By Nick Hodgson
I’ve got a confession to make. I’m a 911 virgin. Sure I’ve had a fling behind the wheel round a skidpan and yes I’ve had a dalliance with one for a lap or two of my local race track, but it was this that finally popped my 911 cherry, the brand new 911 GTS. The 911 range is famed for being utterly confusing, particularly with all the seemingly meaningless numbers that get attached with each new generation, designed to help the enthusiast figure out which is which and bamboozle the layman into thinking people have gone mad and are speaking in tongues. For those of you counting we’re onto the 911 991.2 and try saying that three times fast.
Let’s try tidy things up then.
I think for many the 911 GTS is a confusing one as the GTS badge has yet to worm its way into the everyday public conscience. We all know the hair raising names GT3 and Turbo, as well as the everyday Carrera, however GTS for many is a confusing one. I myself assumed the car was supposed to fit between the Carrera S and Turbo, when in actual fact Porsche has designed it to fit neatly between the Carrera S and the GT3. Certainly from a power point of view you can see why as the GTS puts out a rather delicious 331kW and 550Nm from the 3litre 6-cylinder engine sitting, of course, at the rear of the car, however from a feel point of view I couldn’t help wonder if this would feel more like a rear wheel drive baby Turbo.
Still with me?
Ok so no matter how you slice it the range will be confusing, but let’s ignore that and step inside for a moment. I absolutely adore the current generation of Porsche interiors. They’ve completely nailed the sweet spot between design and functionality, which I just find makes the cabin a wonderful place to be in, whether you’re going on a three-hour journey or popping to the shops for a pint of milk and loaf of bread. All the buttons are well laid out, easy to get to and have a tactile solidity to them which I just couldn’t get enough of. Like I mentioned in my Panamera 4S review, the steering wheel is just spot on, having all the controls you need at your fingertips, yet somehow not taking away the raw simplicity that a steering wheel should have.
Read Also: Porsche Panamera 4S: Meet the New Boss
Turn me on.
The engine roars to life. I didn’t know a twin-turbocharged flat-six engine could do that. Nice. Let’s not be a complete hooligan though and get out the complex before making too much noise. Of course that does mean navigating the crazy approach and departure angle that gives many a sportscar a hard time, so with this being a R1.8million car I think we’ll take it easy. But hang on a tick, activating this handy-dandy front lift on the nose and we breeze out no problems. I’m starting to think maybe there is no situation the 911 can’t handle.
But this is a sportscar, not an SUV. Raising the nose is all well and good but if the drive is rubbish then quite frankly I’m not interested. Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive with the ability to completely turn traction control off is a good start though. Did I mention she sounds good too? Ok I think we’re ready to see what this 911 GTS is all about. Let’s give that noisy pedal a poke and see what’s wow! She’s off like a rocket! 0-100 in 3.7s with this PDK and boy can I believe it. In fact, the most incredible thing is the power delivery, which comes in strong around the 4000rpm mark and just seems to build and build all the way through the rev range. Quite incredible for being turbo charged, as generally you get everything in one big lump instead of riding a wave of speed, pinned back until finally you change gear and get to repeat the whole process over again.
Beat the bends.
I cannot speak to previous 911s. Nor can I speak to the often tricky but down right rewarding handling characteristics that 911s are famed for on track and how this new one is in comparison. What I can say for certainty is that this new 911 GTS absolutely demolishes twisty roads and comes out the other side begging for more. Despite having electric steering it still feels direct and provides plenty of feedback to the driver, giving you the confidence to push through a corner, feeling slight twitches of over or understeer as they happen. Thanks to this I did virtually all of my driving without the use of traction control as the car is just so communicative you never feel like the car is suddenly going to bite back and leave you up a creek.
You said one flaw though?
That’s true, this car does have one single problem. The centre storage compartment is a massive pain to get in and out of thanks to the button being jammed up against the driver’s seat. That’s it. The only flaw as far as I’m concerned. Of course this is a R1.8million car, but when you drive it, it feels worth every penny and more. I could honestly make the argument of taking one of these over the turbo. You can use it every day. Drive like a bat out of hell or cruise around town over rough roads in comfort. Quite frankly this is the best car I’ve ever had the pleasure of testing and Porsche should count themselves lucky I didn’t make a run for the border. It’s not like they would have caught me.