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Porsche 911 Carrera GTS review

The Good

  • The perfect 911?
  • Fast and agile
  • Reasonably good value

The Bad

  • Not very practical
  • Hard to feel the extra power
  • Jaguar F-Type is prettier
4.5

Here’s our review of the new Porsche 911 Carrera GTS – the ultimate ‘Goldilocks’ 911.

Another month, another 911 variant. For those of you who think the Carrera S is too slow, the GT3 is too hardcore and the Turbo is too licence-threatening, the Stuttgart folk have the solution for you in the shape of the Carrera GTS.

Available in coupe or Cabriolet form, with two or four-wheel-drive and the usual manual or PDK gearbox options, the GTS gets more power, a unique suspension set up, some exterior tweaks including unique alloy wheels and a wider body. We drove a two-wheel-drive coupe version with the PDK gearbox, which in the UK retails at £93,915.

Design

“The additions that the GTS brings with it arguably enhance the basic good looks further still.”Now that we’ve had a couple of years to get used to the 991-series design, it’s universally accepted that it’s a fine-looking machine. Better still the additions that the GTS brings with it arguably enhance the basic good looks further still.

The GTS has 44mm of extra width at the rear with the axle track to go with it, and filling those broader haunches are gorgeous 20-inch satin black alloy wheels with a racecar-like centre lock. With a Turbo-look front bumper, standard bi-Xenon headlights and door mirrors from the Sport Design catalogue, it’s the best expression of the current generation.

Practicality

No 911 is especially practical – you’ll want a Macan or a Panamera if that’s your thing – but amongst its contemporaries the 911 GTS fares reasonably well.

Front seat passengers have nothing to grumble about, with decent head, leg and elbow room. The rear seats are just for kids however; if you can squeeze an adult in there it’s unlikely they’ll want to be there for long. The GTS, however, does give you the option to delete the rear seat to give a bit more space for luggage.

The boot up front offers a modest 125 litres but in actual use it seems more useful than the numbers would suggest. In the cabin there are door bins, a centre console cubby and a glovebox although they are rather slim.

Performance & handling

“It’s effectively fitted with the Powerkit, a £9,387 option on the Carrera S.”Beneath the slick exterior all GTS models are fitted with the 3.8-litre flat six unit similar to that found in the Carrera S, with some significant tweaks. It’s effectively fitted with the Powerkit, a £9,387 option on the Carrera S that gets you new cylinder heads, cams, a sports exhaust and active engine mounts to name a few, all of which the GTS gets as standard.

That nets you an additional 30bhp over the Carrera S and while you’d be hard pressed to feel the extra punch the GTS is unfailingly rapid. With the PDK gearbox firing between ratios in fractions of a second, acceleration is seamless and searingly fast, while downshifts happen as rapidly as you can pull the lever.

Through the bends it’s the 911 show all over again. If you’re precise and measured it will respond in kind yet if you’re brutal and lairy it will wag its tail and make you work hard. However you drive it though the GTS is beautifully responsive, robust and deft.

Economy & environment

Don’t expect miracles from the 911 GTS, because no matter how efficient Porsche gets at tuning and honing its performance there’s still a 3.8-litre engine providing the motive power.

That said, it’s worth looking carefully at the PDK gearbox compared to the manual in terms of efficiency. You may lose 1mph in top speed (so only 189mph then) but the PDK option saves you 2.8mpg combined and 21g/km of CO2, it being rated at 32.5mpg and 202g/km, respectively.

Equipment & value

Interestingly it’s on the spec sheet that the 911 GTS makes the most sense, in comparison to the Carrera S, at least. Remember, the Powerkit costs over £9,000 on the Carrera S and comes with the extra power, sports exhaust and dynamic engine mounts.

“With those extra bits, it sounds like a bit of a bargain.”However, the Carrera GTS also comes with Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Torque Vectoring, Bi-xenon headlights, Sport Design steering wheel, the superb sports seats as well as the unique exterior bits and those gorgeous alloy wheels, all for a difference of around £7,500. Put it in those terms and it sounds like a bit of a bargain.

Safety

It might be a sports car through and through but the 911 GTS looks after its occupants well. Alongside the usual suite of electronic safety systems and airbags, the GTS has the option of carbon-ceramic brakes for improved stopping power and the active suspension system to make the most of the available grip.

Verdict

“The obvious rival is Jaguar F-Type Coupe, which for slightly less money offers similar pace and no little style.”The one thing you’re not short of with a 911 is choice; there’s a case for saying you’ve too much in fact, but the GTS is perhaps the sweet spot of the whole range. It’s no more difficult to drive sensibly than the entry-level Carrera but when you’re really in the mood it’s fast but not too fast for the public road. And if you like going on track it can lap that up too.

The obvious rival is Jaguar F-Type Coupe, which for slightly less money offers similar pace and no little style but it can’t match the substance and precision of the GTS.

Specification

Engine3.8-litre flat six
Power430hp at 7,500rpm
Torque440Nm at 5,750rpm
Acceleration0-62mph in 4.4 secs
Emissions223g/km (CO2)
Economy32.5 (with PDK)
Price£93,915

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