The perfect ‘Sweet Spot’ sports car

There are 14 different model variants in the current Porsche 911 range, and even for a motoring journalist it can be tricky to figure out the difference between them all. Well, let’s keep it simple: the Porsche 911 GTS is the one to get. Let me explain why.

We are sure you are familiar with the Porsche 911 by now. It is one of the most iconic nameplates of all time. It’s a simple yet effective formula, one that hasn’t changed much since 1964: two doors, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, lots of luxury, lots of power, no-nonsense.

The 911 is now in its eighth generation, internally referred to as the 992. Wider and more angular than ever before, the 992 is widely acclaimed. It is undeniably good – and undeniably fast. That’s especially true at the pointed end of the range, especially the top-of-the-line 911 GT3, which we drove earlier this year. Read our review here.

The ‘problem’ with the GT3 or the next step up the ladder, the 911 Turbo, is that they are almost too fast; too mental. The 911 used to have a reputation for being a bit of a widow and while the 992 generation car with all its safety technology is a much less dangerous proposition, both the 911 Turbo and 911 GT3 are a bit much for the everyday driver.

That is why, in our humble opinion, the 911 GTS is the star of the nest.

Not so soft yellow.

So a piece of history. GTS stands for ‘Gran Turismo Sport’ and was first used by Porsche in 1963 on the 904 race car (which was also known as the Carrera GTS). The nomenclature then appeared in the 80s and 90s with the 924 GTS and 928 GTS, the fastest road versions of those cars.

Today, GTS typically represents the highest specification for many of Porsche’s model ranges, such as the 718 and (currently) Macan, although not for the 911 and Taycan, for example. Still, GTS is a badge with a long history and still means you get something wilder than your average Porsche.

Indeed, that’s exactly what you get with the current 911 GTS, which sits smack in the middle of the 911 lineup.

Somewhat confusingly, all current turbocharged 911s, not just the 911 Turbo – and actually the top spec GT3 is naturally aspirated. Anyway… The 911 GTS has a 3.0L twin-turbo flat-six with an output of 353 kW/570 Nm, a top speed of 312 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds (4 ,1 in manual transmission).

Yes, the manual is slower. You can get the 911 GTS with a 7-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed dual-clutch PDK. The manual is a gem, but the PDK is really effortless and unlocks the car’s true potential… Isn’t it weird that choosing the manual is actually a performance drop these days?

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Even 4.1 seconds is monstrously fast, especially for what is actually a fairly small car. I had the chance to drive the new Porsche 911 GTS in and around Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast (including some time on the Norwell Motorplex) and the sense of speed you feel in this car is unlike anything else.

The interior of the 911 GTS, laced with Race-Tex and clearly raised, is a very nice place to be.

It’s a total heat-seeking missile. With that engine and all that weight behind you, you feel powerful. The wider stance of the 992-generation vehicle really adds to that feel, with tacky Pirelli rubber keeping you planted and sharp handling that keeps you straight.

On the track it’s a reliable weapon with an exceptionally linear power band, heaps of torque and screeches like a banshee. It also helps that the GTS removes some of the noise isolation you get on lower-end models, meaning you can actually hear that great engine note sing. This is one of the best sounding cars in the world, especially if you opt for the manual and let it get nice and high in the rev range.

That said, it’s very well mannered when you’re not on the track. Drive it off the track and onto the highway and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how soft and smooth the suspension can be when you take it out of Sport+ mode. Passengers will be impressed, as will passers-by. It exudes a unique combination of class and ferocity that is intoxicating whether you’re in or out of the car.

The GTS specification also obscures all trim and rims as standard, making the already pretty handsome 992 look even better. You know how much we hate peasant trim…

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In short, there’s plenty in the 911 GTS that lets you know you’re slightly above the average 911 (and miles ahead of 99% of the cars on the road), but it’s not so impenetrably fast or flashy that you’d feel there. by intimidated.

It’s a monster on the track. The rear spoiler folds out at high speed for extra downforce (and to attract extra eyeballs).

That is somewhat the position of the GTS. It’s a car that will get you out on the road on Saturday very easily, but you won’t get stressed if you have to go to the shops on Sunday. In that sense, it’s quite civilized. It’s an exercise in restraint… But not too much restraint. It’s a Goldilocks of a car.

Of course, the standard 911 is still a very capable and luxurious car, and the 911 GT3 is a real supercar that you should own. But for our money, the 911 GTS is the smart buy. It is by far the most enjoyable car I have ever driven and an absolute masterclass in smart packaging by Porsche.

Discover the Porsche 911 GTS range here in the Porsche online showroom.

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