ATLANTA – A fantasy automotive deserves a fantasy highway, and vice-versa. So we launched the 2022 Porsche 911 GTS to the Chattahoochee Nationwide Forest in Georgia, on among the quickest, friskiest mountain curves you’ll encounter east of the Mississippi.
Porsche’s household planning provides 5 GTS variants to the “992” technology of its 911: Coupe and Cabriolet variations of the rear-drive Carrera and all-wheel-drive Carrera 4, plus the AWD-only Targa 4. These fashions deliver all method of items for 911 followers, however with out going full-bonkers for a Turbo, GT3 or different top-shelf version.
We drove the leather-lined bookends of the GTS household, a pair of German-spec fashions that Porsche shipped to its Atlanta HQ for reviewing: The rear-wheel-drive Carrera GTS is the purist’s particular, the lightest and most inexpensive model at $138,050 to start out. To underline its target market, our Carmine Crimson version was geared up with the good, no-cost-option seven-speed handbook transmission, its lever shortened by 0.4 inches in GTS trim. Following a mountain exercise, I made a return run in a Targa 4 GTS (from $158,150). The retro-inspired, open-air Targa is the style plate of 911s, newly rippling in GTS guise, with normal AWD, an eight-speed PDK automated gearbox and a torque-vectoring digital rear differential. This explicit one’s gray-white “Chalk” paint proved a perfect canvas for the black physique detailing that marks each GTS.
You’ll absolutely hear these GTS fashions described because the candy spot of the 911 lineup, and they’re – if the costs don’t set off a diabetic coma. The GTS variants demand a $20,000 to $21,000 upcharge from respective 911 S variations. But in Porsche’s configurating protection, optioning up any 911 to approximate GTS spec would value vastly greater than $20,000. GTS fashions additionally deliver options unavailable on normal variations.
First, every GTS will get 30 additional horsepower and 23 pound-feet from its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter flat-six (versus S fashions), for 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet. That achieve comes solely from dialing the high-compression engine’s turbo enhance to 18.6 psi, a virtually 15% achieve. The twin-mass flywheel is strengthened to deal with the added energy and torque. How briskly, you ask? Porsche conservatively cites the Carrera 4 GTS’ 0-60 mph sprint at a blistering 3.1 seconds, with an also-conservative 11.5-second quarter-mile, aided by PDK and launch management. A stick-shift Carrera 4 GTS is a notable 0.8-seconds slower to 60 mph, at 3.9 seconds. The Targa 4 S is available in at 3.3 seconds, which seems to be adequate to shoot the sun shades off my brow and into the again seat.
Extra energy is just the start. The PASM sport suspension is normal (which provides a Sport stability mode), as is a selectable Sport Exhaust with a killer soundtrack. The Sport Chrono bundle is onboard, with launch management and a Sport Response steering-wheel button for PDK variations. Extra Sport Chrono goodies embody lively driveline mounts, analog and digital dashboard chronographs, and extra Sport Plus and Particular person driving modes. Subsequent come inheritances from Daddy Warbucks, the 911 Turbo: All GTS our bodies are lowered by 0.4 inches, with added rear-axle helper springs for Coupes and Cabriolets. The Turbo’s brakes serve up pizza-sized 16.0-inch entrance rotors, with carbon-ceramic brakes and even-roomier rotors obtainable for $9,780. Staggered, 20- and 21-inch Turbo S Design cast alloy wheels deliver a normal Satin Black end and heart locking hubs, although there’s an optionally available five-lug wheel for consumers preferring simpler adjustments, together with for studios on the facet of the highway. Key efficiency choices embody the lively rollbars of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Management, rear-axle steering, and a helpful GPS-linked front-axle elevate system that clears low-speed obstacles and remembers the place they’re.
As with all 911 variant, there are delicate exterior adjustments: revised entrance and rear fascias, black-finished exhaust retailers, extra black for the rear engine-lid slats and Porsche decklid script, and smoky tint for headlamps and a dramatic, full-length taillight strip. Inside, Race Tex fake suede replaces leather-based for the steering wheel, handbook shift lever, seat facilities, armrests and console, with brushed aluminum black trim. Inside packages (for $4,530), in both Carmine Crimson or Chalk, deliver matching stitching and tachometer colours. Oh, and the Targa GTS will get a black Targa bar.
All 2022 911s get the PCM 6.0 touchscreen infotainment system, a reskinned model of the unit within the electrical Taycan. It’s a many-layered improve from earlier Porsche models, however I am nonetheless mildly bedeviled by Porsche’s cussed reliance on miniature hieroglyphs for numerous features. And the outer orbs of the 911’s 5 ringed driver gauges are nearly totally eclipsed by the steering wheel, forcing drivers to crane necks to see gas ranges and different information.
A primary-ever GTS Light-weight Package deal, which we sampled on the Carrera Coupe, trims 55 kilos by eliminating rear bounce seats and flooring mats, stripping out sound deadening, and adopting a lightened battery and glass. It additionally will get rear-axle steering, a steeper most tilt for the rear spoiler, and an aero-optimized underbody. 4-way sport seats are normal, however consumers may goal for optionally available 14- or 18-way powered seats, which strike a sensible steadiness between an expensive perch and sturdy efficiency. Our GTS Coupe featured full carbon-shell bucket seats (for $5,900) with solely a handbook fore-aft slider and no seatback tilt adjustment. We have now sampled these in number of Porsches, together with most just lately within the GT3 Touring, and our common conclusion is that they are a monitor rat’s dream and fairly snug over lengthy distances, but when your possible driving will contain extra of the latter, get one of many different seat upgrades as a substitute. Your physique will thanks. So too will you pockets: even our Targa’s stellar 18-way seats value $3,030, saving practically three grand versus the carbon buckets.
Probably the most spectacular possibility, although, is one you do not have to pay for. The seven-speed stick shift’s totalizing impact on the Carrera Coupe’s efficiency and tech is nothing in need of superb. With its golf-ball-shaped shift knob, bang-bang brief throws, and creamy clutch take-up, this has to the perfect surviving handbook on the planet. In a welcome change, the handbook’s rev matching characteristic – “Auto Blip” in Porsche parlance – can now be disabled with out shutting off stability management (one thing that was beforehand doable within the GT3, GT4 and 718 Spyder). That’s frequent sense for drivers who may properly need to observe heel-and-toeing on public roads, with out shedding the protection web of stability oversight.
Right here within the North Georgia mountains, the picturesque roads characteristic two-lane, multi-mile passing sections in a single or the opposite route, with a smorgasbord of Insta-worthy ascents, descents, hairpins, esses and sweepers. With two lanes to play with, there’s extra security margin. Drivers are free to whomp a automotive into bucket-like cambered apexes from the far lane, utilizing suspension compression to go even quicker; then monitor out large to the skin lane stripe. It’s like having a private double-wide raceway, with the important thing potential to securely go slowpokes or lumbering vehicles at will.
This forested gantlet revealed key variations between Coupe and Targa, rear- and AWD variations. First: Porsche’s AWD sports activities vehicles, as with many fashionable friends, are nearly unfairly quick and tenacious. For the four-wheeling Targa 4 GTS, the method is to brake deep into corners, get again on throttle even earlier than some apexes after which marvel at how the Porsche can tighten its line or dig its approach out. There’s simply no disputing the benefit of two additional “rowers” pulling up entrance. Regardless of its lighter weight and barely tauter suspension, the rear-drive GTS Coupe couldn’t match the sheer grip and early-to-throttle ease of the Targa.
And but: As a lot as I like the Targa’s sexier physique model, the GTS Coupe is even higher, and prices $20,000 much less. The Coupe is extra alive, exact and fun-to-drive, particularly for pilots ready to deal with a rear-driven Porsche’s edgier nature. The coupe feels lighter and tighter, its steering much more uncannily responsive. I discovered myself wishing that each fanatic, particularly those that scoff at or are unfamiliar with Porsches, might expertise what this GTS is about: It’s merely one of many world’s best efficiency experiences, no matter worth.
Urged on by the 911’s enabling character, I discovered myself squealing the Coupe’s tires by way of lengthy curves, the flat-six spinning silk to a 7,200-rpm peak. Surprisingly, the GTS Coupe really sounded higher than the open-air Targa. Each fashions pump sound into the cabin by way of a symposer-type gadget. However the Coupe admitted extra chesty, low-frequency sound – together with the 911’s heroic, near-GT3-harmonics when the tach passes 6,000 rpm – than the Targa’s whispery induction and turbo whistle. This explicit Coupe’s rear-seat delete and Light-weight Package deal additions/subtractions could have had one thing to do with that.
In fact, no Porsche overview can be full with out mentioning the injury it should inevitably do to your checking account, particularly after checking bins on the in depth choices record. As talked about earlier, the Carrera GTS Coupe’s place to begin of $138,050 is not that outrageous given what you’d pay to get an everyday Carrera as much as comparable pace and specification utilizing that choices record. Nonetheless, our GTS Coupe checked out at an as-tested $178,440. The Targa 4 GTS hit $193,960, a quantity that was related to Turbos or GT2’s. House owners might actually skip some optionally available frou-frou. (A 23.7-gallon extended-range gas tank is a uncommon model discount at $230). However as Porsche spokesman Luke Vandezande notes, most house owners aren’t apprehensive about breaking the financial institution: 911 clients get pleasure from a soft, median family revenue of $550,000, and $450,000 for all Porsche-brand consumers.
And for critical fanatics, the GTS fashions ship as marketed: That is the center floor between the on a regular basis versatility and luxury of a “fundamental” 911, and the otherworldly (and even pricier) efficiency of a Turbo or GT3. Hell, if I might afford one, I’d already be speccing my very own GTS Coupe, and consoling myself that not less than the stick shift is free.