If “sitting on the fence“ would only feel this right all the time: with the 911 GTS, which has been available since 2008, Porsche is gradually creating a genuine classic, although the range of 911 variants from the powerful S model to the mind-blowing GT3 would at first sight hardly suggest such a thing. Just another slice of salami in the model range to make sure they don‘t lose 911 fans looking for more performance? A bit more power, some extra frills?
Theoretically, it might actually be like that of course, because ultimately this most complete Carrera S character-wise could hardly be accused of being a non-starter in terms of handling, and anyone in search of an even greater adrenaline rush would be unceremoniously passed on by Porsche to the GT3 anyway: next stop – a straight right, right on the nose.
And that is precisely what opened up a gap for the GTS to fill. While the standard Carrera represents the essence of a 911, the Carrera S does not actually raise the bar in terms of offering enhanced sportiness, for example, it simply widens the whole experience and delivers the full flavour with a vengeance. A significant move towards sports performance has only really begun in earnest with the arrival of the new GTS: it has a dirty dozen more horses to unleash than the 911 Carrera S (+30 thanks to the larger turbocharger and customised management) in addition to getting the wide track of the all-wheel models, but above all it is the modified engine characteristics delivering increased torque at slightly higher revs that is turning the GTS into one of the best kept secrets for drivers on the lookout for sports performance. For those who are unlikely to be heading for the racetrack on a regular basis, but would like to have a car that takes the curves with enthusiasm and vigour, a car that has you hooked with its solid road holding and extraordinary controllability, even when constantly pushed to the limit, will have a hard time finding an alternative to the GTS.
The point is this: racing circuits demand the utmost from a car that has been designed to deliver outstanding performance within an extremely narrow and very aggressive user profile – a GT3. Driving for fun of the open road, on the other hand, demands a high degree of versatility and a wide profile – and that is precisely what the GTS has to offer with a twinkle in its eye and a firm handshake.
The fact that Porsche has now also gone over to variable geometry turbochargers for the new GTS generation (and no-one other than Porsche can really do it well) may well shock naturally aspirated traditionalists, but it is ultimately the right thing to do: more power and more bite to make pure, exuberant driving pleasure even more glorious.
Has Porsche added anything else? – Stiffer antiroll bars, modified aerodynamics with a lower front spoiler and a further extended spoiler at the rear. And the 20-inch wheels with central locking are definitely reason enough to consider taking out a GTS.