997.2 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS review - the 911's greatest hits album

Richard Meaden gets behind the wheel of the flagship 911 Carrera, the 408bhp £76,758 GTS

Evo rating
Price
from £76,758
  • A fitting last hurrah for the 997
  • Purists might prefer the narrow body Carrera S

The last hurrah for the 997 generation 911: 408bhp ‘power kit’ motor; wide-body; rear-wheel drive; prices from £76,758.

Technical highlights

Main point of interest is having rear-drive and the 408bhp ‘power kit’ engine in the widest body: one normally reserved for all-wheel drive or RS models. Think of it as a poor man’s Sport Classic (drifting on video here) or Speedster (driven and rated here). PASM suspension is standard, as is a six-speed manual transmission. PDK, PCCB brakes and the Sport Chrono package are optional.

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What's it like to drive?

From the moment your hands clasp the Alcantara-rimmed SportDesign steering wheel you know the GTS is going to be a proper 911. As ever the manual Coupe is the driver’s choice as we think it delivers a more complete driving experience, but should your name be Toni or Guy you’ll be glad to know the GTS also comes as a Cabriolet (911 convertible group test here) and with PDK.

The combination of tweaked motor, wide-track chassis and fat rear tyres gives the GTS a subtly different feel compared to the narrower rear-drive Carrera S, but it’s also less full-on than a GT3, so it makes a perfect everyday steer. You get tremendous confidence from the sheer grip available, but there’s still that delicious sense of balance you get from a rear-drive 911. You just have to try a bit harder to breach its limits.

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The engine isn’t night and day different from the regular 3.8-litre Carrera S motor, but the 23bhp gain is noticeable and welcome. It just feels that little bit sharper and more responsive – especially at the top-end, so you feel even more inclined to enjoy the full performance on offer. Crack the window down, or drop the roof and it sounds that bit more serious too, thanks to a standard-fit sports exhaust.

The optional Sport Chrono package makes most sense with the PDK transmission, for it peps-up the shift strategy and gives you launch control, but even with a manual transmission the keener throttle maps and more relaxed PSM thresholds add a welcome dimension to the GTS driving experience.

How does it compare?

Very well. Purists may say they prefer the ultimate subtlety and delicacy of the narrow body Carrera S, but in terms of performance, value and desirability the GTS is one of our favourite non-Motorsport Department 911s and a fitting last hurrah for the 997 generation.

Anything else I need to know?

Other GTS goodies include standard fit black 19in RS Spyder alloys, complete with centre lock fixing. Two special paint colours – GT Silver and Amethyst – are offered, along with old favourites including Guards Red, Speed Yellow and Carrara White. Spec the optional sports suspension and limited-slip differential and you really do have a stealthy Sport Classic.

Specifications

Engine3800cc, flat 6
Max power402bhp @ 6500rpm
Max torque310lb ft @ 4200-5600rpm
0-604.6secs (claimed)
Top speed190mph
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