Each evolution of the Porsche 911 keeps pushing the limits of what you think is capable.
This time it’s the astounding level of traction they have extracted from a twin-turbo boosted, rear-driven weapon which is so impressive, and it really made me question the need for an all-wheel drive version.
The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS has always been regarded as the sweet spot in the range and continues to excel with its balance between everyday drivability and outright entertainment.
This was actually a hard day for the 911 GTS, as I was jumping between it and the racier 911 GT3… but it wasn’t a hard day for me…
On the same day the Porsche 911 GT3 had jumped straight to the top of the CarExpert leaderboard, which possibly overshadowed the capability of the GTS. With that being said, it was difficult to keep the smile off your face as you squeezed the throttle and it fired off each corner.
Yes, it’s not an all-out race model, nor is it intended to be, but it has to be one of the easiest Porsches to drive fast that I have ever been in, and the lap time it achieved and the way in which it did it, was pretty impressive!
The power delivery was impressively smooth and linear, delivering exactly what I was asking for with enough on tap to impress most people.
353kW and 570Nm are not crazy numbers these days, but it definitely delivers on every one of those kilowatts and newtonmetres it is quoting.
The craziest part for me was how close the 911 GTS and 911 GT3 were in terms of 0-100 km/h time, with basically nothing separating them. The 911 GTS managed a best time of 3.42 seconds, edging the GT3 by 0.02 seconds and both pretty much bang on what Porsche claims they should do.
On track it’s hard to get it wrong with such a driveable engine, with everything feeling so seamless and connected. It works from 2000rpm all the way to the 7400rpm limiter, with an overlap of torque and power that would make every engine manufacturer envious.
I was really impressed with the braking with the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, it was super consistent and gave me confidence from the first application.
In the 0-100km/h braking test it actually outperformed the 911 GT3, which didn’t like the slower speed stops as much, especially without tyre temperature.
Initially it made the braking even easier to judge than with the GT3 and a much more user-friendly package for everyday use.
It was really insane how much traction Porsche has generated from this car and how it has maintained body control without sacrificing traction at the same time – something that is easier said than done.
It is by far one of the easiest Porsches to drive at the limit that I have ever driven.
Because it was so hard to force the rear to break traction, you would expect it really bite when it did, but that was not the case.
I felt so in control when it stepped out and it just slid a little bit, and I could manage the yaw so easily.
Gear shifts with the PDK dual-clutch transmission were excellent – super responsive, and the gear ratios were well spaced.
The flexibility of the engine will of course help mask any issues here, but we know from Porsche engineering standards that a fair bit of thought has been put into this.
The rear differential must be a work of art! It was doing such an impressive job without even being noticed. It’s subtle, smooth and does just what is required.
This packaged with the rear suspension and geometry, has made one of the best rear-wheel drive experiences I’ve had. Not once did I feel like there was a need to add a front and centre differential, it felt just right the way it was.
The suspension is surprisingly comfortable and compliant when you hit any bumps or curbs, and I could actually use more of the track with the Porsche 911 GTS compared to the GT3.
Impressively it managed to have this compliance without giving up too much body control, and the rear end was especially well supported which meant that you could really lean on it in the fast corners without it falling over and that energy sending you sideways.
There was still some suppleness to the front of the car, especially compared to GT3, but they could get away with this because the rear is so connected.
When the tyres did get a bit warm, I had a little bit of understeer, but then I could easily induce some oversteer to help rotate the car mid-corner.
The steering was great; very precise without being uncomfortably reactive.
I could really feel where I was with the tyre and how much I could push it in a way that made me more sensitive to any tyre drop-off.
With this level of feedback and control, I could really take the car to the edge of the track with confidence and ease.
To hop out of the 911 GT3 with its Michelin Cup 2’s into the 911 GTS with Pirelli P Zero tyres, is quite a big change and not a fair comparison.
But the drop-off with the Pirellis on the track was very noticeable and I couldn’t do two quick laps in a row without the pace dropping right off.
There was a lot of energy being managed through 305/30 R21 rear tyres and it was just a bit too much for flat out track work.
The balance between the front a rear tyres was excellent, with the smaller 245/35 R20 front tyres complementing the necessarily larger rear rubber.
I ran the fastest laps with the traction control off and stability control in Sport mode.
The only issue I noticed was when the tyres got hotter, it would start to intervene a bit more.
The drive mode was Sport Plus, the spoiler was extended, and the suspension was in Sport as well.
The seating position was really good, I could get nice and low and at a good angle.
For track work the GTS seats were still very capable, but didn’t have the lateral support of the GT3’s race seats. But, they won out for comfort and adjustability.
The steering wheel was likewise excellent, with an Alcantara finish to ensure you had a good grip. Having the drive mode selector on the wheel is great, although once on the track it’s pretty much set and forget.
Overall, the dash layout is simple but very effective and I liked the centrally located RPM gauge, but on the track, I would have liked a bigger gear number.
Absolutely no surprise that the Porsche 911 GTS slots in right near the top of the CarExpert leaderboard and actually becomes the fastest car not on Michelin Cup 2 tyres, with a few cars fitted with said tyres behind it too!
One of the easiest, most well balanced and driveable performance cars on the market, its 55.48-second lap sits it just behind the Porsche 911 GT variants, with a much more compromised and user-friendly package.
As much as I loved the GT3 on the track, it is so hard to look past the Porsche 911 GTS as one of the best options in the Porsche range.
- As progressive as it is, it can still bite at speed
- Nailing the exit is critical and you need to position this from the mid-corner
- If you’re going to track this car, it deserves a tyre upgrade
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