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RE: Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS: Driven

RE: Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS: Driven

Wednesday 1st February 2017

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS: Driven

A weekend loan of what should be the best turbo Carrera yet? To Wales!



Hearts will not bleed for this plight, but very often the schedule for PH test cars is pretty tight. Much though we'd love to take every car on great roads for days at a time, the logistics of doing so rarely sit well with running a website. Too often as well launch schedules are packed with styling workshops and coffee stops rather than, y'know, the driving bit.

Violins back in cases for just a second, it means a prolonged period of time in a car is therefore a real boon. So the plan for the 911 GTS drive was simple: collect from Porsche Reading early on Saturday, get to Wales as soon as possible, stay in Wales for as long as possible, then return to Porsche Reading early on Monday. Quite a lot of fuel was burned, a few sheep were avoided and, staggeringly, many hours of sunshine were enjoyed. Hopefully a few conclusions were reached about the car too.

What ewe looking at? (Sorry)
What ewe looking at? (Sorry)
You will most likely be familiar with the Porsche GTS formula now, and why it appeals to so many customers. Take the most popular options, add them in with some unique equipment too (there are brand new turbos here, for example) and then charge for it what most people probably spend on a Carrera S anyway. Simple.

Pause for thought
The Carrera GTS therefore represents an enhancement and not a transformation, basically, which means a few of the 991 gripes remain to start with. The highlight from the first few hours along the M4 and into Wales is the tremendous refinement, being blunt. Even on a motorway it feels big, sitting on the left here making it feel all the more awkward, and on smaller roads it can feel uncomfortably wide. Poor photographer Dafydd gets the near constant thump of cat's eyes on the passenger side as the width is misjudged (again) by the numpty driving.

Perhaps this will be viewed by most as a virtue and not a complaint, but the GTS initially feels a little distant, aloof almost. The damping feels super high quality and keeps the car resolutely tied down just in the standard mode (Sport feels best suited for track), but it means there's very little movement and consequently not much idea of what's going on. The tyres are gigantic as well (rear 305s are the same as on a Ferrari 599) and, combined with the 4WD, there's tremendous grip but also a sense of just aiming the front and pinning the throttle without any of the involvement or fun that make the best 911s. An old gripe perhaps, but versions like the 911 R have - in quite extreme cases, granted - proved that modern 911s can be accommodating and immersive at the same time.

No, seriously, this is Wales in January
No, seriously, this is Wales in January
While we're on grumbles, the PDK doesn't exactly ramp up the fun either. This is not just curmudgeonly old traditionalists here, either; with what feels like a fairly linear delivery now, a gear doesn't have to be driven right out and being dropped into the heart of the rev range isn't helped by a whip-crack shift. Because pretty much the entire rev range is the heart. The turbo flat-six feels to be accelerating at the same sort of rate throughout, and with the seamless changes it feels like a relentless stream of acceleration rather than one with peaks to chase and troughs to avoid. Why not therefore involve yourself in the process with a gearchange - the seven-speed is much improved now, too - rather than simply sit and watch the numbers become bigger and bigger?

The GTS is far from disappointing, but neither is the end of our first day reached with a burning desire to get out driving again. Curious. Again, while it may sound familiar, there feels to be a huge breadth of talent without much required in terms of effort or proffered in terms of reward.

Sunday funday
Here, however, is the benefit of spending a little longer with a car. Well, in the 911's case that is. Perhaps it took a little while to get over it being just another 911, but this Carrera GTS does look absolutely fantastic. For some the styling may well be enough to justify the premium on its own. Coupe GTSs are 10mm lower than a Carrera S, so 20mm lower than a Carrera, and, combined with those cross-spoke wheels, it makes for a more assertive and (much) more attractive 911 Carrera. Those broader rear haunches really help, too. You could get used to the width, right?

And while the 911's is hardly the most thrilling interior - bring on the next one with a Panamera look - the basics are spot on. You sit low, the Alcantara wheel comes right out and every control has a reassuring weight to it. Where an AMG GT's steering is bit too light and it can often feel like you're sitting on top of a Nissan GT-R, there are no excuses required, from a driving standpoint at least, with the Carrera cabin.

Width can be irksome, but it does look good...
Width can be irksome, but it does look good...
Thanks to those new turbos operating at higher boost, the GTS now sports 450hp and 406lb ft. While in 2017 they don't look remarkable - they exactly match an M4 Competition Pack, for example - they are quite something as far as 911s go. In a 996 you would have needed a Power Packed Turbo for 450hp, and here we are 15 years later with that figure in a breathed on Carrera. Amazing. No doubt the same was said when a 964 had similar power to a 930 Turbo but, not only is this with another 200hp, the turbos bring so much torque as well.

This GTS is tremendously fast, all the time. You can detect some additional mid-range over an S (which has 369lb ft), but it's worth hanging on to some revs as well. No, it doesn't thrill quite like the old 3.8, though this engine rips around the dial as convincingly as any turbo engine this side of a 488. Sounds great through the sports exhaust too, gravelly lower down and howling through the upper reaches. While there isn't a step change as before, the desire of this engine to rev out will keep you venturing back (if you can avoid looking at the speedo). While it may have seemed a bit flat to start with, the energy of this 3.0-litre does a very convincing job eventually. It would definitely be better with a manual though.

Time and a place
The chassis will shine as well, it just requires a different approach. You'll search in vain for the old fashioned, touchy-feely 911 stuff, but what's in its place is a car of incredible poise, agility and composure. In Sport Plus with the dampers in their normal mode the GTS is as urgent and responsive as any sports car at this money, darting into corners without hesitation and hurling itself out with unimpeachable traction. Soon you start to trust that it has braking power, grip and damping in reserve, boosting confidence and allowing you to push harder and harder. Not exactly a recipe for easy access thrills, but quite some feat regardless. Perhaps with time and space on track, or a two-wheel drive version, the GTS would reveal a more expressive character; as is, it's a phenomenally quick car across ground, which has its own appeal in a quiet corner of Wales...

Predictably damn good, if not all that endearing
Predictably damn good, if not all that endearing
All too soon it's Monday morning and the grotty confines of the M4 return. And that's kind of the 911 appeal, isn't it? With the deep front boot and rear seats for luggage, it will cruise along at 30mpg in great comfort and not really draw any unwanted attention. Then on the right road it will cover ground quicker than anything this side of, well, a 911 Turbo. All while looking about as good as non-Motorsport 911s can. As a combination of elements for those actually in the position to spend £100,000 on a car, that makes the GTS surely very alluring. As purists we would trade a bit of that everyday usability for some additional engagement but, by offering a desirable package of upgrades at £10K more than a Carrera S, it would be our pick of the turbo Carrera range.

 


PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4 GTS (991.II)
Engine
: 2,981cc, twin-turbo flat-six
Transmission: 7-speed PDK, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 405@2,150-5,000rpm
0-62mph: 3.6sec
Top speed: 191mph
Weight: 1,590kg (EU including 75kg driver)
MPG: 33 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 192g/km
Price: 131,829 euros (159,633.35 euros as tested comprising Graphite Blue metallic for 1,178.10 euros, GTS Alcantara package for 3,379.60 euros, LED main headlights in black including PDLS+ for 2,504.95 euros, Park Assist with reversing camera for 1,594.60 euros, windscreen with grey top-tint for 113.05 euros, electric sunroof for 1,689.80 euros, PDK gearbox for 4,141.20 euros, Power Steering Plus for 261.80 euros, Adaptive cruise control including PAS for 2,201.50 euros, lane change assist for 690.20 euros, speed limit indicator for 416.50 euros, automatically dimming mirrors with integrated rain sensor for 547.40 euros, Homelink for 285.60 euros, Adaptive sports seats plus for 2,814.35 euros, seat heating for 470.05 euros, smoking package for 53.55 euros, floor mats for 178.50 euros, Burmester high-end surround sound system for 4,391.10 euros, PVTS Plus for 416.50 euros, digital radio for 476 euros)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Author
Discussion

99dndd

Original Poster:

513 posts

14 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Looks great but the price of those options quickly adds up. This could very easily be a £125,000 car.

likesachange

1,402 posts

119 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Yes the price of these modern 911's are insane.

Circa 135k for that spec .... almost mclaren 540..

My money would be on a R8 v10 Plus

Still lovely car but M3 performance for 2.5x the money

HeMightBeBanned

454 posts

103 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Does it have any steering feel yet?

smilo996

1,349 posts

95 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
The colour seems appropriate.

Yipper

4,998 posts

15 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Journalists need to be brave and say what is the real deal for the 911 -- it is crushingly dull to drive for a ~£100k car.
Advertisement

V8RX7

14,941 posts

188 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
I don't get it.

My 1992 RX7 with 340bhp isn't fun until you are way above the NSL.

Every time someone comes on here posting that they were driving over 100 or were caught speeding they are told they are on a par with a child killer yet manufacturers keep making and presumably PHers keep buying cars with limits so high they simply aren't fun until you are WAY over the limit.

Having read the Porsche forum your test is irrelevant - what are the essential options / image / residuals / investment potential ?

It's depressing.




beanoir

919 posts

120 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
If I had to have jut one car...maybe I'd consider this, a good daily driver with a little bit of excitement left in it.

boringbeige

253 posts

96 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Yipper you've no idea what you're on about. I've got 3 GT3RS's of different years and a 991.1GTS. The GTS is more exciting than any of the RS's.

Captain Smerc

932 posts

41 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
So fine , yes

dvshannow

400 posts

61 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
if Porsche profits were determined by fantasy garage purchases they perhaps would not do as well, but the reason that these cars sell so well is they are the best.

people with the money to spend tend to think differently, and we have seen over a long period of time, petrolheads with money tend to love Porsche. they are by no means the most bling per pound which makes them a viable choice for those who don't want the attention a Ferrari would bring.

to say its one of the most boring 100k cars is utter rubbish, in a list of 100k cars its one of the best.


scenario8

4,870 posts

104 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
You would have to be a jet fighter test pilot who does a bit of lion taming on the side when not tinkering with your top fuel dragster to find cars with this level of performance crushingly dull (or similar).

Goodness me my perspective of cars such as these must be massively out of kilter with the popular and vocal jet fighter pilot brigade on PH.

I know the pound has tanked and premium manufacturers have become truly excellent at manipulating demand but I must say £130ishK does sound expensive. And I don't recall ever preferring black/graphite/"stealth" wheels either. Back to my ageing diesel Golf for a bit longer, then.

Thanks for the diversion.

swisstoni

5,967 posts

204 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Let me guess. I can't have one even if I wanted one.

Kieran1985

25 posts

70 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Yipper said:
Journalists need to be brave and say what is the real deal for the 911 -- it is crushingly dull to drive for a ~£100k car.
A journalist could never say that about a 911. They would be outcasted from their peers if they said the 911 wasn't the ultimate sports car and everything about it was fantastic. That's not the car journalist way

SimonOcean

245 posts

78 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Nice car, but it leaves me cold. No thanks.

Matt Bird

916 posts

130 months

PH Reportery Lad

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Kieran1985 said:
Yipper said:
Journalists need to be brave and say what is the real deal for the 911 -- it is crushingly dull to drive for a ~£100k car.
A journalist could never say that about a 911. They would be outcasted from their peers if they said the 911 wasn't the ultimate sports car and everything about it was fantastic. That's not the car journalist way
Oh come on, I hardly said that everything about the car is fantastic. It does have issues, as discussed, and it wouldn't be where I would spend £100K, but fact is it's a very good car and one that will appeal to a lot of sports car buyers.

Kieran1985

25 posts

70 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
scenario8 said:
You would have to be a jet fighter test pilot who does a bit of lion taming on the side when not tinkering with your top fuel dragster to find cars with this level of performance crushingly dull (or similar).

Goodness me my perspective of cars such as these must be massively out of kilter with the popular and vocal jet fighter pilot brigade on PH.

I know the pound has tanked and premium manufacturers have become truly excellent at manipulating demand but I must say £130ishK does sound expensive. And I don't recall ever preferring black/graphite/"stealth" wheels either. Back to my ageing diesel Golf for a bit longer, then.

Thanks for the diversion.
I agree. I think many people seem to forget just how fast a 450bhp car will be down the road. Maybe they've never experienced it so just comment on stats they read somewhere. I have the opinion that 300 - 350bhp is more than enough for some usable fun on the road. Fast enough to feel exciting and usable to the very last drop of power. Any more and you are in license losing speeds before the car comes alive.

PistonBroker

1,372 posts

151 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Matt Bird said:
Kieran1985 said:
Yipper said:
Journalists need to be brave and say what is the real deal for the 911 -- it is crushingly dull to drive for a ~£100k car.
A journalist could never say that about a 911. They would be outcasted from their peers if they said the 911 wasn't the ultimate sports car and everything about it was fantastic. That's not the car journalist way
Oh come on, I hardly said that everything about the car is fantastic. It does have issues, as discussed, and it wouldn't be where I would spend £100K, but fact is it's a very good car and one that will appeal to a lot of sports car buyers.
No need to defend yourself Matt. The review was refreshingly honest actually.

I can only conclude that anyone criticising your stance skipped straight to the last line.

Kieran1985

25 posts

70 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
Matt Bird said:
Oh come on, I hardly said that everything about the car is fantastic. It does have issues, as discussed, and it wouldn't be where I would spend £100K, but fact is it's a very good car and one that will appeal to a lot of sports car buyers.

Thank you for your honesty. Granted you never said the car was perfect but the general tone did suggest you weren't totally into the car but felt obliged to say it was good. Maybe I'm just tired of all the same old write up's and general opinions that the 911 is the holy grail.

chrispj

254 posts

68 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
"Even on a motorway it feels big"

"the GTS initially feels a little distant, aloof almost"

"but it means there's very little movement and consequently not much idea of what's going on"

"a sense of just aiming the front and pinning the throttle without any of the involvement or fun"

"You'll search in vain for the old fashioned, touchy-feely 911 stuff"

This would be why the latest 911 raises hardly a flicker of interest from me. It sounds like they've built an Audi but with a more comfortable ride and without the understeer...

chedixon

83 posts

133 months

Wednesday 1st February 2017
quotequote all
boringbeige said:
Yipper you've no idea what you're on about. I've got 3 GT3RS's of different years and a 991.1GTS. The GTS is more exciting than any of the RS's.
Nobody needs 3!



Can I interest you in swapping one for an A5 diesel I'll be otherwise stuck with for what will seem like forever! smile