Goodwood Test: Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet 2022 Review
Performance cars have one audience. Convertibles have another. And then there are places where those lines blur. In order for the two to mesh there have, at all times, to be compromises. The Porsche 911 convertible’s compromises are immediately obvious, it carries a camel’s hump of a recess to carry that folding roof. The fact that any combustion driven 911 will forever lug its engine around rather than carry it, provides no space for a roof mechanism.
But Porsche’s entire raison d’etre is pretty much to create cars that shouldn’t work. It builds its entire reputation on making a car that is to all respects, a pendulum, handle like one of the best around. So if there is any company that can overcome slicing out most of the structural rigidity of a car, we can probably trust it’ll be Porsche, right?
- Brings you closer to that flat-six
- GTS still brings the best of Carrera and Turbo
- Handling still right at the top of the game
We don't like
- Ride quality drops from Coupe
- Cabrio loses some cornering stability
- Some extra wind rush
It looks like the 992 generation Porsche 911, just crossed with a Dromedary camel. That hump becomes more obvious when the roof is removed, standing proud above the engine cover to hold the car’s only USP.
But, that design today is possibly not totally necessary. You can slip your hand into the recess, the roof does not fill it all, and nor does a modern folding roof fully need to. Instead it is that hump that has become one of the design lines that every Porsche 911 convertible will follow. In the same way that every 911 will follow the same rough design pattern, with evolution leading long before revolution, so every convertible will have the hump. If you can accept that it becomes more of an asset to the design than a drawback. It helps to make it look less like just a 911 with the roof chopped off. It gives it identity.
The GTS, is the GTS that we already know. There’s the small GTS decals down the side, black lower rear bumper with two black exhausts and the black lettering for Porsche down the central rear light bar. It works nicely as always. Bits of Carrera, bits of GT-named cars. The best of both worlds? You can decide that.
Performance and Handling
The GTS formula takes the 3.0-litre flat-six from the Carrera and gives it a little bit more. That’s 480PS (353kW) or 30PS (22kW) more than the Carrera S to be precise, as well as lifting peak torque to 570Nm (435lb ft). This GTS has no number in its title, signifying that all power is being sent straight to the back, so 0-62mph is completed in 3.6 seconds (the all-wheel-drive “4” will do it in 3.3). We’ve driven both versions of the GTS already with the standard ceiling, and both myself and my colleagues have agreed that it’s absolutely more than enough, especially when you consider that it is in fact faster to 60mph than the 911 GT3 – currently the most hardcore 911 available. Power delivery, even with a pair of turbochargers doing their thing, is consistent and rapid.
Suspension is bespoke to the GTS with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) dealing with keeping everything hanging off the wheels combined with a sports chassis to make that hang 10mm lower. That also brings stiffer springs, modified shock absorbers and anti-roll bars, there’s also some fettling at the back to make it feel a little more involving – developments borrowed from the top-whack Turbo models.
When you bring it all together, it is, at first, difficult to tell the difference between how the hard top handles compared to the cabrio, unless you’re really looking. But then, we are. The convertible feels ever so slightly stiffer as it rides a country road, but not ever threatening GT3 levels of tooth chatter. There is also the odd moment of shake that comes through the wheel to you, but it’s brief, gobbled up by the sheer amount of good feedback that the slim wheel brings.
The GTS cabrio does also move slightly differently around a corner. This 911 GTS convertible feels ready to float and just shift itself more easily than its rigid-bodied brother. Pitch it into a corner and you still have that solid front end that the 992 trades so solidly from, and you can easily balance the car through the mid corner and use its rear-drive nature to pull it into line on exit, but you’re always feeling more like there might be an adjustment coming than you would in the standard car. There’s just a slight degradation in that incredible comfort that the 992 hard top brings, like you can’t quite stare at the vanishing point and truly let your sub conscious do the work. It takes the GTS from absolute god tier experience to just really bloody good.
And that is the major criticism. But in return you get to whip the roof down and hear that sonorous flat-six in all its glory. In a way, your return for the compromise is a heightened experience, bringing you even closer to the sensations going on.
You can get the GTS with a manual gearbox, and if you so desire go for it, but then if you’re going for the compromised version of the 911 it feels acceptable to stick with the PDK, which is still almost telepathically good. In sport mode the sports exhaust adds a little rumble to each relaxation of the throttle, only enhanced by the lack of metal between you and its two exits.
The 992 911 has an excellent interior, and ticking the GTS option just makes it even nicer. The Sports seats fitted to the press car are excellent, although a nearly £2,000 option, and everything is fitted to the highest standard.
The changes to chop out the roof are well implemented. The rear wind break is mesh and folds down over the rear seats at the touch of a button. While it instantly renders the already pretty useless back bench totally pointless, it works very well, not needing any additional front baffle to calm the internal swirl. The roof mechanism itself works quickly and at slow town speeds, so quick rain showers shouldn’t catch you out.
With the roof up, there is more wind noise than in a standard Carrera. The join between window top and roof isn’t totally perfect so you can hear an extra rush as you drive along, but the main join above elicits no real extra noise.
Technology and Features
Quite obviously, buying the GTS over a Carrera, means more pounds will be leaving your bank account. You don’t get “bits of the 911 Turbo on a Carrera” for free. And then there’s the axeman’s tax. The base GTS Coupe is £108,920, while the Cabriolet adds another £10k, to hit £118,720. At which point the Boxster 4.0 GTS is both cheaper and, to be honest, better.
But the Boxster, as you’d expect, doesn’t have the same kit list, or quality of interior as the 911. The GTS comes with PASM as standard as well as PSM (Porsche Stability Management). PDK is also standard as is the sport chrono package, with the excellent mode selection on the wheel and tyre temperature display. The GTS also gets the big wheels from the Turbo S (20 inches at the front, 21 at the rear) as well as the single central wheel nut.
Inside you’ll find a digital radio, eight-speaker audio, Bluetooth, vehicle tracking, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, auto dimming mirrors, and the simple-to-use 10.9-inch central touchscreen. It also has keyless go, a reversing camera, cruise control, two-zone climate control and a heated rear screen as standard. The GTS also receives Race-tex interior (imagine Alcantara but not) heated seats and USB-C ports. Apart from the heated steering wheel and the excellent seats, you can easily ignore most of the other extras added to “our” car. Even the rear-axle steering is good, but not essential.
Those who wish to have their sportscars as a pure experience will talk for a long time about the compromise that comes with slicing the roof away. Every single review of every single chopped performance car includes it. But, for those who want a convertible, it matters very little.
Yes the GTS cabrio is not as good as its coupe brother, but compared to almost every other convertible out there, it’s right at the top. In fact the only rival that I can really look at is that biggest engined Boxster. If you weigh up the compromises the GTS cabrio has, along with the steep starting price, it does start to drop from its considerably tall pedestal. Given the rear seats are ostensibly pointless, the fact that the Boxster GTS is so good, and available with a manual too, you might have to really want a 911 to pick it.
This score is an average based on aggregated reviews from trusted and verified sources.
|Engine||3.0-litre, twin-turbcharged, flat-six petrol|
|Power||480PS (353kW) @ 6,500rpm|
|Torque||590Nm (435lb ft) @ 2,300rpm|
|Transmission||Eight-Speed double clutch|
|Price||From £118,720 (£131,994 as tested)|
Reviewed by Ben Miles