At the risk of sounding blasphemous, it’s all too easy to be a bit “What’s the big deal?” when first jumping in a Porsche 911. Just ask my wife.
In the case of this 2015 Carrera 4 GTS that carries a $137,900 list, she just doesn’t get it. And I can understand her bewilderment. The car is cramped, noisy, crashes over road irregularities, the seats are hard, and when driven in default “normal” mode, the seven-speed PDK transmission keeps the 430 hp 3.8L flat-six so far below its elevated power band that this most legendary of sports cars feels, dare I say it, a little off pace.
Dig a little deeper and the GTS offers an automotive bounty that few cars on the planet can match. Actually none can, because this arse-engined icon in any of its iterations is so unique in the way it sounds, looks and drives, one could argue it counts for its own vehicular universe.
The 911 Big Bang happened over 50 years ago, and the expansion of the resulting cosmos has accelerated dramatically in recent years. So much so that the Porsche-dream nightscape is peppered with more 911 variants than you can shake a stick-shift at. Or, a paddle-shifter, as the current sales trend dictates.
Take this Carrera 4 GTS for example. Porsche says the harder edged GTS bridges the gap between S models of the 911 and the balls-out track-ready $148,800 GT3, although in reality it’s positioned closer to the S. The GTS could be considered a value proposition when looking at what you get for the extra dough – in this case $17,400 over the price of the 911 Carrera 4S on which it is based.
Chief among the offerings is a 30 hp bump to 430 from the 3.8L naturally aspirated flat-six. We also get forged centre-lock black 20-inch wheels, dynamic engine mounts, the Sports Chrono Package, PASM adaptive damping with a lowered ride height, an interior swathed in Alcantara, a sinister front fascia with black intakes and custom rear apron with black tailpipes that broadcast the goods through an uber-nasty sport exhaust system. Other trim details include black lettering and smoked headlights. If your GTS is rear drive, it sports the wide body of the AWD cars. GTS-badged 911s also come in Cabriolet guise.
We realize “value proposition” might sound a bit ridiculous when speaking of 140-grand playthings, but were you to attempt to option out a 911 C4S to these specs, you’d come out spending more and getting less. Most significant being the 30 extra horses and this engine’s edge in the top end zing department.