First Drive: Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK Review

More power than a Carrera S, more fun than a Turbo..?
16th February 2022
Ben Miles



Is there a more difficult to navigate model line-up in a single car than the Porsche 911? There must be at least 15 versions of the venerable sportscar and at least five of them include the letters “GT”. Well, let Porsche be your guides, to navigate you through the difficult 911 waters. Imagine the GTS is the car that Porsche themselves would spec. The one that’s in the rough middle of the range, with the bits they like the most. It’s not a basic sportscar like the Carrera, and it’s not a track day brute like a GT3.

We like

  • Performance is fantastic
  • Easier to live with than a GT3
  • All-wheel-drive security

We don't like

  • Low speed ride is firm
  • Costs well over £100,000
  • No need for carbon ceramic brakes



Hard to write this section and not just put “It’s a 992 Porsche 911”, but we’ll soldier on, because there are some changes. The GTS gets a few styling touches to set it apart from a standard Carrera.

For a start, all GTS models are specced with the Sport Design package. This gives the 911 GTS a more aggressive face than the standard Carrera, losing the slightly “toothless grin” look that the standard lower grille has. At the rear the lower body-coloured accent has gone from underneath the exhausts, giving a more aggressive look to the 911, although it retains the Carrera’s standard pair of oval exhausts.

Black accents are the other external changes for the GTS. This includes satin black on the front lip of the splitter, and some extremely fetching centre-lock wheels as well as some classic Porsche graphics. We’re not heading back to the mid-2000s era of massive decals, more a couple of subtle, but nice, GTS logos and some black accents on the rear arches.

Performance and Handling


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.



Porsche’s new 911 interior is a technology extravaganza, inheriting a lot of what is great about the Taycan’s guts while managing to just about resist the temptation to move to a double screen setup. It’s extremely nice, but I can’t help but feel that replacing the dash with a screen so wide you can fit five dials on it is a bit pointless when two of them spend most of their lives being obscured by the wheel.

The integration of the main touchscreen, all 10.9 inches of it, is excellent and the screen itself is easy to use. But, in a PDK-equipped car, the centre console’s toggle stick instead of a gearstick might be the single most disappointing feature change to any car. Come on Porsche, please give us the stick back.

The rest is simple to use and at the highest quality, the sports seats are excellent and heated as standard, while the option of Race-Tex trim is so much better than festooning an interior with leather that it’s hard to quantify (although we can only imagine that lots of use may lead to it being marked). And, despite removing the gearstick in the PDK car, Porsche has at least given you back a single analogue dial, with the rev counter being a proper unit flanked by two seven-inch screens housing the other dials.

Technology and Features


With this being the car that is in the middle of the range, and with a base price already over the 100k mark at £114,500, the 911 GTS is as well-specced as you might hope. That means two-zone climate control, thermally insulated glass, sports seats, heated seats, USB-C ports, eight-speaker audio system (excellent by the way) DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, vehicle tracking.

The pair of screens – the 10.9-inch central one and pair seven-inchers aside the rev counter – are also standard as well as automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, keyless go, cruise control and ParkAsist parking sensors.



Porsche 911s aren’t cheap any more, the basic one is going to cost you £80,000 no matter what you do, so a mid-range one was always going to smash into six figures. But the GTS is probably worth it’s high tag in the current landscape, because it manages to be several cars in one.

It’s a fun to drive sportscar when you want it to be – like the Carrera on which it is partly based – and is an absolute, ballistic monster when you wish for that – like the Turbo with which it also shares parts. The firmness of the ride is a little annoying through town, but on motorways it’s a comfortable cruise, even with Sports Seats fitted. The cherry on the cake is the noise that the engine hurls out of those exhausts when you really get into the rev range.

Most will probably spec with the standard PDK, even though the manual is there, and it’s a good system, extremely fast on the change – almost imperceptibly so in certain circumstances – but a teeny bit sluggish to react should you leave it entirely to its own devices. But you could probably live without things like the rear-axle steering (£1,592) or ceramic brakes (an eye-watering £6,321) as excellent as they are.

If you’re looking for a sportscar or GT that will do everything, but isn’t an SUV, and you aren’t afraid of a list price over £100k, it’s really hard to look past the GTS as anything other than a brilliant all-rounder. Porsche wants it to be the sweet spot in the range, and it may have got its wish.