Thrills Aplenty With The Porsche 911 GTS
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
There can be no doubt that the Porsche 911 is one of the most distinctive and easily recognised cars on the roads today. Honed to perfection over its long life, sales of this iconic sports car are still as strong as ever.
The 911 range is now quite extensive with more than 20 editions in the line-up. Top models compete in the supercar arena, the GTS sitting somewhere between a standard Carrera and the blistering GT3.
Under the bonnet sits Porsche’s latest twin-turbo flat six engine upgraded to push out a heady 450hp. Purists may mourn the loss of the naturally aspirated engines of old, but in real world driving the 911’s performance is now more instantly accessible.
On paper it is claimed that the GTS will sprint to 62mph in 4.1 seconds and during my week behind the wheel it felt every bit as fast. Top speed is a heady 193mph (I won’t vouch for that).
The test car came with Porsche’s latest 7-speed manual gearbox, which combined with a light and progressive clutch, made gear changing a pleasure. Whether seven gears are strictly necessary, I’m not sure, but at motorway speeds in top gear the engine is barely ticking over for increased economy and refinement.
A gentle Saturday evening cruise down the A1 saw the GTS achieve just over 32mpg, better than Porsche’s official 30.1mpg combined. At the end of the week the trip computer showed an average of 27.2mpg over 400+ miles. Not bad in my books...
Much of my time with the 911 was spent on some of Yorkshire and Northumberland’s finest driving roads. My regular playground, I subject most test cars to a number of challenging routes and on occasions I am surprised at how inept some cars with sporting intent cope.
No such issues with the Porsche which gave a handling master class. Not only did the 911 feel safe and composed at all times, but the level of grip available was quite astounding. The GTS corners flat and with so much power available in any gear, it comes as no surprise that you cover ground very quickly indeed!
The steering felt alive and offers a level of accuracy that allows the car to be placed on the road with millimetre precision, a definite boon when ‘pressing on’.
The GTS has a lowered ride height of 20mm compared to a standard Carrera and the adaptive dampers do an excellent job of isolating occupants from the battered stretches of tarmac that are now all too common. Sport mode is perhaps a tad too firm for everyday use, but will suit track day enthusiasts.
Straight line stability is excellent, great for long distance motorway cruising.
Wind noise is hushed, though on some sections of courser tarmac there is an intrusive amount of road noise. Blame the large section tyres I suspect.
Powerful brakes do an excellent job of reigning in excess speed and on the road remained fade free.
The 911’s interior is a comfortable place to spend time. Supportive front seats and an excellent driving position are there to be enjoyed. The cabin is beautifully made and all the controls work with a mechanical precision.
High quality materials abound and everything feels reassuringly expensive. Equipment levels are high as one would expect.
Rear seats are fitted but are best thought of as an overspill space for extra luggage. They can be folded flat if required. The front boot is deep and well shaped and is able to cope with a reasonable number of squashy bags etc.
Rivals for the 911 GTS are few and far between. An Audi R8 or Aston Martin V8 Vantage perhaps, but they are more expensive.
A Jaguar F-TYPE SVR Coupe might be on the 911 buyer’s shopping list and it can be had for around the same price but I’m not sure it offers the same sense of occasion however.
So perhaps the 911 is without rivals. Its appeal remains undimmed and after a memorable week behind the wheel I can understand why.
You can spend just £77,981 on a 911 which will be plenty fast enough in all situations. However, there is no denying the allure of the GTS, from its 20-inch centre-lock wheels to its uprated turbocharged engine.
It will be a little more exclusive than a regular car and that for the true Porsche enthusiast counts for a lot.
All too soon my week behind the wheel was at an end and even after three days I am still in mourning. You see a 911 gets under your skin. It does everything so well, from thrilling one minute to being usable and practical the next. A car for all occasions...
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
List price - £95,795 (as tested £107,359)
450hp 3.0-litre twin turbo flat six engine
7-speed manual gearbox
0 to 62mph in 4.1 seconds
0 to 99mph in 8.4 seconds
Top speed 193mph
Combined economy 30.1mpg
Emissions 212g/km CO2
3 year unlimited mileage warranty
Thrills Aplenty With The Porsche 911 GTS, 27th June 2018, 12:08 PM