Porsche has perfected the art of splitting hairs. The 2022 model year offers no fewer than 21 distinct variants of the 911, ranging from basic to bonkers. The GTS adroitly navigates this gamut, offering a level of performance that slots in between the Carrera S/4S and the GT3. This year, though, additional features give the GTS a harder edge, moving it closer to the GT3.
The GTS trim has long been defined by its curated list of meaningful performance upgrades, including a stiffer sport suspension, dynamic engine mounts, stouter brakes, a sport exhaust, and, of course, more power. By increasing boost pressure from 16.0 to 18.6 psi, Porsche ups both the horsepower and torque figures by 30 over the Carrera S. With the twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six chuffing out 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, our 911 GTS test car charged to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. The quarter-mile arrived in 10.9 seconds at a speed of 128 mph. The standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is eerily prescient in its operation, regardless of what drive mode is selected. Though we still prefer the engagement of the no-cost seven-speed manual option, it’s impossible to beat the automatic’s efficacy, particularly on the track.
However, if that horsepower bump isn’t sufficient to conquer that last tenth of a second, the new GTS-exclusive lightweight package ($8690) promises to trim an additional 55 pounds from the curb weight, in part by removing the rear seat. Up front, you’ve got your choice of 18-way seats or the ingress-challenging but delightfully supportive carbon-fiber fixed-back buckets found elsewhere in Porsche’s GT sports-car portfolio. Rear-axle steering is also part of the GTS package, and it’s more aggressive in Sport and Sport Plus modes—perhaps too much so on the highway. While our early-build GTS lacked the thinner glass and reduced sound-deadening material included in the lightweight package, it weighed in at 3399 pounds with the optional 23.7-gallon tank ($230), or 20 pounds more than a Carrera S with the standard 16.9-gallon tank.
Even with all the sound insulation in place, the 911 GTS is a raucous beast at idle, clattering away at 50 decibels in its quietest mode or 57 with the exhaust system opened up. Give it the beans with the standard sport exhaust in the loudest setting and a lawn-mower-rivaling 98 decibels shrieks through the cabin at wide-open throttle. Between the pervasive noise and the physical origami required to plop into the $5900 carbon-fiber buckets, the cockpit of the GTS is perhaps best appreciated on the track.
Those who do seek out a road course won’t be disappointed. Rear helper springs pilfered from the 911 Turbo provide even more stability to an already highly composed chassis. Body roll is practically nonexistent, and we recorded a tenacious 1.06 g’s of stick around our skidpad. The standard brakes also come courtesy of the Turbo’s parts bin; our test car had the optional carbon-ceramic rotors ($8970), which only get better as they gather heat, stopping from 70 mph in 143 feet and 288 from 100 mph.
As always, even choosing just a few options can torpedo the exactitude of the 911 hierarchy. With an as-tested price of $162,940, our 911 Carrera GTS nipped at the base price of a GT3, which beckons with its siren song of a naturally aspirated flat-six. Not even Porsche can split a hair that fine.
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