Evolutionary Tactics
CAR|January 2022
If you’re not prepared to wait indefinitely for a 911 GT3 and think the Carrera S flies a little low under the radar, the finessed-yet fiery GTS is here to tide you over
Ray Leathern

PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4 GTS COUPÈ PDK ETA: NOW

Engine: 3,0-litre, 6-cyl, twin-turbo petrol

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch

Power: 353 kW@ 6 500 r/min

Torque: 570 N.m@ 2 300 r/min 0-100 km/h: 3,30 seconds*

Top speed: 309 km/h*

Fuel consumption: 11,60 L/100 km*

CO2: 222 g/km

Rivals: Audi R8, BMW M4, Ferrari Roma, Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-AMG GT

Porsche 911 fanatics are a passionate and loyal lot, prone to strong opinions about the wonderous sportscars that have been in production since 1963. In the eyes of the engineers, each new model is a zeitgeist moment in some way or another. In the minds of purists, any evolution – whether it be water-cooling, turbocharging … or dare we say it, electrification in the future – is inevitably heralded as the change from which the 911 will never recover. If it’s hysterical, it’s historical, as the saying goes.

However – almost as a contradiction – there is little debate on the efficacy of Porsche’s “sweet spot” 911, the GTS. It improves with every generation as if following an ethos of upgrades within an upgrade. Then again, not many have had the privileged access I have had to drive the very last new naturally aspirated 911 GTS in California back in 2014 along the scenic Angeles Crest Highway (not a highway at all but a “canyon road” as they like to call it in the US) and the wild Willow Springs Raceway. An experience topped three years later in my backyard at Killarney Raceway when Porsche gathered two-times Le Mans winner Hans-Joachim Stuck and WEC champion Marc Lieb to properly showcase the first turbocharged 911 GTS to the media. It’s not a boast … merely a way to prove my references are in order when it comes to the GTS.

True to form, the new Carrera GTS’s aesthetic upgrades include the swollen, a la Turbo, Sport Design body kit to give it a fuller, more rakish profile. Blackened grilles, logos and louvres, tinted head- and taillamps and black chrome 20-inch front and 21-inch center-lock wheels from a Turbo are all par for the course.

Visually and engineering-wise, there’s plenty of adaptation from the 911 Turbo. Like the same 408 mm six-piston front and 380 mm four-piston cast-iron brakes and 10 mm lower chassis with specially tuned Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to fire the shock absorbers at lightning speed in changing damping conditions. There is also a helper spring on the rear axle that originates from the Turbo. This keeps the main-spring rebound taut in all driving conditions. Standard LED headlamps to come with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus) and the striking four-prong light signature. All in all, it’s a masterpiece of integrated design – form truly following function – a graceful, low-slung capsule of speed that only seems to evolve with each iteration.

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