Porsche 991 Carrera GTS super test: Coupe, Cabriolet, Targa
GTS: three letters that, when siphoned together, evoke a strong yet wonderfully nostalgic sporting spirit in the Porsche world. As you’ll know, the legend started more than 50 years ago with the 904 Carrera GTS, a Targa Florio-winning car that gave rise to the infallible 917, and was reignited for the 911 production line in 2010 with the 997 Carrera GTS.
A run-out special with high quality options appointed as standard to the specification, a 997 GTS is an exquisite Carrera with genuine sporting intentions.
It’s a Total 911 favourite and, if that’s not reason enough for you to find similar endearment with it, just take a look at the classifieds to see its current value. Certainly, no other 997 outside of the GT2/3/RS line-up has enjoyed such refusal to significantly depreciate.
Then came the 991 GTS, this time introduced for the first generation. Rolled out across Coupe and Cabriolet body styles in two and four wheel drive along with, for the first time, a Targa variant, worldwide Porsche marketing wasted little time in billing this new GTS line-up as ‘driving purity’.
And, in context with the rest of the first-generation 991 range, there’s a genuine case in favour of that PR slant emanating from Zuffenhausen: all are naturally aspirated and have a passive rear axle, with a manual gearbox offered as standard – a setup you’ll never see roll out of Werk II ever again.
However, such a blanket approach to the entire line-up would be naive. The rear-driven manual Coupe quickly found favour on our first drive back in issue 121 (culminating in a 4.5-star rating in our data file).
Yet Total 911’s writer extraordinaire, Kyle Fortune described the Cabriolet in all-wheel drive form with PDK as “evidence in spirit and reality that the GTS badge should be limited to a handful of models rather than the entire 911 line-up.”
There were similar musings too when the Targa was later unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show. Suddenly, Porsche had evolved the GTS moniker into an entire sub-brand within the 911 range, but has it proved the right thing to do?
It’s a question that Total 911 needed to investigate, and only a trip to our favourite blacktop in rural North Wales with every current GTS variant would suffice. That’s why I find myself sitting at the wheel of a Sapphire blue 991 GTS Cabriolet as I zip along the A55 past Anglesey.
To read our full Porsche 991 Carrera GTS super test, pick up Total 911 issue 133 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device now.