ENGINE 2981cc flat-six, DOHC, 24v, twin-turbo / POWER 331kW @ 6500rpm / TORQUE 550Nm @ 2150-5000rpm / WEIGHT 1470kg / 0-100KM/H 3.7sec / PRICE $290,090 (PDK)
Crazy fast; more fun at low speeds; sublime steering and handling
A lot of the magic of old atmo engine lost
MUCH LIKE the Carrera and Carrera S, the new turbocharged Porsche 991.2 911 GTS features a very ‘new’ personality compared to its predecessor. Gone is the previous atmo 3.8-litre flat-six with that truly sonorous 7800rpm redline, replaced with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat-six.
Power is up from 316kW to 331kW, torque 440Nm to 550Nm.
Unsurprisingly, peak torque is now available from 2150rpm, previously 5750rpm. Redline is now 7200rpm, down from 7800rpm. The 991.2 GTS runs larger turbos than the Porsche Carrera S and slightly more boost (1.25 bar), for 22kW and 50Nm extra.
Meanwhile, inline with continued strong demand for new 911s, prices for the GTS have also gone up, around $14,000 for the rear-drive PDK Coupe we tested (all-wheel drive Coupe pictured). Porsche would counter you get more performance and standard equipment than the previous car.
And absolutely you get more performance. What’s been lost in revs and, as we’ll later get to, noise, the new 911 GTS has gained in pace. A lot of pace. With PDK and launch control the GTS does 0-100km/h in a faintly ridiculous 3.7sec — 0.3sec quicker than M the atmo 991, and 0.2sec quicker than a 991.2 Carrera S.
The newfound speed is also part of a newfound personality — although this isn’t a Carrera with a detuned 911 Turbo engine. Again, much like the Carrera S, with which the GTS shares most of its engine, power is delivered with the linearity and response of an atmo engine, pulling hard and strong all the way to redline, with the added benefit of huge, usable low-down and mid-range mumbo.
It’s like they lopped 600rpm off the tacho and smoothed it out between 1500 and 5000rpm instead. What you get is a much more flexible engine, pulling hard with amazing traction from anywhere in the rev range.
The new low-down torque, in combination with the new-for-991.2 PSM Sport ‘half-off’ ESP, also gives the rear-drive GTS an addictive and delightful ability to rotate out of tight corners on the throttle. In tight firstand second-gear hairpins, this car is much more fun and entertaining than its howling nat-atmo predecessor.
Oh yeah, about that howling bit.
Unlike the base 911s where, to soften the blow, you could reframe the atmoto- turbo switch — and lost revs, lost noise, lost magic at redline — as a ‘new personality’, it’s a little more difficult in the GTS, for anyone who ever experienced the 991, at least.
With reduced sound deadening the previous car was an aural sensory overload. It sounded magic, a spinetingling flat-six howl filling every crevasse of the interior, sounding better with every last rpm right to redline. Winding out the first three was a temptation too hard to resist.
That has been largely lost with the 991.2 GTS. The noise is familiar; Porsche has done well to retain the distinctive flat-six note of its 911 engines despite turbocharging. There’s hissing now as you tap into the boost, and an interesting technical flavour to the note, particularly from outside, but it still sounds very naturally aspirated.
Anybody whose first 911 GTS is a 991.2 will be very happy with the sound and will absolutely put the windows down in tunnels. Anybody who experienced the 991 GTS will be glancing down to double check the active exhaust is on.
Like all 991.2 911s, the GTS is still an incredible sports car basically as close to driving perfection as any manufacturer has come. The driving position is perfect, particularly with the gorgeous, fixed-back seats.
The steering is excellent despite electrical assistance. The brakes are strong, resilient and feel great; the PDK is smooth, responsive and faultless. It rides well despite 30-profile front and 35-profile rear tyres.
The damping is incredible. The 991.2 GTS just makes a mockery of the supposed compromise other manufacturers say is unavoidable. It’s stable and calm in high-speed corners yet agile, alert and nimble in the slower speed stuff (owing partly to its optional all-wheel steering).
This is a car that would feel equally satisfying, capable and fun in a motorkhana as it would around Phillip Island or on an autobahn. Pretty much no other car can match a 991.2 911 for this breadth of ability and talent.
That, of course, includes the GTS — perhaps the best-looking 991.2 911 so far released. The subtle GTS badges, sinister contrasting black exterior accents and 20-inch lowoffset centrelock wheels that fit almost perfectly in those 44mm wider rear guards (shared with the all-wheel drive Carreras). The stance, on the 20mm lower, adaptive damperadjustable Sports Chassis, is perfect.
And of all the new turbo Carreras, the GTS is the one with the looks that most closely match the insane performance of the new 991.2. We don’t lust after it quite like we did its predecessor, but the 991.2 GTS is a sublime sports car. M