Test Drive: Porsche 911 GTS

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So I test drove my buddy’s 2012 Porsche 911 GTS this past weekend. Yes, at first glance it looks like every other Porsche… and truthfully, it pretty much is. But that’s what makes Porsches special. In each 911, their characteristics become magnified as you go up a model. The best things in a basic 911 culminate when you upgrade to an S. And the same thing happens when you bump up to a GTS.

Let’s talk about basic figures first. The GTS has 408hps, it goes 0-60 in 4.4s (manual), and costs 6 figures. It’s one step above the Carrera S, and one step below the GT3.

So what makes it different? Compared to the 2006 911 Carrera, the biggest differences I found are the steering wheel, clutch and exhaust note. The steering wheel is just a dream… I think every car should have one like the GTS. It’s that good. The exhaust note is lovely—it’s deep, rich and has presence.

Unfortunately, the clutch felt too soft for my taste. When I say “soft”, it’s probably meant to be driven barefoot. It felt like there was no resistance… like you were pressing against paper. I guess it comes down to personal taste—for me, it took a little to get used to something that light.

Power was linear, and that flat 6 engine pulled hard. The torque was smooth, but didn’t feel freakish from 0-60. The horsepower kicked in when you hit above 60mph… and that’s where you feel the difference. The upper ranges in 3rd and 4th gear is where the GTS excels. On regular roads, you won’t feel much of a difference, but I bet it’s a whole different story once you’re on a track.

And that’s exactly what my buddy does. He makes trips out to the VIR multiple times a year with this car.

So if you want a car that looks like every other 911 (but with more grunt), go for the GTS. It has everything you need for a daily driver and a track machine. It doesn’t advertise its power and capability with huge spoilers, aero kits or stickers. It’s what you call a “sleeper”.

As I’ve said, there are faster cars, but there are not many that deliver fun and excitement quite like a Porsche.