Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
5 minute read
8 Feb 2017
10:58 am

New Porsche GTS is a class act

Mark Jones

There's so much about this performance pony that will send petrolheads into rapture.

A Porsche that wears the GTS badge has always been a very special car – the look, the sound and the feel. There is just something about a Porsche GTS that resonates with a performance enthusiast looking for a vehicle that does more than get you from A to B.

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And probably no more so than in 911 guise. Many, I bet, were afraid that when Porsche went turbocharged for their Carrera and Targa range of 911s, the purist sound, feel and execution of the traditional and naturally aspirated flat-six engine would be lost in the quest for more efficiency and political correctness in a world driven by emission controls. But our first drive of the Carrera, a year or so ago, mostly took care of this concern.

The cars were really good, but the real test for the purist was always going to be the GTS. And for this, we were invited to Cape Town for the car’s world media launch.

Five variants will be available locally from May, with a choice of the 911 Carrera GTS with rear-wheel drive, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS with all-wheel drive in Coupe and Cabriolet derivative and the 911 Targa 4 GTS. Being a GTS means that outside the technical differences, which I will get to shortly, the car’s styling also sets it apart from other 911 models. Firstly, it uses the 44mm wider at the rear and larger track width body of the Carrera 4.

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Then you get a new Sport Design front apron with black spoiler lip and larger race track-friendly air intakes, along with a nose and lower front spoiler that have also been aerodynamically optimised.

That’s combined with a high rear spoiler and bi-Xenon headlights, and the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and black painted headlight washer jet housings complete the front design of the GTS.

You also get Sport Design exterior mirrors with black undersides and black GTS logos on the doors, and the Targa roof bar is now finished in black, for the first time. Exclusive silky black 20-inch wheels with centre locking, previously limited to the 911 Turbo models, also do duty.

The interior receives the GTS treatment, with standard electric Sports seats that are finished in Alcantara, as is the 360mm GT sport steering wheel. Interior trim strips in brushed aluminium with a black anodised finish add a further sporty touch, and, of course, GTS logos are found in abundance.

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There is a further optional GTS interior package that includes seatbelts, stitched logos on the headrests, and stitching on seats and floor mats in the contrasting colours of Carmine Red or Rhodium Silver. The rev counter is also painted in the selected colour, and this option includes carbon trim strips.

Porsche Communication Management (PCM), including the online navigation module, voice control and integration of Porsche Connect is fitted as standard in the new 911 Carrera GTS models. As with a smartphone, PCM is operated using multi-touch gestures on the seven-inch screen.

It also recognises handwritten inputs. Mobile phones and smartphones can be connected via Wi-Fi. The smartphone storage compartment integrated into the central armrest provides optimum mobile signal reception. But those are the nice-to-haveand-look-at-details. A GTS Porsche is about the way it makes you feel from the moment you turn the key.

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At the heart of every Porsche lies its engine, and here the 3.0-litre bi-turbo flat six produces a great sounding, standard sports exhaust, 331kW and 550Nm. The Carrera 4 GTS Coupe, with PDK in Sport Plus mode, is said to hit 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds and stop beyond 300km/h.

The coupe with manual transmission and rear-wheel drive boasts the highest claimed top speed at 312km/h. But going fast in a straight line is only one of the exceptional facets of a 911, the GTS nailed the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7 minutes 26 seconds, which is comfortably faster than the car it replaces.

Standard is the addition of the Sport Chrono Package, allowing you to dial your GTS in the way you want by offering Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual driving programmes at the twist of a steering mounted dial, and, of course, features Launch Control for those rapid starts all Porsches are known for.

Also standard is Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) in the GTS Cabriolets and the GTS Targa models, while the GTS Coupes exclusively feature the PASM sports chassis, meaning thecar is 10mm lower.

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Manual models get Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and a mechanical rear differential lock, while PDK models get Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+) and an electronically controlled rear differential lock. And for the first time, rear-axle steering is also available for all GTS models as an option.

This system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 50km/h. At speeds above 80km/h, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels.

This might seem a bit complicated, but trust me, the technology works, the GTS turns sharply and rotates so easily, you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a pukka track car. And if you doubt that, there is an enhanced Porsche Track Precision app available for the new GTS models.

This smartphone motorsport app, connects directly to the vehicle systems and automatically records and displays information obtained when driving on racetracks, as well as performing detailed analyses of this information.

Once the vehicle is out on the track, the app displays the driving dynamics directly on the smartphone. In addition to section and lap times, it also displays animated deviations from the reference lap.

To enable this, the app uses precise vehicle data, coupled with accurate GPS information directly from the PCM. Graphic analyses of the driving data and a video analysis is there to improve your driving.

Additional functions are also available to Apple Watch owners such as measuring your heart rate for when you scare yourself silly at the track, among others.

https://youtu.be/po54OAsWjn4

The Porsche 911 GTS is that type of car: friendly enough to use every day, yet dynamic and exciting whenever you desire.