Porsche 991 Carrera GTS: the first drive

The four years since Porsche launched its 997 GTS in Palm Springs, USA, have passed as quickly as the 3.8-litre flat six finds its redline in first. Since then, there’s barely been a week where I’ve not checked their prices, the first 911 GTS being one that I’d like to own.

This car’s not going to help that apparently, with Porsche’s people saying that it’s not unusual to see a spike in prices in predecessor cars when a new 911 arrives.

So the 991 GTS is upon us, Porsche choosing Pasadena rather than Palm Springs for its introduction. Useful, as around 90 miles north is Willow Springs Raceway: a challenging, undulating track hanging onto the side of a hill near Edwards Air Force base, alongside the desert where Chuck Yeager strapped himself into experimental planes in his quest to break the sound barrier.

991 GTS driving

It is likely that you know the GTS nomenclature and positioning by now, but if you need a recap, here it is. The GTS slots above the Carrera S in the range, Porsche seeing it as something of a steppingstone or halfway house model between the Carrera range and the stripped and focussed GT3.

Bridging that gap means a unique make-up, with elements of both – the GTS, for example, is the only 911 other than the GT3 (until a GT2 arrives at least) that’s offered as a pure two-seater.

In the GT3 you don’t have that choice admittedly, but the GTS buyer is given the option to bin off the rear pews in place of a carpeted area, saving some seven kilograms over a Carrera S in the process.

991 GTS in car

That’s in the Coupe only though. Yes, Porsche are muddying the GTS idea and focus slightly by offering the GTS not just on its Coupe, but on the Cabriolet, too.

The GTS is a model range then, in two- or four-wheel drive, manual or PDK auto and with or without a roof. We’re thinking that it’s best represented in rear-wheel drive, manual Coupe form, which is why we pinched the keys for the single example among the 12 cars on offer specified on the launch event.

To read our full first drive of the new Porsche 991 Carrera GTS, pick up Total 911 issue 121 in store now. Alternatively, you can order your copy online, or download it straight to your digital device and save up to 30%.

Porsche 991 GTS

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