Review: Porsche 911 GTS
The Porsche 911 manages to combine supercar speed with everyday usability, and the latest GTS variant epitomises this philosophy perfectly.
Choosing a Porsche 911 is a bit like ordering a hot curry. There’s currently 26 varieties to choose from, ranging from the Carrera – a tasty Madras – right up to the fire-breathing race-ready GT2 RS – a face-melting Phaal that could make you soil your pants.
But what’s best if you want something in between the two?
There’s the iconic Turbo model to consider of course, which is laughably fast in a straight line. But the fact that all 911s now feature turbo tech only serves to muddy the waters really. If you’re after something that’s in the middle of the heat-ometer, we think the GTS is the best proposition.
Being Carrera-based ensures it remains on the right side of useable but, in the power and driving stakes, it’s much spicier than the lowliest models. So is this the 911 to go for? We’ve been out in the two-wheel-drive Coupe version to find out.
If we were reviewing a Vauxhall Mokka X or something like that, this is normally the point we start wittering on about its appearance and using the word angular a lot. But this is a 911 – not a lot more needs to be said, so we’ll let the photos do the talking.
All GTS models get a wider body – something usually reserved for all-wheel drive models.
Porsche isn’t really keen on revolutionary changes when it comes to styling, but as ever it’s a lovely car to behold, and even though this is the two-wheel drive GTS, it gets a wide body – something usually reserved for all-wheel drive models.
As imposing as those flared wheel arches are, by and large the understatement is the order of the day with the GTS, but there are a few external clues that this is something a little more special than your run-of-the-mill Carrera.
GTS badging is accompanied by gloss trim pieces, most notably a black strip that sits between some nicely smoked tail lights. There’s also some specific 20in black alloy wheels with a delightful centre-lock knockoff. But 911s is all about driving so, on to more important matters…
The famed flat six is one of the most characterful ever to make it into a production car, and the GTS’s 3.0-litre unit is tuned to produce 444bhp – a 30bhp mark-up over the Carrera S. Combine its power with a torque figure of 550Nm, and it’s a seriously quick car.
The GTS’s 3.0-litre unit is tuned to produce 444bhp – a 30bhp mark-up over the Carrera S.
More specifically, it’s the fastest Carrera-based 911 available. Kitted out with Porsche’s PDK transmission like our test car was, it’ll get from rest to 62mph in a supercar-quick 3.6 seconds and go on to 193 mph.
If you can put up with an increased 0-62 dash of 4.1 seconds though, the seven-speed manual variant comes highly recommended too. Manual transmissions are generally falling out of favour as automatics become ever-more refined, and that’s a shame.
If there was ever a car that can argue the case for a modern manual, then it’s the GTS. Standard equipment also includes Porsche’s Active Suspension Management. This lowers the car is 10mm lower than other Carerras thanks to a sports chassis.
Porsche’s Active Suspension Management is standard, and lowers the car by 10mm.
Aside from the manual option and sports suspension, there’s a few other bits of kit that you can spec to ensure you’re driving one of the most ‘focused’ 911s out there, notably the Sports Chrono kit, which adds an adaptive sports exhaust and race car dials.
Rear-axle steering and ceramic brakes are also on the cards, although both are costly options. Considering Porsche has now honed the rear-engined 911 into one of the best handling cars on the market, they’re not really necessary.
It’s the best road-going 911 currently available.
Many were sceptical when Porsche adopted electronic power steering, but they needn’t have worried – it’s one of the best setups currently on the market. In short the GTS is a joy behind the wheel – with the exception of the GT3, we reckon it’s the best road-going 911 currently available as far as dynamics are concerned.
But the attraction of a 911 has always been that you can use it everyday. So how does the GTS hold up in that regard? Well its 2+2 configuration immediately puts it ahead of the more hardcore 911s.
A 2+2 configuration puts it ahead of more hardcore 911s in the usability stakes.
It’s no doubt the smart interior that enhances refinement, and despite its sporting credentials it also has all the amenities you’d expect from a £100k car. The touchscreen infotainment system is top notch and can also be controlled by buttons – something we think more mainstream cars could do with.
While it is impeccably put together, the trim is a little ordinary compared to some rivals. You can soon sort this out should you wish thanks to Porsche’s extensive, if pricey options list. The “GTS Package” adds silver trim and Alcantara Sports trim, but it adds more than £2,000 to the list price.
So what exactly are those rivals? Well that’s a difficult one considering it’s not as powerful as a McLaren 540C or the latest Audi R8 on paper. In reality though, the GTS can give both of those entry-level supercars a run for their money.
One of the best 911s Porsche has ever built.
Talking of which, the GTS can be had for less than £100,000 in its most basic spec – around £25,000 less than the entry-level R8, and £30,000 less than the baby McLaren.
But with leasing prices starting from around the £1,400 per month mark, it’s still not a cheap proposition.
It is however, one of the best 911s Porsche has ever built. This is a 911 that day-to-day, will be easier to use and more enjoyable to drive than a GT3 – if you want to fuse supercar performance and everyday usability, look no further than the 911 GTS.
Model tested: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS PDK
Turbocharged flat 3.0-litre six-cylinder
£800 (first year)
£450 (Standard premium rate)