The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Prestige -

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

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