$270,100 . . . but it’s a bargain
Porsche’s Carrera GTS is big on more power and extra value, writes Paul Gover in Palm Springs
ABLUE-LIGHT special of a different kind will dominate Porsche sales in Australia next year. The new item in aisle 911 is a tweaked and tizzied Carrera GTS model that does two jobs: farewelling the current 997-series 911 and pointing to the sort of value and standard equipment that will come in the next all-new 911 in 2012.
The newcomer is priced from $270,100 — a lot of money for most new-car buyers in Australia but a relatively bargain price for a Porsche compared with its rivals.
The upgrade pack for the GTS starts with more power and bigger wheels, runs to the wider body from the Carrera 4 and includes a classy alcantara leather interior.
European cars lose the back seats to save weight and can be ordered with an optional 90-litre tank.
But Australian buyers are expected to specify four spots in the cabin and the tank does not fit for right-hand drive.
‘‘The GTS is a stand-alone model. It fills the gap between the Carrera S and GT3 and is for people who like the standard comfort features but crave GT3 performance, so it’s a step up from the S,’’ Porsche Cars Australia managing director Michael Winkler says.
‘‘There is nothing cynical about it. It’s stuff we’ve wanted to do for a while. The minute you launch one car the engineers are a fair way down the path on the successor.’’
THE GTS starts from $270,100 as a coupe and $288,700 as a cabriolet, and will land in January.
There is obvious mechanical stuff to justify the hike over a regular Carrera S and some minor cosmetic tweaking including badges and trimming.
But Porsche says the price increase is far less than it would cost to upgrade an S.
‘‘If you took a normal S and added all the features you’d end up at a price that’s slightly higher than the cost of the equipment,’’ Winkler says.
‘‘But you’re not just getting that . . . you’re also getting all the improvements to the body and engine. The standard S costs about $245,000, so the GTS is about $25,000 extra.
‘‘But it’s between $35,000 and $40,000 better value.’’
Winkler says it will fundamentally consolidate the performance of the 911 segment.
‘‘We’ve basically managed to come out of the global financial crisis unscathed,’’ he says.
‘‘We’re now in a life-cycle situation where the 911 is close to the end, and this model will keep it fresh.’’
THE obvious change to the GTS is the tweaking of its 3.8-litre flat six to take power to 300kW.
It’s done with a new variable intake system that moves the peak from 6500 revs in the S to 7300 revs, as well as boosting torque by 6 per cent in a fatter spread from just over 1500 revs.
Porsche says the benefits of the engine work mean more power in the medium speed ranges and fewer gear changes.
The 0-100km/h time is trimmed slightly to 4.6 seconds— or 4.2 with PDK and Sport Chrono package — and fuel economy is not affected.
The suspension picks up wider front and rear tracks with the Carrera 4 body.
The tyre package is upgraded to 235x35 at the front and 305x30 at the rear, running on unique 19-inch alloy wheels.
And there is a switchable sports exhaust.
Power at play: the GTS looks more aggressive and has bigger wheels.