Friday, August 18, 2017

DRIVEN: 2012 Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Content

Saving The Best For Last

The 911 Carrera is renowned for being an unadulterated sports car. It’s been a long standing tradition that Porsche saves the best cars of the series for last. Most enthusiasts know that toward the end of the lifecycle of a particular model, Porsche comes out with over-the-top versions and limited editions to keep interest and sales moving forward. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense. Take for example the 964 Turbo S Flachbau or the 993 Turbo S – these were the last of great 911 lines produced by Porsche. In order to utilize remaining parts, offer potential buyers something unique, exciting and most important – lure them away from the new 911.  

The 911 Carrera GTS is one of these end-of-life special editions. Although it’s not as elaborate or limited as the previous mentioned end-of-series editions 911’s, it offers all of the refinements of the outstanding 997 series of 911. Which to say is substantial considering the success of the 997. Will it lure today’s buyer away from the newly announced 991 Series 911? The jury is still out on that. But if you want the best normally aspirated 997 series 911, the GTS is the answer.   

The Carrera GTS features more power and greater low end torque. This produces an even sportier driving experience. The figures tell most of the story. The GTS uses an uprated 3.8L flat-six engine with Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) and delivers 408HP, 23HP more than the 911 Carrera S. The Cabriolet does 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. Yet, there has been no increase in fuel consumption or emissions based on U.S. test cycles.  The extra 23HP makes a driving the GTS a very invigorating experience, and tops the Carrera S in performance.

Let’s get straight to the details which separate the GTS from the standard 911, beginning with the dynamically accentuated cooling air intakes in the front apron and the additional spoiler lip with a black finish. These are distinctly sporty characteristics, with components that have been optimized in the Porsche wind tunnel to improve the aerodynamic efficiency. On the sides of the GTS, black side skirt trims offer the sleek look of an aftermarket body kit. These side skirts give the GTS a unique look. Compared to the 911 Carrera S, the body of the GTS is 1.73 in. (44mm) wider at the rear axle and the rear track has been widened by 1.26 in. (32mm) for greater stability and improved turn-in. The Carrera GTS models are fitted with black, 19-inch RS Spyder wheels and feature center locks.  A sport exhaust fitted as standard on the GTS comes with black painted tailpipes and offers contrast from the standard exhaust. With the top down on our Cabriolet tester, the sound of the exhaust was intoxicating. It sounds amazing with a growl that is unmistakable 911 and varies with driving behavior, ranging from subtle to a distinctly more aggressive tone during spirited driving.  

Our test model had the six-speed manual gearbox and was accurate and involving, and produced crisp gear shifts.  The gear lever throw is short and precise and no different from the other 997 series 911’s we’ve tested. It also had the Sport-Chrono package, which is optional on the GTS and the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system – which is standard. It also had many exclusive options including Adaptive Sport Seats with white painted seat backs, white painted console and dash.

I don’t usually believe the marketing hype when it comes to new automobiles. They’re often far-fetched and unrealistic. The 911 Carrera GTS, the last iteration of the 997 series, was coined as “Clarity.” After driving the GTs and spending some time with it, I can see how that statement fits this vehicle. Sometimes keeping it simple ensures clarity, and the Carrera GTS is the 997 Series 911 – clearly defined.

Photos: 9 Magazine