Balance of performance- We drive the 911 GTS

“Perhaps its greatest attribute is how quickly this wins your affection.”

In a range that continually progresses, this remains the pick

The Porsche GTS family is now nearly a full house. The 911 GTS has checked in as the latest member to join the ranks of Boxster GTS, Cayman GTS, Macan GTS, Cayenne GTS. A Panamera GTS is not far away. An athletic bunch of overachievers. All of them a masterful alchemy of components bred by Porsche’s super-star models stacked below it, and somehow, those above it.  Here at TopGear, the GTS (insert prefix) always enthuses with the usual tropes of a daily supercar. But with the current 911.2 Carrera range employing generation-now turbocharged engines for feverish performance, the GTS needs to raise its game to readjust itself into new gaps.

The 911 GTS is very much a sum-of-its-parts sort package. You could morph a Carrera S into a 911 GTS through Porsche’s own official channels. But the maths would scare you off. An interesting exercise nonetheless that reveals the mystery behind the GTS’s extra pace. The GTS formula reads like this: PASM sports suspension, Sport Chrono pack, sports exhaust and the powerkit which lifts power from 309kW and 500Nm to 331kW and 550Nm.

And voila, a 911 that will do 100km/h in 3.7 seconds, a top speed of 310km/h and still undercut most rivals on price. The planning and pricing department strike again.

I won’t get into the styling other than to mention those 911 Turbo wheels with centre locking hubs in satin black compliment the rest of the car’s beefier appearance inherited through the wider 4S arches even on our rear-wheel-drive model. The deployable rear wing gives the profile a less classic look while the nose lift feature meant I could slither the GTS into places that some hot hatches would painfully scrape up against.

I’ve held the perception that GTS models were the handling picks but not overly impressive when hoofed in a straight line. The above statistics should change that but such is the relentless development of all Porsche models that once again the GTS maintains that respectful distance to a new 911 Turbo. Mind you, it’s nutty fast even for the ham-fisted drivers. The 911 GTS delivers on its claims time and again with scientific precision.

Perhaps its greatest attribute is how quickly this wins your affection. It eases you in with the launch control and the soundtrack. Then you admire the wizardry behind the PDK box. And you can happily live every day at 5/10ths in a 911 GTS because it’s so complete there, it doesn’t only come alive once you’re on the limit. Admittedly there is another world of fun there too but the two opposites are joined by a linear curve. The steering doesn’t go from sloppy to hyperactive, for instance. Nor does the suspension while that sense of where the grip limit is at all times is wonderfully fluent. I want one. I must have said that a few times… and not around a race track or a particularly engaging piece of road but maybe on a quick overtake, or on a small section of well-cambered road. Usual everyday stuff. The 911 GTS can turn ordinary moments into astonishing revelations.

Truthfully the cabin of the GTS is probably a bit too understated even though it comes with extra Alcantara and leathery bits that you could option. Still, it’s crushingly competent in the ergonomics, and lately connectivity, department. The touchscreen is brilliantly fast with its Apple CarPlay functionality (Porsche says the majority of its owners are Apple, but we still bemoan the decision) and there are functions like navigation with live timing. A circular dial on the wheel gives the driver the Driving Modes, including an Individual option, and in the centre of that the Sport Response Button for 10 flat-out seconds.

911 Carrera 4 GTS

As the number 2 Porsche 919 crossed the line to claim a thrilling Le Mans, I took the 911 GTS out for a celebratory spin. I know it’s a nerdy thing to with tenuous parallels but a winning motorsport team at the highest echelon has a profound effect on the offspring.  Win on Sunday and sell on Monday – the GTS lineage feels, more so in 911 form, very true to that.


Need to know:

  • Price – R1 661 900
  • Power – 331kW
  • Torque –  550Nm
  • 0-100km/h – 3.7s
  • Top Speed – 310km/h
  • Fuel Consumption – 8.3l/100





Verdict: Time to rethink GTS models. They’re now blatantly fast


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