2022 Porsche 911 GTS: The 911 Sauce with the Proper Kick

Published on September 21, 2021 in First Drives by Louis-Philippe Dubé

There is something for all tastes and all (sizeable) budgets in the 911 range. While prices currently range between $115,000 and $180,000, options can easily push a mid-range model well over $ 200,000. But one fact remains, no matter which variant you choose, the 911 rarely disappoints.

The big guns of the 911 series, like the Turbo and GT3 models, hardly compromise on anything. One offers the character of an excellent roadster with riveting power, the other is expertly calibrated for the track. Yet both are capable of delivering an unrivalled experience to anyone who dares take the wheel.

Right underneath these fire-breathing 911s, you’ll find the GTS package, which was made to pair road trip-worthy dynamics and comforts with a sufficiently aggressive temperament for a quick stop at the track - all at a relatively more affordable price.

The 992 generation was introduced some time ago, but today The Car Guide got a taste the of the newly introduced GTS version in its Coupé and Targa 4 variants. Here are our impressions.

The Turbo Engine Gets a Bump

If the soul of the 911 GTS lies in the diligent selection of components it picks and chooses from the Porsche catalogue to create its balance, its heart is undoubtedly under its rear trunk lid, where the powertrain spreads a half-a-dozen cylinders flanked by a turbocharger on each side.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

It's still a 3.0-liter six-cylinder that develops 473 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. But enthusiasts will notice that those numbers have been bumped, with 23 more horsepower and 15 lb-ft over the previous generation. This unit is connected to a choice of transmissions, either an eight-speed automatic of the PDK type, or even a good old seven-speed manual whose existence is a source of great pride at Porsche.

In our Targa 4 tester, power was generously distributed to all four wheels, while in the Carrera GTS Coupé, it was channelled exclusively to the rear wheels.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Distinct, But Fairly Endearing Personalities

In both variations, an immediate and surprisingly convincing throttle response took hold as soon as we ventured on the road. Higher in the revs, a progressively violent delivery subsequently nailed us to the seat, the turbochargers having since reached their full potential.

But it's in the corners that you really see how the Carrera GTS and Targa 4 GTS part ways. The Targa 4 GTS’s comfort-tuned suspension works hand in hand with the all-wheel drive system to handle the extra weight and provide outstanding grip, all orchestrated by the PDK gearbox.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

The Carrera GTS, on the other hand, barges in like a slender athlete with a much more cavalier and permissive attitude, all conducted by the seven-speed manual gearbox this time. The Carrera GTS Coupe comes standard with Porsche's PASM Adaptive Suspension, which helps to not only limit discomfort on rough pavement, but also keep the 911 camped when G-forces build up. The coupe is also 10 mm closer to the road. The sum of all these characteristics creates a very unique feeling behind the wheel.

In short, you will have confidence and a smile on your face with the Targa 4 GTS. But the butterflies in the stomach happen with the Carrera GTS!

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Versatile or Provocative, the GTS Interior Lets You Choose

Our two testers also revealed key differences in the cabin. The Targa 4 GTS and its removable roof is more accommodating and comfortable on a daily basis, with rear seats as a bonus! Both interiors are covered with what Porsche calls Race-Tex, an Alcantara-like texture made from recycled polyester fibres.

Our Carrera GTS, on the other hand, had carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) full bucket seats that felt like it had been moulded specifically for us.

Another interesting feature about the 992 generation; the instrument cluster that retains the spirit of the old Porsches, with an analog tachometer flanked by crystal-clear fully digital dials - a very well-executed marriage of two eras.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Conclusion

The 911 Carrera GTS is offered in 911 Carrera GTS, RWD or AWD variants and in a coupe or convertible version, in addition to the Targa 4 variant which comes with all-wheel drive exclusively. Pricing starts at $150,000 in Canada, which sits in the middle of the 911 range.

The two variants tested share the GTS letters and the same engine, but adopt a completely different behaviour on the road. And with the manual gearbox available, Porsche speaks to those who are seriously spirited about driving, identifying itself as the guardian of the third pedal in a world where autonomous technologies are taking over.

The GTS badge is quickly spreading throughout the Porsche catalogue. And, considering that the options bill can reach stratospheric levels at Porsche, it's safe to say that the GTS package and the sum of its parts offers a good value proposition overall.

Test drive report
Test model 2022 Porsche 911
Trim level Carrera
Price range $115,000 – $250,200
Price as tested 115 000 $
Warranty (basic) 4 years/80,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 4 years/80,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) 13,1 / 9,8 / N/A L/100km
Options N/A
Competitive models Acura NSX, Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, BMW 8 Series, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari Roma, Jaguar F-TYPE, Lamborghini Huracán, McLaren GT, Nissan GT-R, Polestar 1
Strong points
  • Surgical driving dynamics
  • More powerful engine
  • Manual gearbox is a charm to operate
Weak points
  • No rear seating for the Carrera GTS
  • Pricey options
Editor's rating
Fuel economy 3.5/5 Acceptable on the highway. But can get high on spirited drives.
Comfort 4.0/5 The Targa variant is more comfortable on long distances.
Performance 4.5/5 The performance enhancements make the GTS even better.
Infotainment 4.0/5 The system is far from perfect. But the enhancements are a great start.
Driving 4.5/5 Unique GTS-style driving dynamics.
Overall 4.5/5 The GTS is a good compromise between a road car and a track beast.
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