You can order your GTS in five variants. The price of a ticket is $280K — for starters. Hamish Miles reports
ANOTHER month, another Porsche 911. This season’s newest addition to the sports car maker’s stable is the GTS — available in five variants and taking the 911 range to more than 20.
The 331kW GTS arrives as a Coupe or Cabriolet with rear or all-wheel drive plus the rangetopping 911 Targa 4 GTS with all-wheel drive.
Each has manual or dualclutch automatic transmission options and all should better 300km/h. The fastest of the new mob accelerates from rest to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds.
As it should be, all GTS variants are faster and more powerful than the 911 Carrera S Coupe or previous GTS iterations thanks in part to new twin turbos on Porsche’s flat sixcylinder engine.
With chassis improvements and wider rear track, the Carrera GTS has reportedly run the demanding and convoluted 21km of Germany’s famed Nurburgring Nordschleife in just 7 minutes, 26 seconds on showroom rubber — 12 seconds faster than its predecessor and four seconds faster than the current Carrera S.
It does so with visceral mechanical wailing from the rear, the evidence of the increased power output and, now, 550Nm of torque.
There’s also extra style to be had here — the 911 GTS shares the broader body of the Carrera 4 to accommodate the wider track and 20mm lower ride height with Porsche’s active suspension.
There’s more muscle to the haunches, more aggressive front-end style and black badging here and there plus sports exhausts to distinguish the GTS from other 911s.
Attention to detail is important for a car that starts at $282,700 for a seven-speed manual Carrera GTS Coupe and runs through to $320,400 for a manual Targa 4 GTS.
The sculpted two-door body is complemented by a sporting and snug cabin with hiphugging Sports seats and the GTS scores Porsche’s “Sport Chrono” package which allows drivers to analyse track performances.
The two rear seats are for pretty small folk, there’s not a tonne of luggage space in the front and, in lieu of a spare tyre, there’s just some goop and air compressor.
Whether for a day on the road or track, the 911 GTS is a sports car, this one straddling the middle ground of the range. It is a super road car that doesn’t mind the occasional romp at the track; other 911s are either more the sports tourer or the hard-core racer. On Porsche’s reckoning, this is the sweet spot in today’s range. ON THE ROAD Fire up the GTS and there’s the familiar rear-engined sound of Porsche 911s, though with a deeper grumble and subtler bark these days.
Clamber in and the driving position is familiar, too, a little offset to the left with big tachometer straight ahead of the driver and good forward vision.
Then snick the dual-clutch auto into drive. Porsche’s gearbox gurus insist this is a quicker transmission than the manual, plus there’s automatic throttle blipping on down changes.
Conditions permitting, plant the right foot for a smooth, seamless rush of acceleration. There’s precious little lag here, it’s a linear delivery of power complemented by ever-so slick upshifts.
The chassis, surprisingly supple over ragged roads in NSW’s Blue Mountains, will always respond to driver inputs. Subtle engineering magic — such as Porsche Torque Vectoring, which lightly brakes inside wheels — smooths out understeer and oversteer.
Add to this the smart steering response, which allows a driver to point into a corner, hold the line and punch out of the turn with confidence. Time after time. It makes an ordinary driver look, and feel, like a bit of a road warrior. VERDICT There’s just one question about the 2017 Porsche 911 GTS. Do you go for the “purer” thrills of the rear-drive GTS Coupe or the extra composure of the allwheel drive for better tackling back roads?