Cracking 911 with elements of GT3 and Carrera 2S about it

What is it?

There is no such thing as a bad Porsche 911, but with no fewer than 22 variations on the theme including this new GTS coupe, the question of which one best suits your requirements is getting ever trickier.

Our initial test of the GTS showed that this new model, with the wider body of the four-wheel drive 911s combined with rear-wheel drive and a more powerful, 402bhp version of the 3.8-litre flat six was quite possibly the best of the Carreras.

See pics of the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS in action

What’s it like?

A stint on UK roads has only confirmed our suspicions about how good this 911 is. Our test car came with optional £769 sports suspension, which brings 20mm lowered ride height and firmer springs to the standard variable adaptive damper system and also adds a mechanical diff to the equation.

The ride quality that results can be slightly unforgiving when in sport mode at lower speeds, but honestly, who cares? Yes, it’s a little bouncy around town, but the compromise between body control and damper absorption is still amongst the best you will find in any sports car and that works in Britain as well as anywhere else.

The real appeal of the GTS is the happy medium it strikes between offering more focused responses that have whispers of the GT3 about them, and yet just as much livability as a standard Carrera 2S. It is approachable because it offers such good feedback and delicacy of response through its alcantara-rimmed steering wheel, and with the diff on our car it also delivers even more traction and adjustability.

Another bonus is that peak 310lb ft of torque is delivered from 4200rpm compared to the C2S’s 4400rpm. It’s a marginal difference but having a wider spread of torque helps the sense of immediacy that you get in the GTS, even at low revs.

Should I buy one?

Consider that opting for a standard C2S will save you just over £2000 on the GTS, yet the latter comes as standard with the excellent £1465 sports exhaust system amongst other notable extras – not least the more powerful engine, wider track and wide body looks.

The only question left is quite why anybody looking at the ‘normal’ rear-wheel drive 911s wouldn’t choose the GTS. It’s not a middle-ground, because that suggests compromise. With the exception of those yearning for forced induction or a roll-cage (or both), it’s perilously close to being the only 911 you should buy.

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Price: £78,371; Top speed: 190mph; 0-62mph: 4.6sec; Economy: 26.6mpg; Co2: 250g/km; Kerb weight: 1420kg; Engine type: Flat six, 3800cc, petrol; Power: 402bhp at 7300rpm; Torque: 310lb ft at 4200-5600rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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david RS 4 March 2011

Re: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

911 2.4 S :-)

Mr£4worth 3 March 2011

Re: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Peter Cavellini wrote:

If i had up to £100K, i'd buy a 911, no question,it can be used everyday,it's certainly more durable than most other rivals,may not be family transport, but if you buy second hand, there's change for an M5,yes, even the current M5!

I think I'd have a 911 like this and a Fiat 500 Twin Air cabrio, but the 911 is still the default choice for me. Chased one down the A303 for twenty miles and started planning a strategy to get my first Porsche. This looks fab, but 1973 pre big bumpers cars look even better.

mistermainman 3 March 2011

Re: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Nice review Vicky. Really enjoyed it. All Porsche need to do now is sort out that 1990's interior and it'll be a five-star car! It's so drab and tired-looking.