Porsche 911 GTS Review: As Close To The Perfect 911 As You Can Get

911 Turbos and GT3s are all well and good, but for a real-world-friendly Porsche you can actually buy, the GTS is hard to beat
Porsche 911 GTS Review: As Close To The Perfect 911 As You Can Get

Ticking virtual boxes in my head. That’s what I was doing when the Porsche 911 you see here was dropped off on my driveway for a week’s test drive. Coupe? Check. Rear-wheel drive? Check. Manual gearbox? A seven-speed check. Already, it seemed like my ideal 911, before I’d even gotten to the three letters stamped on the sill kick plate: G, T and S.

To create a GTS, Porsche takes its 911 Carrera S, and pumps an extra 30bhp into its 3.0-litre, twin-turbo flat-six, bringing the total to 444bhp. Then Porsche Active Suspension Management is added, but with a further 10mm drop compared to normal PASM-equipped Carreras. Rear-wheel drive models get the Carrera 4’s wide body and fatter 305-width rear tyres, and the whole lot is finished off with 20-inch centre-locking wheels and a smattering of posh gloss black bits.

'Our' test car was finished in particularly handsome 'Graphite Blue'
'Our' test car was finished in particularly handsome 'Graphite Blue'

Naturally, my view is that the perfect 911 is probably the new GT3. You can have it with a manual gearbox. It sounds incredible. It doesn’t have that OTT, battering ram feel of the Turbo and Turbo S. But even if you have the money, you can’t really buy one - getting hold of a GT Porsche is notoriously difficult, and anyway, even though it’s not as extreme as the GT3 RS, it is arguably just a little too much for the road.

That’s what makes the GTS so damn appealing. For starters, unlike the GT3, you can actually buy one. It doesn’t feel excessive away from a track, it has rear seats still, and it’s even quite comfortable. And yet, it’s outrageously good to drive.

Porsche 911 GTS Review: As Close To The Perfect 911 As You Can Get

The steering is something you click with straight away. Yes, the power assistance is electric, but it’s probably the best EPAS setup out there - this 911’s steering is perfectly weighted, delivers reasonable levels of feedback to your fingers and is super sharp. It goes nicely with the kind of pointy front end that makes attacking each corner an utter joy.

Grip and traction levels are so high I wonder why you’d ever need to go for the heavier all-wheel drive version, and body roll is nonexistent. In fact in Sport and Sport + the GTS is almost a little too firm: for the most part I ran the car in the still very potent ‘Normal’ mode, which gives the added benefit of banishing the auto-blip system. Worth doing, as the pedals are so well placed that even a clumsy oaf like me can nail a satisfying heel-and-toe downshift every time.

And that brings me to the gearbox: it’s mega. The Porsche Doppelkupplung automatic is incredible, but by speccing it, you’re really missing out. The manual slots into each of its seven positions beautifully, but not without effort: it’s a hefty-feeling shift that requires a surprising amount work to engage, further adding to the involvement of the drive.

Porsche 911 GTS Review: As Close To The Perfect 911 As You Can Get

The new 991.2 GTS is - sadly - missing the 3.8-litre naturally-aspirated six of the 991 GTS, but as with the normal Carrera models, I don’t think it’s quite as big a deal as some make out. Granted, I jumped pretty much straight out of a Maserati Gran Turismo MC and into this GTS, which really didn’t help (to start with, it was like I couldn’t hear the damn thing), but after a few days, you really warm to the turbocharged lump.

It doesn’t have as crisp a throttle response of the old engine, nor does it sound quite as good, but thanks to a big torque increase contributing to one hell of a mid-range, it feels supercar fast. And on paper it’s not far off: 0-62mph happens in 4.1 seconds, or in the PDK version with launch control activated, you’ll sort it in 3.7. Top speed is 193mph for the manual, and 192mph for the PDK.

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Crucially, it still sounds unmistakably Porsche-like. It has that charming clatter at idle, and probably sounds its best at around 4000 - 5000rpm as it lets out a naughty howl. It revs to 7400rpm, and even though peak power is at 6500rpm, there’s little drop-off in poke after that point, so - as with the 2.5-litre engine in the Porsche 718 S twins - you may as well ring it out for all it’s worth.

Finding fault with the GTS really is difficult. It’s stupidly fast, surprisingly practical and even - if you’re careful enough - quite economical. I managed to nudge 40mpg on one boring motorway run.

Porsche 911 GTS Review: As Close To The Perfect 911 As You Can Get

The only real issue - other than a less theatrical noise than you used to get - is a nagging feeling in the back of my head that maybe I prefer the normal Carrera S. You don’t really need the extra power nor the extra tyre width, and as we’ve already discussed, in Sport, the GTS can often be too damn firm for its own good.

But, if I were to imagine myself as a well-heeled Porsche buyer for a moment, I’m not sure I could opt for the S, knowing ‘just’ £6981 separates it from the £94,316 GTS. That’s a tiny increase for what you’re getting in return, which is a host of effective tweaks that result in the closest thing to a perfect, real-world 911, not to mention all-round sports car package that no one else can match for the cash.

I’ll have mine in Graphite Blue, please…



Erm… about the second to last sentence…

08/12/2017 - 13:42 |
106 | 14

Well unfortunately for us Europeans, we’re denied the chance of being able to buy this. The 911 GTS will have to do in a situation like this.

08/12/2017 - 13:58 |
74 | 4

Not something you’ll be able to get in the UK! Importing could be possible, but by the time it’s over here it will end up being hideously expensive and have the steering wheel on the ‘wrong’ side…

08/12/2017 - 15:22 |
40 | 2

But it isn’t a car… It’s a boat…

08/12/2017 - 15:58 |
4 | 40

Good luck getting one in the UK

08/12/2017 - 21:10 |
2 | 0
JenstheGTIfreak (pizza)

Hold on hold on. Did I hear that right? A 7-speed manual?

08/12/2017 - 14:20 |
22 | 2

Yes. Chevy puts that in the C7 corvettes. The seventh gear is for highway cruising.

08/12/2017 - 14:30 |
26 | 0

Yep. Porsche has had it since about 10 years I think

08/12/2017 - 19:36 |
4 | 0
Porsche 911 GTS Review: As Close To The Perfect 911 As You Can Get
Dreaming In Cars

so much want

08/12/2017 - 18:18 |
0 | 0

i know another guy with a graphite blue porsche.. DL🏁

08/12/2017 - 18:34 |
12 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Best colour eveeeerrr

08/12/2017 - 19:31 |
6 | 0

Nice review Matt, if I be one I would spec nardo grey

08/12/2017 - 18:39 |
0 | 0

The colour <3

08/12/2017 - 19:16 |
2 | 0
Mollan Mahmoud

I think (imo) the Porsche 911 are the best sport coupe you can buy for the moment and it was already Porsche but they keep taking this place for me it’s confortable, economical, and very performant. Maybe the price is a little bit high but the 911 are a car you can use everyday PDK or manual. It will fill all you need… Again it’s only my opinion on the question.
The GTS version are the most performant 911 in the range and represent a perfect mix between a race car and a ‘conventional’ car you can daily drive it and bring it to race track on the weekend. But the 911 Carrera can also do this… And Porsche are cars wich don’t overheat on a racetrack can race all day long.

So about the question Carrera or GTS. I think i’ll go for a Carrera S wich are the ideal car for someone who want’s a beautiful sport coupe and as we know the grip are amazing but if you are afraid of losing grip you can invest in a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 3 the 4 are a little bit execessive

08/12/2017 - 20:58 |
0 | 0

In “Sport” and “Sport+” mode, is there a way to turn off auto-blipping?

08/12/2017 - 23:55 |
0 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes, if you deactivate the PSM.
But it works so good that you don’t want to deactivate it!

08/13/2017 - 13:23 |
0 | 0
Uzair Patel

Automatic crew

08/13/2017 - 00:09 |
2 | 4
Evan Lynch

So here in the states, my ideal spec for a GT3 is around 160,000 - 165,000 U.S dollars, my ideal spec for a Carrera GTS is around 150,000 - 155,000 U.S dollars. Therefore, I personally believe it would be better to spend the extra 10,000 - 15,000 for the better car. For some people prefer the GTS and some prefer the GT3 (which i personally do), although I am just giving my opinion. But otherwise, I still do believe the GTS is an amazing car.

08/13/2017 - 04:18 |
6 | 0



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