Expensive News – 2017 Porsche 911 GTS first drive: Jack of all trades

Expensive News –
2017 Porsche 911 GTS first drive: Jack of all trades

2017 Porsche 911 GTS first drive: Jack of all trades

RACIER 911 GTS IS MORE OF A TRACK TOY WITHOUT BEING LESS OF A DAILY DRIVER

 

Just when you thought your bank account was safe, the existence of a new Porsche 911 GTS trim with its 30-hp bump over the Carrera S gives Neunelfer fans yet another model to covet, one that does many things a little bit better without any notable sacrifices.Imagine Porsche engineers getting together to assemble their ideal 911 and you have an idea of what the GTS consists of: The biturbo flat-six gets 450 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque from larger turbochargers and higher boost pressure, and a bunch of parts starting with “Sport” come standard: the Sport Chrono Package, sport exhaust, sport seats and sport steering wheel, for example. Porsche Active Suspension Management is also standard across the line; a sport version with slightly lower ride height is stock on coupe models. All GTS models use the wider Carrera 4 body.

Manual transmission 911 GTS models get torque vectoring and a mechanical rear locking differential; PDK dual-clutch cars take advantage of the system’s extra sensors and controls with torque vectoring and an electronically controlled differential lock. In both cases, the car can modulate the inside rear wheel brake during turns to aid cornering, helped even more by available rear-wheel steering. Carrera S brakes are standard, with Porsche’s carbon-ceramic system optional.

As part of the Sport Chrono package, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) gets a — wait for it — Sport mode that lets the car get significantly further out of line before the nannies reel things in. If you’re really feeling lucky, the system can be turned completely off by holding down the PSM button on the center console for several seconds.

How well is it executed?

The combination of extra power, handling tweaks and its glorious exhaust note makes the GTS a sort of Goldilocks 911: It’s not as fast (or as expensive) as the Turbo, but its reflexes feel sharper; horsepower and handling are up over the Carrera, but not at the expense of drivability and comfort; it looks and sounds more aggressive, but subtly so, without obnoxious wings, scoops and graphics.

Be aware that at legal speeds your internal accelerometer probably will be unable to detect the performance changes over the already brilliant 991.2 911; the difference between it and the GTS is basically that of two hand-forged blades, one honed on a slightly finer-grit oilstone. Sixty mph comes up a few tenths faster than a Carrera S; given enough room, a top speed of 193 is attainable; given a Nurburgring and a set of the new Pirelli PZero Corsa UHP tires available at Porsche dealers, a lap time of 7:22 can be achieved.

Fortunately, you can quantify the differences between your GTS and your buddy’s Carrera S using the new Porsche Track Precision app, standard on the GTS. Similar to the Corvette Performance Data Recorder, the app connects to your 911’s electronics to record driving data on the track. There are 130 preloaded tracks on the system, but drivers can add the local road course if it’s not already available. The system displays lap times on a smartphone, along with animations showing you how far off you are from a reference lap to help adjust braking points and turn-in markers, among dozens of other data points.

The Verdict

Unless you’re looking for the ultimate 911 race weapon with no regard for touring comfort (or you’re on a strict budget) the GTS is where you want to land. There’s immense capability for track days with absolutely no noticeable sacrifice on the ride home; with rear-drive and AWD available, coupe/convertible/targa body styles and manual transmission or PDK options, you don’t have to choose between an option you want and one you don’t.

Order your perfect GTS (deliveries are expected to start in April), budget for a set of those new UHP tires every few thousand miles, and enjoy one of the best 911s yet.

    • PORSCHE 911

    • MSRP

      $89,400

      CARRERA

      MPG

      20 / 29

      CITY / HWY

ON SALE: Now (April 2017 delivery)
BASE PRICE: $120,050
DRIVETRAIN: 3.0-liter twin-turbo H6, RWD/AWD, 7-speed manual/PDK dual-clutch automatic
OUTPUT: 450 hp, 405 lb-ft torque
CURB WEIGHT: 3,197 lbs
0-60 MPH: 3.9 sec
FUEL ECONOMY: 18/26/21 mpg (7MT)(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
PROS: A near-perfect blend of current 911 capabilities
CONS: Not really

ExpensiveNews

Author: ExpensiveNews

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