, so Porsche has added the model earlier this time around. It sits between the 911 Carrera S and GT3. The GTS badge has come to signify a boost in power for starters, this one getting 30hp over the standard Carrera S via the usually optional 'Powerkit'; the rest of the GTS's make-up is essentially a cherry-picking exercise from Porsche's comprehensive options list with a few GTS-only revisions thrown in for good measure.

Like its predecessor, and GTS-badged Boxster and Cayman models, the GTS feels greater than the sum of its parts. It might be possible to get close to the GTS specification in a Carrera 2 by ticking boxes, but some additional tweaking to the acoustics and damper rates, plus the addition of wider front and rear tyres under the wide-body of the Carrera 4, define it as a unique model. Add some signature GTS styling elements inside and out and it really does feel pretty special.

How does it drive?

No huge surprises here, the GTS's goal of providing a stepping-stone in the line-up between the standard Carrera S and the GT3 proving convincing in execution. Porsche even offers the choice to delete the rear seats for weight saving. That removes 7kg from the kerb weight and the GTS is the only 911 able to ape the GT3's no rear seat status.

Start up the 3.8-litre flat-six engine and there's a more overt idle. The dark-chrome tipped exhausts, with their active flaps, have been fettled to produce acoustics more in line with its harder sporting edge. That's true of the dampers too, which are combined with a wider front and rear track, Porsche Torque Vectoring, 10mm lower PASM suspension, 20-inch wheels that are half an inch wider front and rear: the GTS's intent is obvious.

The net result of all those changes is a 911 that's more eager than ever to turn in and possesses quite incredible mechanical grip. Roll control is superb, helped here by the optional fitment of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. The steering weight is beautifully judged too, the Alcantara covered wheel communicative and accurate.

The greater focus of the suspension does result in a bit more road noise on some surfaces, but the ride remains largely impressive, only sharper expansion joints and ripples creating negative impact. That tiny compromise is worth it for the GTS's greater agility in the bends; its stability and poise on both road and track are significantly improved over its regular Carrera relations.

That's aided not just by the engine's greater output and enthusiasm of revs, but the revisions Porsche has made to the manual seven-speed gearbox. Prior to driving the GTS the 991's been a 911 that's regretfully been difficult to recommend in anything but optional PDK, seven-speed paddle-shifted specification. The GTS changes that, the shift being worked on to give reduced friction, in turn increasing its speed and accuracy. Those updates are immediately apparent, the shift improved significantly, and Porsche admits that the revisions will be rolled out across the entire 911 line-up.

That improved gearshift, along with the usual fine weighting of the pedals, allows the full rev-range of the 3.8-litre to be enjoyed more readily. It's an engine that thrives on revs, its natural aspiration requiring more from its driver than turbocharged rivals, but the rewards are well worth the effort, not least thanks to the rising and rousing crescendo from the engine's intake and exhaust.

Verdict

The new GTS is a hugely rewarding, engaging and always exciting drive. It achieves this while retaining the 911's near unique everyday usability. It's most authentic in coupé and rear-wheel drive form, with either the manual or PDK transmissions. The availability of four-wheel drive Carrera 4 GTS models or the loss of the roof in the GTS Cabriolet does turn the GTS badge into little more than a trim level, but it must be what customers want. As a rear-drive coupé it's a stand-out model (and one that Porsche insiders admit is the 'real' GTS) that really deserves to - and would happily - exist as a single entity.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 20 Nov 2014



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2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.



2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 

2015 Porsche 911 GTS. Image by Porsche.
 






 

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