2022 Porsche 911 GTS first drive review: The perfect 911

With so many models and trim levels, packages and options, Porsche expands 911 The lineup can be tough to wrap your head around. But the 2022 GTS family makes things easy. Available in five flavors (Carrera GTS, Carrera GTS Cabriolet, Carrera 4 GTS, Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet and Targa 4 GTS) these cars are at the heart of the 911 range, upping the more workday Carrera S models by offering an extra shot of power. Huh. Sharp dynamics, yet offers more vibrancy and a lower starting price than the track-focused GT3. With staggering performance and near-telepathic finesse, the 2022 GTS could be the prefect 911.

To get a feel for this redesigned family of sports cars, I took a trip to Porsche’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, for a few seats in the Carrera GTS and Targa 4 GTS, which are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The former targets driving aficionados, being stronger and more direct, while the latter is slightly softer and more livable, plus its retractable hardtop allows it to bridge the gap between coupe and cabriolet. The Peach State may not seem like a great place to exercise this kind of genealogical machinery, but its northeast corner is surprisingly mountainous, with miles of steep back curves and largely empty country two-lanes. MILF is a picture-perfect Porsche Test site.

Unless you’re a fanatic, you may have a hard time telling the GTS apart from other 911s. The visual differences are subtle, although the black accents are a giveaway. These car-friendly LED headlights have dark circles, their taillight housings tinted, model badges and Porsche lettering blacked out and so are the exhaust outlets. These changes point towards better performance of these cars without shouting.

Forged, center-lock wheels essentially purged from 911 Turbo S There are standard equipment, with a diameter of 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear. RS spider design rollers are also offered with a more traditional five-lug pattern, and at no additional charge. The Carrera GTS’ Goodyear Eagle F1 tires offer plenty of grip, but they’re also cacophonous on Georgia’s weather-beaten pavement. Targa’s Piralis are much quieter on similar roads.

Like other 911s, a rear-mounted 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six propels the GTS variant. This fine engine makes 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, 30 more each than you’ll find in the Carrera S. Providing these benefits, boost pressure has been cranked up from about 14.5 psi to 18.3, but other than that, the engines remain the same. From the moment you fire it, this flat-six will always run little by little, and boy can howdy runs.

You can’t see it, but trust me, there’s an engine hidden in there, a great one too.

Porsche

Using Launch Control, an all-wheel-drive carrera With the standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission the 4 GTS can dash from a dead stop to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds – yes, faster than the GT3. Other variants are a Scoosh slower, with the same feat reaching 4.1 seconds on some models mated to a seven-speed manual gearbox, which is a no-cost option. But it doesn’t matter, this car rocks. Bury the accelerator and in a heartbeat the GTS is back on its hump, scrambling for traction and leaving you on the horizon.

Despite this supercar-rivaling performance, don’t expect a tsunami of low-rpm torque. Even though it’s exhaled through a pair of turbochargers, the GTS’s engine pulls along the linearity of the naturally-aspirated powerplant, not really waking up until you’ve got at least 3,000 rpm on the clock. With a manual transmission (the gearbox to get into in my so humble opinion), it’s not ideal for idling in traffic, though it’s plenty of incentive to move the crisp shift lever, which has been shortened by 10 millimeters. Other models such as the 911 Carrera S or 911 Targa 4S. Select the appropriate ratio or let the automatic do its job and build up revs smoothly and with explosive speed, reaching the crescendo at the 7,500-rpm redline.

Automatic throttle blipping is included with the manual, and you can now turn it on or off whenever you want because it’s no longer specifically linked to the driving-mode selector. It’s a nice change for 2022 because you don’t need this feature because the GTS’s drivetrain is so responsive that it’s a handy method to execute a perfectly timed downshift almost every time.

The 911 Targa 4 GTS is part convertible, part coupe and totally awesome.

Porsche

From its raised fenders to that high-strong engine to the low seating position, the GTS is intimidating, but it’s also shocking. You can jump and drive fairly accurately without familiarizing yourself with anything. The manual transmission is a joy to use, with short throws and a clutch pedal that is dead simple, neither too heavy nor too light and with a wide engagement range. As far as automatics are concerned, I have become averse to dual-clutch transmissions. Launch quality never as smooth as torque converter, but GTS’ PDK Best I’ve ever experienced. Not only is it completely seamless when crawling in traffic, it’s also easy to move and get close to instantly.

An active exhaust system is standard equipment in the GTS, delivering that iconic 911 when you’re hustling, yet keeping things reasonably quiet when you’re not in the mood for theatrics. Opening things up is as easy as switching to Sport or Sport Plus driving modes or pressing the double-barrel shotgun button on the center stack.

Keeping things in mind, the GTS’s standard braking system is borrowed from the giant-slaying 911 Turbo. This gets you six-piston front calipers squeezing 16-inch rotors and four-pot clamps at the rear acting on 14.9-inch discs. Porsche’s ceramic composite brakes are offered for an additional $9,870, though, unless you live on the track, they’re probably completely unnecessary. If you spring for PCCBs, they work fine on the road, providing immense stopping power with a pedal that’s practically as easy to modify as a Toyota Corolla Key, rare for a car with such a high performance. Those pricey optional brakes are also refreshingly cool in cold weather, leaving hardly a peek.

Inside Update 911 has little to complain about.

Porsche

Matched by its staggering straight line speed and immense stopping power, 911 Carrera GTS handles like a dream. Wrapped in suede-like Race-Tex fabric, the wheel feels just right in your hands, even if its small diameter means the rim tends to block out a lot of the instrument cluster, though beyond the giant tachometer mounted front and center, you’ll find more What do you do Really need? Steering responds quickly and is super crisp on the center, though somehow it never felt twitchy or over-caffeinated. The wheel telegraphs what the front tires are doing in high fidelity, yet it never retracts or transmits road stiffness. The ride is predictably firm, with the Carrera GTS being significantly more starchy than the Targa 4 GTS, which is slightly lighter. In any case, Porsche’s Active Suspension Management is standard equipment, including a 10-millimeter ride-height reduction in the Carrera model. Unlike its fixed-top sibling, the Targa GTS doesn’t sit too close to the ground.

Overall, the GTS range has been remarkably refined for the performance it offers; It’s noticeably more alert and faster than the standard 911 Carrera, which is by no means sluggish or slow. They may look basically the same, but the difference between what GTS and non-GTS cars drive is as obvious as it is important.

For those who want even better dynamics, the coupe is available with a Lightweight package that trims 55 pounds of trim by removing the rear seat, swapping in trimmer glass and cutting sound insulation, among other things. You also get additional underbody aerodynamic paneling and rear-wheel steering, the latter of which is available as a standalone extra on all GTS models. This option group is great if you’re all about performance, but you probably won’t notice much difference in typical use on the road—hell, most drivers could probably stand to lose 55 pounds these days. Even if you opt for the lightweight package, the GTS model has less sound deadening than other 911s.

Inside, you basically get the same interior as other 992-generation cars, which makes the GTS cabin a very special place. The Race-Tex trim kicks things up and there’s plenty of supple leather, richly textured soft plastic, and high-quality controls. There are some inherent downsides as well. The footwells are a bit narrow, there’s limited storage space and the rear seat is all but useless except for small children packed into luggage or luggage.

For hard-core enthusiasts, the Full Bucket Seats option ($5,900) is the way to go. It eliminates those laughably small rear housing and you get a pair of non-reclining carbon-fiber reinforced plastic tubs for the front seats. Your chiropractor will love the bolster-upright driving position and the aggressive bolsters provide tremendous support, though all that hoop gets tired quickly. Unless you’re racing every other day, I suggest sticking to one of Porsche’s more traditional seating options, which adjust in the ways you expect.

As for tech, all versions of the 2022 Porsche 911 feature a 10.9-inch touchscreen with the automaker’s PCM 6.0 infotainment system. Streamlined and more user-friendly, this multimedia array is based on what you find in taikan EV. Easier to use and more responsive than before, PCM 6.0 is a winner, plus it supports wireless apple carplay. Also, for the first time, android auto is supported, which is great news for all you Google fanatics out there, just be sure to bring a cable. In addition, the GTS models also come standard with the Sport Chrono Package, which includes additional drive modes, active powertrain mounts, a spiffy digital chronograph on top of the dashboard, and more.

The GTS family ranks among the very best of the 911 range.

Porsche

Unfortunately, Porsche only offers one thing for free. This automaker likes to charge extra for every little thing and this is reflected in the price tags of these cars. The Carmine Red Carrera GTS in this review checks out for $178,440, an amount that includes over 40 grand in options as well as $1,350 in destination fees, though it’s a relative bargain compared to the Targa 4 GTS. Dressed in a pretty color called chalk and fitted for about $36,000 extra, it checks in for just shy of $194,000. As Porsche so skillfully proves, excellence doesn’t come cheap.

But really, other than exorbitant prices and border-line-usury options, what’s there to complain about here? Sure, the tires can be noisy and there’s not a lot of room inside, but if you’re shopping for a road-going top hunter, the GTS is a great option. Thanks to its mix of performance and accessibility, this is arguably the best 911 you can get.


Editor’s Note: Travel costs related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The decisions and opinions of Roadshow staff are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.

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