Review: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS 3.0

Review: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS 3.0
Review: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS 3.0

What happens when you max out the normal 911? Magic, that’s what

The 911 GTS range are becoming racing cars with registration plates.

Because the GTS builds upon normal 911s, you can get coupe, cabriolet and Targa versions, plus rear- or four-wheel drive, even choose between manual or PDK paddleshift gearboxes. Despite all this choice, we honed in on the one we reckon is most perfect of all – the manual rear-wheel drive coupe.

It comes as standard with some important additions over more basic models, specifically PASM adaptive suspension and a lowered sports suspension setup. It has the wider rear end normally seen on four-wheel drive variants, and a 3.0-litre turbo engine with a 30bhp power hike, taking it up to 444bhp.

Love those wheels? They’re centre-lock rims from the Turbo, and fitted as standard to the GTS. Other desirable detail additions include extra aero bits for the front and rear wings, a ‘black pack’ makeover for the wheels, exhausts and headlight glass plus, inside, tactile Alcantara upholstery.

On the road, in this exact spec, it’s divine. The sheer amount of feel, balance and general driver confidence it delivers is little short of miraculous. Handling is exceptional and although 30bhp doesn’t sound like a great deal, it makes a big difference in real life. Build on the revs and the engine comes alive, feeling more like a purist non-turbo engine than any of Porsche’s new-gen turbo engines has up to now.

Porsche 911 GTS

Price: £95,795
Engine: 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, twin-turbo, petrol
Power: 444bhp
Torque: 405lb/ft
0-62mph: 4.1sec
Top speed: 193mph
Gearbox: Seven-speed manual
Kerb weight: 1525kg
Economy: 30.1mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 212g/km, 37%

Point of fact: 444bhp makes it the most powerful rear-wheel drive 911 not to wear a GT badge, ever. Combine this with such a stunning chassis and you’ve driving nirvana. Few modern cars will deliver this much satisfaction when feeling the nose bite hard as you plunge towards a corner apex, feeling the engine’s huge pull sitting that squat rear end down on the rear tyres, right on the edge of grip, to drive you hard out the other end.

It’s a car that delivers all the legendary 911 feel. Indeed, it serves up an experience not too far removed from the range-topping GT3, all for a price you could even call good value: optioning the power kit and suspension changes alone to a normal Carrera S takes it up almost to the list price of the GTS, and you’d still miss out on the wide body, styling tweaks and Turbo wheels.

We think the question is simple. In the market for a 911 and don’t fancy a GT3? The question is why you shouldn’t pick a GTS, rather than why you should. If you want to buy a new 911, this magnificent model should be your automatic choice.

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