First Drive: Porsche 911 GTS

We get behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 GTS to see if it's as thoroughbred a sports car as its predecessors

What is it?

The Porsche 911 is a legend in its own right and therefore needs no introduction. However, our test car might as it is a 911 GTS. So what does this mean? It's a more agile, raw driving experience over the standard Carrera and slots perfectly between it and the super crazy GT3. There is a choice of either rear or four-wheel-drive and either a seven-speed manual gearbox or Porsche's excellent dual-clutch automatic. Ours was specified the way we think it should be, however, with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. Automotive bliss.

What's new?

In terms of looks, rather a lot. The GTS looks a lot meaner and more aggressive than the standard Carrera. Wider bodywork also enhanced these looks, adding masculine haunches over the rear that make the GTS a fantastic looking machine. Turbo alloys also look great and then there's the whole set up of the car itself. For a start, the engine gets more power, 444bhp in total, and there are also adaptive dampers as standard.

What's under the bonnet?

As with any 911 the GTS has a yummy flat-six engine mounted at the rear. The figures speak for themselves; 444bhp, 550Nm of torque and a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds, making it the most powerful non-GT, rear-wheel-drive Porsche ever made. As already mentioned there is the option of a seven-speed manual or double-clutch automatic. Although the auto is excellent, we would recommend the manual as it really connects you with the car, making you part of the driving experience rather than just pulling a paddle or letting the car do all the work.

What's it like to drive?

From the get-go, the GTS feels phenomenal to drive. Precise, slick gear changes and agile steering really add to the driving experience. Then there's that engine. It sounds astonishing, especially through the top of the rev range where it snarls.

Push it through the twisty bits and it sticks to the road like glue. The steering is perfectly weighted for sharp cornering, although the brakes aren't quite up to scratch and didn't seem to react quick enough at times when operated. The overall driving experience, however, is pretty intoxicating.

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How does it look?

The GTS looks like a normal 911 from a distance, but look closer and you start to notice the wider bodywork, darkened exhaust pipes smoked front and rear lights, and electric boot spoiler. Passers by soon realise it isn't a normal 911, with these elements giving the car extra presence over a standard Carrera.

What's it like inside?

The cabin of the GTS has a blend of retro and modern elements. The steering wheel for example looks very retro, and the whole cabin has the same evocative shape as every 911 that came before. However, you soon notice the TFT screen and luxurious leather seats and Alcantara headlining. The whole thing feels very stylish and sophisticated, which is good because the car costs £95,000.

However, our test car did develop a rattle after a few hundred miles of driving, which was rather irritating. However, this was definitely not enough to ruin the experience of driving the car and the rest of the cabin feels beautifully made.

What's the spec like?

The standard specification is very good on the GTS, however our car had quite a few extras, bringing the total cost to £107,359. These included two-tone leather upholstery (£2,811), Porsche DynamicLight LED main headlights (£1,722) and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (£2,273) to name a few. We reckon the GTS feels at its best without lots of extras, although the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control really is worth the extra money and makes the car feel even more superb on British roads.

Verdict

The Porsche 911 GTS is a superb sports car. It looks great, sounds glorious and is a cracking bit of kit to drive. Specify it with rear-wheel-drive and that seven-speed manual gearbox, and it gives you a stripped back driving experience, something Porsche's have been renowned for throughout the Stuttgart automaker's history.

The Knowledge

Model as tested: 911 Carrera GTS
Price: £107,359
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged flat six
Power: 444bhp
Torque (Nm): 550
Max speed (mph): 193
0-60mph: 3.9
MPG: 30.1

Emissions (g/km): 212

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