The 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS is positioned nicely between the Carrera S models and top performance GT badged models (GT3 and GT4), and Turbo models. The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS is available in either of two body configurations: a Coupe and a Cabriolet.
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS models represent an excellent value for consumers interested in owning an S model and desirous of outfitting them with specific performance enhancement options, such as larger wheels, sportier suspension systems and more supportive seats. The 911 Carrera GTS model on the other hand, provides an impressive list of standard features and equipment that would all be optional for Carrera S models. The list of standard fare for the GTS models includes: the Powerkit, 20-inch Turbo S wheels, Sport design front fascia, Sport Exhaust, Sport Chrono, BiXenon headlights in Black with PDLS, Alcantara gear shift lever, Carbon Fiber interior trim accents on doors, dash and console, Sport seats Plus, SportDesign mirrors and Alcantara steering wheel, center console in Brushed aluminum and Alcantara. This equipment would total $34,950 in optional pricing, while the price differential between the Carrera S and the Carrera GTS is only $15,300. Other non-quantifiable options for the GTS include: Daytime running lights, Exterior trim strips, exterior rear badges and Door sill guards all in Black; GTS logo on the Rev counter; and an Alcantara interior.
One of the major highlights of the 911 Carrera GTS is the powertrain, which is a rear-mounted, 3.8-liter DOHC, 24-valve horizontally opposed flat six-cylinder engine with Gasoline Direct Injection that produces 430 horsepower at 7,500 rpm (30 more horsepower than the Carrera S) along with 325 pound feet of torque at 5,750 rpm. The GTS’s additional horsepower comes from the Powerkit, which consists of different cylinder heads, camshafts, intake, DME software and Sport Exhaust. A third, central radiator is part of this package to ensure consistent performance and durability in all conditions. The Sport Exhaust with modified main silencers also has a different tune than on the regular Carrera S, the flaps open at 3100 rpm instead of 3300 rpm, further accentuating the sound of the engine. Power is geared to the rear wheels via either a 7-Speed manual gearbox or Porsche’s Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual clutch transmission with paddle shifters.
The standard GTS Sport Chrono Package includes Dynamic Engine Mounts. The electronically controlled system minimizes drivetrain oscillations and vibrations of especially the engine, combining the benefits of a hard or soft engine mounting arrangement. The engine mounts to adapt their stiffness and damping properties to changes in both driving style and road surface conditions.
In Sport Plus Mode, the exhaust sounds particularly exhilarating, with the engine computer matching revs on downshifts. The take rate for manual transmissions in GTS sports car variants is roughly 20 percent.
The GTS is one of more than twenty 911 variants available – some naturally aspirated, some turbocharged, some rear-wheel drive, some all-wheel drive and including Coupes, Cabriolets and Targas. Overall appearance and levels of performance and aggressiveness vary from model to model, but all are sporty in
their look and appeal. The GTS is naturally aspirated with Gasoline Direct Injection and rear-wheel drive.
Visually, the GTS is instantly recognizable as a member of the 911 family, with styling elements including the SportDesign Black trim elements and GTS logotype on doors and rear lid, in either black or silver depending upon the body color. The diffuser area between the dual twin tailpipes in the rear is also black. In combination with the standard interior color “black Alcantara”, the center sections of the driver and passenger sport seats are covered with black Alcantara and the high-quality Alcantara is also used wherever driver and passenger come in direct contact with the interior, such as on the rim of the three-spoke SportDesign steering wheel and on the gear and handbrake levers.
My test 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS came with the seven-speed manual Gearbox and wore an exterior finish of Carmine Red, or what I like to refer to as “Arrest Me Red”. The interior was executed in Black, with Alcantara (a suede-like material) with satin silver trim elements. The base sticker read $114,200 which climbed to $139,925 after adding for: the Carmine Red paint, the Black leather interior including the Alcantara GTS Package in Carmine Red, electric slide and tilt glass sunroof, front and rear ParkAssist, GTS interior Package, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control with PASM Sport Suspension, instrument dials in Carmine Red, Premium Package Plus with Adaptive Sport Seats Plus, Bose Audio Package, 18-way memory Package for the Adaptive Sport Seats Plus and Destination charge.
The 2015 911 Carrera GTS is loaded with safety and stability systems and technology, many of which may be disabled manually for a much more exciting driving experience for skilled drivers. Doing so of course increases one’s chances of making a mistake or losing control, so is not recommended unless one’s driving ability and expertise is well above average.
SUMMARY: What could possibly be better than owning and driving a 911 Carrera GTS Coupe with the 7-speed manual gearbox? No Brainer there – owning and driving the GTS Cabriolet equipped with the PDK 7-speed automatic. Okay, different strokes for different folks. I simply happen to prefer open cars, and the PDK technology when coupled with the Sport Chrono Package Plus with its Launch Assist feature is absolutely incredible. Add the Sport Exhaust system and you have pure ecstasy. It is worth every penny (dollar) of its cost, not only for the added power boost, but also for the awesome exhaust note that it emits.
Yes, Virginia, I know that there are other 911 models that are equally or more desirable to many of you out there. Hey, that’s what makes the world go ‘round. Let’s face it, any personal choice from the 911 stable is a good one.
The 911 Carrera GTS presents itself as a totally docile boulevard cruiser, or as a rocket ship on the highway or preferably on the track. Acceleration is blistering, and the ride quality seems to improve with speed. City cruising scenarios deliver a somewhat firmer ride, which some may consider to be harsh. Handling characteristics are impeccably positive with spot on precision and excellent vehicle to driver feedback. Around town don’t expect to go above 3rd gear, and even on the highway, 4th gear is sufficient for warp speed. Triple digits come up rapidly before realizing it.
Bottom-line, the 2015 Porsche 911 Carerra GTS is a beast in terms of power and performance, but in the best possible way. Speed Yellow or Carmine Red definitely would not be my first personal color choice due to their long distance visibility for the long arm of the law, but there are host of gorgeous hues from which to choose in the GTS palette. The car sits exceptionally low, which can present an entry and exit challenge for ectomorphic individuals, but once inside, the effort is without doubt worth it. There is a sunroof for fresh air fiends who don’t want a Cabriolet and there are small (very small) jump seats for 2+2 seating that will accommodate growth challenged rear seat occupants. The seat backs fold down more suitably for luggage or personal items. The GTS is a most worthy member of the Porsche 911 family.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
|Price as Tested:||$139,925.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.8-liter DOHC, 24-valve horizontally opposed flat six-cylinder with Gasoline Direct Injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||430 @ 7,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||325 @ 5,750 rpm|
|Drive Train:||Rear-mounted engine / Rear-wheel drive.|
Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control including PASM Sport Suspension.
Front -MacPherson strut aluminum double wishbone.
Rear – Aluminum multi-link.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four wheel cross-drilled, ventilated discs with 6-piston calipers front / 4-piston calipers rear, ABS, EBD, Traction Control, Stability Control and TPMS.|
|Tires:||Pirelli P-Zero 235/35 ZR20 91Y-front / 305/30 ZR20 103Y-rear mounted on 5 alternating “U”-spoke forged aluminum graphite painted wheels with outboard support spokes.|
|Length Overall:||177.5 inches|
|Width:||77.9 inches – with mirrors|
|Curb Weight:||3,373 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||16.9 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||18 mpg city / 26 mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||4.2 seconds – Top Speed=190 mph.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.