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Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe | Subtlety Is Key

BY Azfar Hashim

If you’re big on the 911 and can’t decide which one to get for daily duties, the GTS might just be the one

Photos by Azfar Hashim

Many years ago, a genius decided to build a rear-engine, rear-wheel driven sports car. It wasn’t easy trying to convince people to park their money with one, but it seem every single man who drove it came back convinced that this is a brilliant car.

Fast-forward to present day and the number of 911s running around is surprisingly huge – it’s everywhere, at every traffic light junction. You may call it the Corolla of the sports car world, but what the heck; it obviously proved to be a hit. Be it the 997 or current 991, fans just want one.

The 911 GT3, to me personally, is definitely THE 911 to get; it blends road presence, is friendly enough as a daily driver and lastly, track usability. You need to actually drive one to fully understand why it’s full of praises.

Then again, it has a rather long waiting period on top of high asking price; spec it up with options – Sports Chrono Package included – and there’s a $850k price tag to look forward to, COE excluded.

Hence, (a) if you think $850k is a little too excessive and (b) you can use that money for something else BUT (c) you still want an exclusive 911, let me sway you in the direction of the 911 Carrera GTS.

The first thing that tells the GTS apart from the – ehem – regular 911 are the blackened badges at the car’s pert rear, including exhaust tips. Other more obvious signs are the ‘GTS’ badge flanking each sides, Turbo S wing mirrors and 20-inch Turbo S forged alloys with central locking instead of your usual lug nuts. Standard here too are the pair of smoked front headlights featuring Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS); this system includes dynamic cornering lights and a smart light control that adjusts both light pattern and intensity depending on the car’s speed.

Inside, you get beautifully matched black/red combination that undeniably adds a more racy feel; you see it on the all the seats, door panels, dashboard and even seat belt. As if that’s not enough, the steering wheel, gear-shifter, glovebox and roof lining are all wrapped in Alcantara. The attention to details here maketh the GTS a million bucks…

Powering the GTS is a six-cylinder flat 3.8-litre powerplant that’s paired to the 7-speed PDK; this combo sends 430 bhp and 440 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. Standstill to 100 km/h is done in a quick blink-and-you’ll-miss 4 seconds flat; for all you curious nutcases, 0 to 200 km/h is done in 13.5 seconds (you’re welcome).

And those numbers do not lie. Off the mark, it rockets forward in a blinding manner along with both the exhaust and engine screaming away happily – though the redline is marked at 7,800 rpm, I reckon it could still spin all the way to 30,000 rpm without a single hint of flat-spot. It’s powaah, powaaahh and powaaaaahhhhh all the way. Just a pity there's not enough space on this little island to exploit all that power.

Once you’ve had enough of squeezing every bit of juice from the engine, it will settle down into the most civilized sports car you could ever think of; switch off the ‘Sport’ mode, sport suspension and sport exhaust and it becomes a very relaxing car to drive. Fine it won’t be anywhere Lexus-like, but it’s something you would highly appreciate on the expressway still. Then again there were times I had to make sure the sport exhaust is switched off as it could come across as intrusive; to a point when I was having a phone conversation via the car’s Bluetooth system with my mum, I was told, "That sounds like some boomy exhaust, switch it off ”. To the point my requested 'fried rice with potato' turned out as 'friend rice with tomato' instead.

The GTS enjoys being thrown into fast corners and sweeping bends as well. On top of the communicative steering and the driver being able to feel exactly what the entire chassis is up to, you have to appreciate how well-controlled each and every body movements are, including sudden directional changes. The trick from Porsche here is by widening the rear track by 42 mm, lowering the car by 10 mm and slapping on Porsche Stability Management. Hence, try as hard as you may, the rear would twitch but never break away; for that, the engineers deserve a round of applause.

In its entirety, the 911 GTS had just proven itself to be the actual ultimate 911. You have bits of the Turbo S, more power and handling finesse than a base 911 but at the same time, remain useable for the daily grind. The fact that it’s a rear-wheel drive ensures you drive a piece of good ol’ Porsche tradition.

For all that, I want one.