GTS PACKS A PREMIUM
THE price of a good small car: that’s the difference between any Porsche 911 S and its GTS equivalent. So what will the extra $25,000 to $30,000 buy when they reach Australia in the second quarter?
Compared to a 911 S, a GTS brings a little more power (22kW) and noise (sports exhaust is standard), wider rear track (44mm) and lower ride height (10mm).
Other important changes are to the interior, where a generous helping of Alcantara has been added. The artificial suede is used on key contact areas such as seats and steering wheel. Finally, the GTS gets the desirable Sport Chrono option as standard. A complicated little clock in the centre of the dash signals the presence of Sport Chrono.
The GTS will come in five variations on the 911 theme; Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet with rear-drive and all-wheeldrive, plus the AWD-only Targa with foldaway top.
Transmissions are sevenspeed manual or seven-speed double-clutch auto (PDK in Porsche’s lexicon). Prices span from $279,000 (Carrera GTS Coupe manual) to $323,990 (Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet and Targa 4 GTS with PDK).
There isn’t a dud car in the current 911 line-up, and the new GTS models aren’t likely to change this. Porsche launched them in sunny South Africa, far from the cold and snow of its Stuttgart home.
Track time in a Carrera 4 GTS Coupe proved it was very fast, both on straights and through corners, and a bit loud (though in a good, spine-tingly way). The amazing precision of its steering and chassis, and the power of both its engine and brakes make it a really entertaining car to drive.
The Targa 4 GTS auto driven on public roads north of Cape Town was also quite fine fun, a useful reminder that Porsche’s seven-speeder is one of the best double-clutch transmissions in production.
The GTS will swell the 911 line-up in Australia to more than 30 variations of body style and powertrain. But Porsche doesn’t believe confusion will result — about 85 per cent of 911 buyers are repeat customers. JC