By Nick Jones
I’ve tried a few Porsche’s in my time, but this one sounded mint.
This GTS is a culmination of all the ‘best’ bits – for want of a better phrase.
They’re bolted on to a stock 997 which, as a stock item, is pretty damn good to start with.
Effectively then it’s a Carrera that makes the right noises, and brings to an end (until the new one gets tested) the vintage that was the hugely-popular 997.
The GTS gets the standard Carrera ‘S’ engine but boosts power to a heady 408bhp, not bad for a normally-aspirated six-cyliner unit.
It’s pretty rapid, the 0-60mph sprint taking just 4.8 seconds on the way to top speed of 190mph.
The thing about the Porsche (compared with the noise and vibration from V8’s and V10’s out there) is the throttle response, something that is often lost on turbo cars and ‘V’ engines.
My test car was the manual version but if you prefer you can have the double-clutch PDK version. Both offer an instant marriage between car and driver.
The power curve fees a little flatter than previously to me but, boy, you can feel the urge when it is delivered to the rear wheels.
It barks down the road with a symphony only a six-cylinder engine can deliver – a sonorous noise that never fails to inspire you as a driver.
And the steering, while I’m on about great things in a car, is pure magic. It remains pure and precise despite all that power feeding the power to the rear. It’s light but fully communicative and the feedback it gives is something all manufacturers’ should emulate.
The GTS has the wider track of the four-wheel-drive model and, given the size of the rubber fitted, offers more lateral grip.
You can certainly find out rather quickly the limits of adhesion in it but it’s a pure driver’s dream.
Bringing things to a halt are standard steel discs, carbon ones are available should you want to take your GTS on track days to get fade-free lap after laps.
On the combined cycle, the Porsche achieves around 27mpg pottering about and would certainly get 34mpg on a decent run – all with the promise of emissions pegged back now to 242g/km – about 50g/km less than a standard V8 M3 BMW.
So, let’s look at the GTS and what it has to offer.
Well, for a start you can have a coupe or the cabriolet version, both of which comes with delicious 19in RS Spyder alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black.
You get a SportDesign front apron with side skirts and a deeper rear valance, both colour-coded with special graphics. On the inside the centre sections of the seats in the front are alcantara, mine had the Porsche crests embossed on them. There are also swathes of alcantara on the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake that certainly feel rather racy and right for a car like this.
All this for around £2,000 over the standard car, which sounds a good deal to me as the GTS will follow in some rather large footprints from predecessors and yet again offer the driver all the right bits, and all at the right price.
Talking of which prices start at about £78,000 for the coupe and head north (certainly for the cabriolet version) into territory in the £90K bracket.
That might sound a bit on the steep side, but the GTS version has what I want as a driver – the more powerful engine, the bigger and tastier wheel/tyre set-up, all the cosmetic tweaks and things that I may want they have left on the options list. Smart move Porsche, no wonder order books are full.