ATLANTA – Since the current eighth generation Porsche 911, or the 992 as it’s popularly known, went on sale in 2019, the Stuttgart-based sports car maker has wasted no time in completing the lineup of models.
A read of the company’s Canadian consumer website reveals 21 variations with more likely to come. The abundance of models confirms what Porsche representatives often say about the 911 – they can’t build them fast enough.
Either way, the latest addition to the team served as justification for my recent trip to Atlanta for a coveted siege time during a media preview. Of course, I’m talking about the all-new 2022 GTS, which has five models available to order right now: two coupes, two convertibles and a Targa.
All GTS models feature a 3.0-liter (473 hp / 420 lb-ft) turbocharged flat-six engine, which can be mated to a seven-speed manual or PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. eight-speed. The Carrera GTS (coupe and convertible) models are rear-wheel drive, while the Carrera 4 GTS (coupe, convertible and Targa) versions are equipped with all-wheel drive.
The first GTS was introduced 12 years ago as a mid-range variant for the sixth generation 911 (997), with unique styling details and more power than the Carrera, but less than the Turbo and GT3.
The 2022 model continues this tradition, with unique styling cues and more power (23 hp) than the previous GTS and current Carrera. New GTS models feature blacked-out trim elements including a spoiler lip, center-locking alloy rims, engine hood slats and GTS lettering on the lower door panels and rear.
Other body elements are part of the Sport Design package and include model-specific trims for the front, rear and side sills, as well as dark headlight rims, daytime running light bezels and unique taillights.
Inside, the GTS receives Sport Plus seats with higher padding as standard, as well as Race-Tex microfiber trim throughout the cabin, including on the steering wheel rim, door handles, armrests. , the storage compartment cover and the gearshift lever. The latter has also been shortened by 10mm for faster shifting.
The GTS also sports a unique steering wheel with Sport Chrono mode switch, as well as the Porsche Track Precision app and tire temperature display. Seat belts and headrests are adorned with GTS embroidery, and an optional interior package adds decorative inserts to the dashboard and door trim which are finished in a matte carbon material.
Porsche also notes that some cabin noise insulation materials have been removed to improve “emotional driving acoustics,” which I will come back to shortly. Less sound insulation also reduces weight, a factor Porsche engineers are focusing on with the GTS. To this end, a lightweight design package is first available on the GTS, reducing the car’s weight by up to 55 pounds through a variety of weight saving measures, such as the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), front seats, rear seat removal, lightweight glass for side and rear windows, rear axle steering and aerodynamic upgrades.
Mechanically, the GTS uses a suspension setup derived from the 911 Turbo. It comes standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) which offers damping adjustments in milliseconds based on dynamic driving conditions. PASM is standard on Coupé and Cabriolet models, as is a 10mm lower ride height. It should be noted that the PASM used in the Targa 4 GTS is the same as that found in the Targa 4S.
The GTS also borrows the alloy rims from the Turbo’s high-performance braking system (20in, front / 21in, rear), but Porsche says its standard sports exhaust system is unique.
So, with all of that said, how fast is it?
With the added horsepower of the 3.0-liter flat-six turbo, which is also rated at 15 lb-ft more than the previous model, the GTS will go from standstill to 100 km / h in 3.4 seconds ( Carrera 4 GTS coupe with PDK), which is three tenths of a second faster than the previous model.
As you can imagine, the above makes the GTS an absolute pleasure to drive.
For mid-September, the weather in Atlanta was not as hot as you might imagine. Daytime highs during my 48 hours in the city were mired in low 70s Fahrenheit (around 22C), with overcast skies and constant drizzle that turned to heavier rain at various times during the ride.
Speaking of driving, the new GTS wasn’t the only car Porsche had lined up. My time was also split between the new versions of the Cayenne and Macan (stories to come), as well as a spicy Cayman T, so my impressions are taken from the limited time at the seat.
That said, I spent enough time driving European spec pre-production GTS Coupe and Targa GTS units to say they were just plain fun to drive. The first is a carmine red copy fitted with a manual gearbox, while the second is finished in white with the PDK gearbox.
The driving route winds north from our hotel adjacent to Porsche’s dazzling US headquarters and experience center and Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson Airport to Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery, located at Dahlonega, Georgia, about 90 minutes northeast of Atlanta.
Constant rain accompanied the hike north, so unfortunately I had to climb the roof of the Targa GTS shortly after crossing the Atlanta city limits. The process was quick, however, and I was soon on my way.
The Targa 4 GTS is comfortable and beautifully finished, both inside and out. Having driven a 2020 911 Carrera last fall, I was familiar with the large digital displays and streamlined control diagrams of the eighth-gen model, and those positive impressions were reinforced this time around.
Switching between each of the four driving modes (normal, sport, sport plus and wet) is blissfully simple and the updated PCM (Porsche Communication Management) system offers easy pairing of smartphones (iPhone, in my case). and a touchscreen menu system that’s not unduly distracting or needlessly picky.
I was driving in the pouring rain on divided highways, so I couldn’t assess the Targa’s handling in as much detail as I would have liked, but the abundance of horsepower available is impressive and the six 3.0-liter turbo flat-cylinder sounds as smooth as ever, especially in sport and more sport. The effort and steering feel are crisp and precise, and the power delivered is precise, but in normal mode, which I used for much of the driving, I found the Targa GTS to be a performance car. pleasant cruising on the highway. If only it hadn’t rained!
After lunch, I took the crimson red GTS coupe for a short loop drive, which took about 20 minutes – way too short, but enough to get a taste of how good a 911 would be with a manual transmission. .
Unlike the Targa, which looks more like a cruiser (as much as any 911 can be), the GTS Coupe has the character of a race car, an impression that struck me between the eyes as I clumsily climbed on his (very) high seat brace to get behind the wheel.
The effort was well worth it, however, as once settled into its cockpit, I immediately appreciated its precise short-throw shifter, medium-effort clutch, and the rocket-shaped tuning of its flat-six. This thing wants to go fast all the time, but given the proliferation of Georgia sheriffs on the mountain roads surrounding the cave and the 56 km / h speed limits, I resisted the urge to independently check the zero-100 km / h time of the GTS.
However, the twisty two-lane roads provide enough elevation gain and tight corners to give the car’s PASM a good workout, which I was only too happy to oblige. I have to say that while I would have loved to follow the GTS Coupe, there is still a lot of fun slaloming through windy stretches of narrow asphalt in third and fourth gear. Everything I have said about the Targa applies here, but with more intensity and urgency.
Bottom line, it was a lot of fun – just wish I had more time.
A feeling that everyone surely gets after driving a 911.
The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle ratings were not subject to approval
2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
BODY STYLE: high performance sports coupe / convertible / Targa
CONDUCT METHOD: Seven-speed manual gearbox / rear-engined dual-clutch automatic / all-wheel drive
MOTOR: 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six (473 hp / 420 lb-ft)
THE FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium 91+) to be determined
CARGO VOLUME: 132 liters (4.7 cu. Ft.)
THE PRICE: $ 150,700 base (coupe) / $ 165,300 (convertible), excl. taxes
2022 Porsche 911 GTS three-quarter profile front
GTS models feature unique darkened headlights and a lip spoiler.