Driven - August 2017

Is The Porsche 911 GTS All The Porsche You Will Ever Need?

Porsche 911 GTS: All The Porsche You Need?

Flying through the cradle of mankind as the sun is lowering in the sky, onto the brakes and a delightful downshift brings more music to my ears – another crackle and pop from the Sports Exhaust system. Turning through the next bend is just as enjoyable as the rear follows the front, planted to the tarmac with inconceivable grip. The yellow McLaren MP4-12C ahead pulls a little further away before the next bend appears, we enter faster this time, drawing the bumble bee in closer again.

Porsche 911 GTS

I’m starting to realise why the car I’m driving is part of a brand which has arguably produced some of the the greatest sports cars the world has ever seen. Is this all the Porsche you would ever need? This ran through my mind while the GTS produced more evocative sounds and lightning fast gearshifts.

There are faster Porsches than this, a thought which is actually quite hard to conceive, the question still remains though, is the Porsche 911 GTS all the Porsche you need?

Porsche 911 GTS

The answer to that is quite possibly yes. You see, unlike a GT3, it has 4 seats ( 2 adults + 2 children) and unlike the Porsche 911 Turbo, it will set you back less than R2 million. It is, however, blisteringly fast. You will hit 100 km/h in the time you can count to about 3 and let’s be honest, can you really tell the difference between 2.7 seconds and 3.4? Maybe, but straight line speed isn’t all the hype, even if you can repeatedly launch the Porsche from a standstill with a simple, no caffuffle system until kingdom come – gone are days of clutch replacements after 5 rare moments of bliss.

Porsche 911 GTS

The Porsche is special, not because its rapid or because of its charming looks or even because it delivers just a magical driving experience. It’s a combination of all three, and more.

Power delivery is noticeably different to other turbo-charged sports cars, power and torque build as the revs increase similar to that of a naturally aspirated setup, there is no instant spike of torque. In fact under, 3 000 rpm the Porsche doesn’t have much at all, but in this car you don’t spend much time in the lower range anyway, it kind of eggs you on and says “push me, I dare you”.

Porsche 911 GTS

The three driving modes really help to set the mood with normal, sport and sport +. If you are looking to leave the week behind with a flat-6 symphony and driving dynamics similar to that of a racecar, then sport + is the place to be, while keeping it all fairly under control – not that’s it’s easy to unstick the rear of the 911 GTS due to the sheer amount of grip available. It’s worth noting that in the centre of the mode dial is a little button – called Sport Response, once pushed every ounce that the Porsche 911 GTS can provide is at your disposal for just 20 seconds – use it wisely. Another turn of the mode dial will engage sport mode, which is a little step back but still encourages a spirited drive and gives the pops and bangs from the sports exhaust system which we all seem to love. Then there is normal mode which as the name suggests, is probably the most boring mode to be in. For me though, this is where the magic happens.

Porsche 911 GTS

Why? Because normal mode displays one of the 911’s most beautiful strengths – being able to drive it every day, comfortably. The cabin is a very nice place to be and the systems are fairly easy to use. With the engine response and noise toned down inline with gearbox easing off, the 911 can be driven like a normal car. Further to this, the suspension also has a little more give and with the touch of a button the front end can be raised for those nasty sleeping policeman, especially as the GTS runs 10 mm lower than the standard 911.

Porsche 911 GTS

Conclusion

When you buy a Porsche, you are not just buying a sports car, you are buying into a brand, a lifestyle and of course, heritage. It may be subliminal but this is also transferred through to the driver right from when you hit the start button.

Of Course, a GT3 is a thoroughbred track day aimed vehicle, whereas the Turbo S is more powerful, faster and features 4-wheel drive – which isn’t always a bonus. Both of these vehicles come with the increased price tag which may be out of reach for many and that is the other beauty of the 911 GTS – it’s terribly quick, terribly fantastic to drive and terribly well-suited to everyday use. The GTS certainly isn’t the fastest, nor is it the most expensive sports car on the road, but from a pure driving experience it really could be one of the most special – it’s a true sports car and could be all the Porsche you ever need.


Also published on Medium.