The GTS comes with the same sized engine as a standard Carrera, a 3.0-litre version of the legendary flat-six, rather than the Turbo’s 3.8. It is, of course, turbocharged, but it can be had as either a manual or automatic – auto is standard.
That engine has been tickled up to 480PS (353kW), from the Carrera S’s 450PS, and with 570Nm (420lb ft) on tap – that’s 20Nm more than the old GTS – will happily hit 62mph in 3.3 seconds. Which is a number that would have troubled a 911 Turbo not too many years ago.
There’s also some specially-tuned suspension, just for the GTS, and a chassis derived from that in the big bro Turbo. In terms of those all-important Porsche acronyms, PASM is standard on the Coupe and Cabrio GTS, bringing Porsche natty adaptive damping, and the sports chassis has been dropped by 10mm.
The basics are that the new GTS is an absolutely ballistic machine that’s easier to live with than a Turbo or GT3 while leaving any Carrera owners standing in the dust wondering where you went. Power delivery, in a turbocharged car remember, is like lighting (even though peak torque allegedly isn’t until 2,300rpm), with the flat-six giving no real indication that it’s giving away almost a litre to the Turbo and a full one to the GT3.
In normal modes the suspension can be far too firm, almost seeking out each lump and bump to try and harm you. But switch on the adaptive dampers and that PASM system really comes into its own. Somehow it soaks up bumps that it’d have shuddered around in when off. While we’ve decried the existence of PASM in a Cayman before here, in the GTS, it makes absolute sense.
Today we’re driving a Carrera 4 GTS, which means all-wheel-drive. Much less fun you might think? But fear not, as with the Turbo there’s a heavy rear-bias, meaning that it still feels pliant and partnering rather than sticking you in a grippy straight jacket. You can find understeer as the fronts try to help you out on the entry to a corner, but it will be more than happy to send the rear into battle should you call the engine into action in the mid corner. It delightfully manages to retain that clichéd Porsche balance, so hard to define, so easy to feel.
The steering is also excellent, lovely and communicative through a slim wheel – Porsche has always and we hope will always get wheels right, refusing to bow to that most modern of afflictions, the chunky rim.