What is it?
Less than a month after driving the new Porsche 911 GTS in Italy, we’ve had the chance to sample one of the first right-hand-drive versions to reach the UK: an all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 GTS Coupé, experienced on the challenging moorland roads around Weardale in County Durham.
The new GTS is closer to a model family than a trim level, with the choice of Coupé, Cabriolet and Targa bodyshells and a multitude of potential dynamic options. But the biggest quandary for British buyers is likely to be over the number of driven wheels. Choosing the Carrera 4 GTS over the rear-driven GTS requires an extra £5580 and brings around 50kg of additional mass but it also carries the promise of better traction in slippery conditions. Such as those I found on my test drive.
Other items from the dynamic smorgasbord of options fitted to our test car included rear-axle steering, PCCB carbon brakes and the speed-sensitive Power Steering Plus, but it didn’t have the roll-fighting PDCC dynamic chassis system.
What's it like?
Porsche says the GTS’s chassis components and settings are close to those of the Turbo S and it felt noticeably firmer than the regular Carrera and Carrera S over challenging roads. Stability and traction were both impressive, even when rain tried to stop play.
However, GTS drivers may spend a lot of their time travelling over choppy Tarmac searching for the optimal setting for the PASM adaptive dampers. On the bumpy (but supremely well-sighted) B6278 from Eggleston to Stanhope – one of the sternest tests of chassis manners in England – Normal mode struggled to digest high-frequency corrugation, the front of the car growing light as speeds rose. Selecting Sport imposed iron discipline, but at the cost of a forceful lower-back pummelling through the seat base.
Beyond mild discomfort, though, the Carrera 4 GTS proved hugely impressive at delivering its turbocharged urge to pretty much any road surface. The GTS’s 3.0-litre flat six is well short of the Turbo on poke – its 473bhp is just 29bhp up on the Carrera S – but the ability to deploy this is much more important than the number itself, especially given the GTS’s low-down torque and the scintillating reactions of the test car’s eight-speed PDK gearbox.