Porsche 911 Carrera GTS put to the test: Endless free-revving fun
More power, a wider track, a special exhaust system: all hell breaks loose in the back of the most recent 911 Carrera variant – and it may be the last with a naturally aspirated engine. And so we subject the 424 HP GTS to the extensive individual test.
Nonsense! Drivel! Blasphemy! The intellectual quality of the comments varied widely, but the sentiment remained the same: to compare the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS with the old GT3 from the 997 series? The lightweight that is still present on every race track around the world? And anyway: isn't the point of the individual test just that, that it is an indiviual test? True. But any comparison would at least be required to read between the lines. And to be quite honest: the verve with which the new GTS waltzes through the individual disciplines of the measurement programme offers a clear answer as to whether and to what extent it surpasses the model on which it is based - the Carrera S - without having to put a number on it. With regard to drive, the expectations are not excessively high: almost identical revving, unchanged torque, well, just 29 HP more.Endless free-revving fun
However, as soon as the 3.8-litre drive system of the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS starts running, and paws the ground in a slightly irregular fashion in neutral, priorities start to change. For great naturally aspirated pleasure awaits, the pure lust for revs and response. Yes, regardless of the brilliance of modern turbo drives, it remains unbroken – and at the same time remains the centre of the 911's very being. Right from the first step on the accelerator the fear sets in that the six-cylinder thunderbolt will simply surge forward without the rest of the Carrera. Irrepressible joy with every press of the pedal, prompt response, and then revs: 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 and higher still.
And the free-revving doesn't stop - not ever. In every range, the drive system is at work - wide awake and relaxed, smacking its lips when the right foot has to lift off the accelerator, and getting stuck in when it presses down again. And there's more: with the sports exhaust, coupled with the performance kit, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS loudly blares out its lust for power, growls, roars, and finally lets out an orgasmic scream shortly before the limiter kicks in at 7,800 rpm. This will be something that is remembered when Porsche retrofits the Carrera with turbo engines in the not to distant future. But we will leave it at that.
So what does the GPS measuring device say now? Oh yes, that's right - the individual test. In the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS lives up to its manufacturer's promise, taking 4.0 seconds – with the friendly support of the nimble dual clutch transmission. The S variant undercuts this by one tenth. So no big deal. And then there is still the old GT3, which likewise takes an even four seconds, despite being 109 kilograms lighter, but with a manual transmission. Meanwhile, the GTS accelerates cheerfully on, reaching 200 km/h in 13.4 seconds, giving the GT3 a bit of honour back, with the S-model needing 14.5 seconds.
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS with wider tracks to the back
And where does this additional HP actually come from? Of course the downright dirty sounding sports exhaust contributes to this, with reduced dynamic pressure. In addition to this, the engineers in Weissach increased the valve travel from 11.0 to 11.7 millimetres and re-worked the suction system of the direct injector. GTS customers won't see the gem, it remains concealed behind the modest service hatch inside the now no longer modest rear section of the 911 - after all, the Porsche 911 GTS features the chubby cheeks of the GT3 and the all-wheel drive models. First and foremost this means a 44 mm wider track to the rear. In addition, the test car also features the optional sports chassis with the car body lowered by 20 mm (series model: minus 10 mm), Porsche fits every GTS with adaptive dampers.
The altered spring rates in the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS are accompanied with the option of larger and harder stabilisers (front: 28.8 x 4 rather than 26.8 x 4 mm, rear: 24.2 x 4.2 rather than 23.6 x 3.5 mm), while, in addition, the maximum angle of the electrically extending rear spoiler has been altered. The added price: 821 Euros. And 10 cents. However, to really make doubly sure, beneath the sheet metal the PDCC automatic roll stabilisation still lies beneath the sheet metal, meaning that the test car is armed to the teeth and capable to withstand virtually any comparison – add another 3,213 Euros on top.
Therefore at this point a comparison becomes difficult. It is a good thing that the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS is embarking on the individual test, providing a type of snapshot of this specific S-GO 4023 model. And because the drive dynamics are not solely a matter of the correct chassis, a few more words regarding the workstation. Even if Porsche adorns the GTS with a truckload of Alcantara, applying a few red threads as contrast stitching, it is the basic ergonomics that earn the greatest praise. Like every 911, the GTS simply fits. The sitting position: low, central, somehow immersed. The seat itself: perfect, although also an optional extra. The instrumentation: extensive. The sense of space: bright, but not boundless. The 911 not only responds to the call of wide race tracks, but narrow country roads as well. In both environments, the 911 proves itself to be an exceptional, to-the-point driving machine, a little more so than the other Carreras.
The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS comes with 20-inch tyres
With the chassis at work in Normal mode, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS sweeps through corners with noticeable agility about the high axle, feeling very lively yet remaining very neutral, allowing only minimal body movement. The car brakes into every corner with to-the-millimetre precision – well, we should perhaps leave off the "milli" – and the steering impulse is implemented immediately, but not in a hot-headed manner. All drive dynamics aside, the calm that the 911 exudes is fascinating. Fidgety steering? Power peaks? Knobbly tuning? Not a chance. Even Sport mode has had a change in character, proving more than a little too wild on public roads, and robbing the Carrera of its intrinsically reasonable suspension comfort.
By means of compensation, it rages through any cone formation at top speed. No tilting, no rolling, high rigidity, precision, traction - everything converted into speed, and lots of it. In place of 20-inch tyres, it's like there are 20-inch steel edges in the wings, with which the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS cuts into the road, slightly increasing the pressure in the curve with a view to going even faster. The measurement values? A glance to the right is sufficient. In any case. it has long left the Carrera S in its wake. Yes, and the GT3, even if not in all disciplines, is always close behind as well. Enough nonsense, drivel, blasphemy.Isn't a Carrera S perhaps enough?
Stupid question, of course it is. For a little 911 fun, even a basic manual model is enough. However, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS justifies its existence with even better drive dynamics, although the progress made with regard to acceleration isn't much to speak of. Anyone who want to fit out an S-model in this way will have to pay 7,360 more – without the GTS-specific wide-build appearance and the associated chassis modifications.
Date9 April 2015