ATLANTA – A fantasy automotive deserves a fantasy highway, and vice-versa. So we launched the 2022 Porsche 911 GTS to the Chattahoochee Nationwide Forest in Georgia, on a few of the quickest, friskiest mountain curves you’ll encounter east of the Mississippi.

Porsche’s household planning provides 5 GTS variants to the “992” technology of its 911: Coupe and Cabriolet variations of the rear-drive Carrera and all-wheel-drive Carrera 4, plus the AWD-only Targa 4. These fashions carry all method of presents for 911 followers, however with out going full-bonkers for a Turbo, GT3 or different top-shelf version.

We drove the leather-lined bookends of the GTS household, a pair of German-spec fashions that Porsche shipped to its Atlanta HQ for reviewing: The rear-wheel-drive Carrera GTS is the purist’s particular, the lightest and most inexpensive model at $138,050 to begin. To underline its audience, our Carmine Pink version was outfitted with the sensible, no-cost-option seven-speed handbook transmission, its lever shortened by 0.4 inches in GTS trim. Following a mountain exercise, I made a return run in a Targa 4 GTS (from $158,150). The retro-inspired, open-air Targa is the style plate of 911s, newly rippling in GTS guise, with commonplace AWD, an eight-speed PDK automated gearbox and a torque-vectoring digital rear differential. This explicit one’s gray-white “Chalk” paint proved an excellent canvas for the black physique detailing that marks each GTS.

You’ll absolutely hear these GTS fashions described because the candy spot of the 911 lineup, and they’re – if the costs don’t set off a diabetic coma. The GTS variants demand a $20,000 to $21,000 upcharge from respective 911 S variations. But in Porsche’s configurating protection, optioning up any 911 to approximate GTS spec would value vastly greater than $20,000. GTS fashions additionally carry options unavailable on commonplace variations.

First, every GTS will get 30 further horsepower and 23 pound-feet from its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter flat-six (versus S fashions), for 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet. That acquire comes solely from dialing the high-compression engine’s turbo enhance to 18.6 psi, an almost 15% acquire. The twin-mass flywheel is bolstered to deal with the added energy and torque. How briskly, you ask? Porsche conservatively cites the Carrera 4 GTS’ 0-60 mph sprint at a blistering 3.1 seconds, with an also-conservative 11.5-second quarter-mile, aided by PDK and launch management. A stick-shift Carrera 4 GTS is a notable 0.8-seconds slower to 60 mph, at 3.9 seconds. The Targa 4 S is available in at 3.3 seconds, which seems to be adequate to shoot the sun shades off my brow and into the again seat.

Extra energy is simply the start. The PASM sport suspension is commonplace (which provides a Sport stability mode), as is a selectable Sport Exhaust with a killer soundtrack. The Sport Chrono package deal is onboard, with launch management and a Sport Response steering-wheel button for PDK variations. Extra Sport Chrono goodies embrace energetic driveline mounts, analog and digital dashboard chronographs, and extra Sport Plus and Particular person driving modes. Subsequent come inheritances from Daddy Warbucks, the 911 Turbo: All GTS our bodies are lowered by 0.4 inches, with added rear-axle helper springs for Coupes and Cabriolets. The Turbo’s brakes serve up pizza-sized 16.0-inch entrance rotors, with carbon-ceramic brakes and even-roomier rotors obtainable for $9,780. Staggered, 20- and 21-inch Turbo S Design solid alloy wheels carry an ordinary Satin Black end and middle locking hubs, although there’s an non-compulsory five-lug wheel for consumers preferring simpler modifications, together with for studios on the aspect of the highway. Key efficiency choices embrace the energetic rollbars of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Management, rear-axle steering, and a helpful GPS-linked front-axle raise system that clears low-speed obstacles and remembers the place they’re.

As with every 911 variant, there are delicate exterior modifications: revised entrance and rear fascias, black-finished exhaust retailers, extra black for the rear engine-lid slats and Porsche decklid script, and smoky tint for headlamps and a dramatic, full-length taillight strip. Inside, Race Tex fake suede replaces leather-based for the steering wheel, handbook shift lever, seat facilities, armrests and console, with brushed aluminum black trim. Inside packages (for $4,530), in both Carmine Pink or Chalk, carry matching stitching and tachometer colours. Oh, and the Targa GTS will get a black Targa bar.

All 2022 911s get the PCM 6.0 touchscreen infotainment system, a reskinned model of the unit within the electrical Taycan. It’s a many-layered improve from earlier Porsche models, however I am nonetheless mildly bedeviled by Porsche’s cussed reliance on miniature hieroglyphs for varied features. And the outer orbs of the 911’s 5 ringed driver gauges are virtually fully eclipsed by the steering wheel, forcing drivers to crane necks to see gasoline ranges and different knowledge.

A primary-ever GTS Light-weight Bundle, which we sampled on the Carrera Coupe, trims 55 kilos by eliminating rear bounce seats and ground mats, stripping out sound deadening, and adopting a lightened battery and glass. It additionally will get rear-axle steering, a steeper most tilt for the rear spoiler, and an aero-optimized underbody. 4-way sport seats are commonplace, however consumers would possibly intention for non-compulsory 14- or 18-way powered seats, which strike a wise stability between an opulent perch and strong efficiency. Our GTS Coupe featured full carbon-shell bucket seats (for $5,900) with solely a handbook fore-aft slider and no seatback tilt adjustment. We have now sampled these in number of Porsches, together with most just lately within the GT3 Touring, and our normal conclusion is that they seem to be a observe rat’s dream and fairly comfy over lengthy distances, but when your doubtless driving will contain extra of the latter, get one of many different seat upgrades as a substitute. Your physique will thanks. So too will you pockets: even our Targa’s stellar 18-way seats value $3,030, saving practically three grand versus the carbon buckets. 

Essentially the most spectacular possibility, although, is one you do not have to pay for. The seven-speed stick shift’s totalizing impact on the Carrera Coupe’s efficiency and tech is nothing in need of wonderful. With its golf-ball-shaped shift knob, bang-bang quick throws, and creamy clutch take-up, this has to one of the best surviving handbook on the planet. In a welcome change, the handbook’s rev matching function – “Auto Blip” in Porsche parlance – can now be disabled with out shutting off stability management (one thing that was beforehand potential within the GT3, GT4 and 718 Spyder). That’s frequent sense for drivers who would possibly effectively need to observe heel-and-toeing on public roads, with out dropping the protection web of stability oversight.

Right here within the North Georgia mountains, the picturesque roads function two-lane, multi-mile passing sections in a single or the opposite path, with a smorgasbord of Insta-worthy ascents, descents, hairpins, esses and sweepers. With two lanes to play with, there’s extra security margin. Drivers are free to whomp a automotive into bucket-like cambered apexes from the far lane, utilizing suspension compression to go even sooner; then observe out large to the surface lane stripe. It’s like having a private double-wide raceway, with the important thing capacity to soundly go slowpokes or lumbering vehicles at will.

This forested gantlet revealed key variations between Coupe and Targa, rear- and AWD variations. First: Porsche’s AWD sports activities automobiles, as with many trendy friends, are virtually unfairly quick and tenacious. For the four-wheeling Targa 4 GTS, the approach is to brake deep into corners, get again on throttle even earlier than some apexes after which marvel at how the Porsche can tighten its line or dig its manner out. There’s simply no disputing the benefit of two further “rowers” pulling up entrance. Regardless of its lighter weight and barely tauter suspension, the rear-drive GTS Coupe couldn’t match the sheer grip and early-to-throttle ease of the Targa.

And but: As a lot as I am keen on the Targa’s sexier physique model, the GTS Coupe is even higher, and prices $20,000 much less. The Coupe is extra alive, exact and fun-to-drive, particularly for pilots ready to deal with a rear-driven Porsche’s edgier nature. The coupe feels lighter and tighter, its steering much more uncannily responsive. I discovered myself wishing that each fanatic, particularly those that scoff at or are unfamiliar with Porsches, may expertise what this GTS is about: It’s merely one of many world’s best efficiency experiences, no matter value.

Urged on by the 911’s enabling persona, I discovered myself squealing the Coupe’s tires by lengthy curves, the flat-six spinning silk to a 7,200-rpm peak. Surprisingly, the GTS Coupe really sounded higher than the open-air Targa. Each fashions pump sound into the cabin by way of a symposer-type system. However the Coupe admitted extra chesty, low-frequency sound – together with the 911’s heroic, near-GT3-harmonics when the tach passes 6,000 rpm – than the Targa’s whispery induction and turbo whistle. This explicit Coupe’s rear-seat delete and Light-weight Bundle additions/subtractions could have had one thing to do with that.

After all, no Porsche evaluation could be full with out mentioning the harm it should inevitably do to your checking account, particularly after checking bins on the intensive choices checklist. As talked about earlier, the Carrera GTS Coupe’s start line of $138,050 is not that outrageous given what you’d pay to get an everyday Carrera as much as related pace and specification utilizing that choices checklist. Nonetheless, our GTS Coupe checked out at an as-tested $178,440. The Targa 4 GTS hit $193,960, a quantity that was once related to Turbos or GT2’s. Homeowners may definitely skip some non-compulsory frou-frou. (A 23.7-gallon extended-range gasoline tank is a uncommon model cut price at $230). However as Porsche spokesman Luke Vandezande notes, most homeowners aren’t fearful about breaking the financial institution: 911 clients get pleasure from a comfortable, median family revenue of $550,000, and $450,000 for all Porsche-brand consumers.

And for critical fans, the GTS fashions ship as marketed: That is the center floor between the on a regular basis versatility and luxury of a “primary” 911, and the otherworldly (and even pricier) efficiency of a Turbo or GT3.  Hell, if I may afford one, I’d already be speccing my very own GTS Coupe, and consoling myself that at the least the stick shift is free.

Associated video: