What's it like?
The Porsche 911 GTS looks and feels much more sporting than a regular Carrera S, yes, but it’s nowhere near as naughty to look at or sit in as a GT3. And that's very much how it drives too.
The version we tried was the expensive £95,862 C4 GTS that was also fitted with the optional PDK gearbox, which costs a further £2817.
And that’s where the argument for the GTS begins to fall apart somewhat beside the GT3 because the latter a) gets PDK as standard, b) also benefits from Porsche’s excellent four wheel-steering system (which the GTS does not), and c) costs not a whole lot more than the GTS we tried with its various options in situ.
Just as well, then, that in isolation the GTS drives as good as it looks (and sounds). It feels more energetic everywhere compared with a regular C4S, never more so than over the last 1500rpm. Its ride and handling also feel a fair bit crisper while its electric steering is keener, the turn in more precise – compared with a regular Carrera S.
Compared with a GT3, though, the GTS is nowhere dynamically to be honest. Not in this guise at any rate. We also drove a manual, rear-wheel-drive version briefly on the track later in the day – which costs a still pricey but more approachable £91,089 – and found that to be a little closer to the ideal than a four-wheel-drive model with the PDK.
Should I buy one?
Personally, I'd go for a C2 GTS with the PDK option. Overall, though, here’s the thinking: if the GT3 was a hard-riding wild animal of a car that couldn’t possibly be used everyday, the GTS would make perfect sense. But the latest GT3 isn’t the unrefined madman that it used to be; nothing like. And so beside it the GTS makes less sense than it might.
But then nobody knows this market better than Porsche, and that’s why the GTS will still be a roaring success, no matter how much of an exercise in sharp marketing it may be.
Besides, the GT3 is now sold out for the foreseeable future so if you want a 911 that’s fast, sounds great, has an atmospheric engine in its tail rather than a turbocharged one and, most important of all, might make its way in to your garage within the next year, the GTS is your only option.
And that’s why Porsche is so very clever to have built it, then had the temerity to put such a high price tag in the windscreen.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK
Price £95,862; 0-62mph 4.0sec; Top speed 189mph; Economy 32.5mpg; CO2 202g/km; Kerb weight 1445kg; Engine flat six, 3800cc, petrol; Power 424bhp at 7500rpm; Torque 324lb ft at 5750rpm; Gearbox 7-speed dual clutch