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Paris show: GTS to top Porsche’s 911 Carrera range

Wide behind: Porsche's new Carrera GTS gets a 44mm-wider rear-end from all-wheel drive 911 models like the Carrera 4 and Turbo.

More powerful, wider-bodied new rear-drive Carrera GTS completes current 911 line

15 Sep 2010

PORSCHE has plonked the GTS nameplate on a new 300kW wide-bodied rear-drive 911 variant that will not only complete the current 997-series model line in Australia from January 2011, but promises to be the most focussed production Carrera ever.

Due to make its global debut at the Paris motor show on September 30, the 911 Carrera GTS – like the (superseded) Cayenne GTS - comes with an even more sporting bent courtesy of meaningful engine and chassis upgrades, in this case compared to the Carrera S on which it is based.

The GTS will be available in both coupe and cabriolet body styles and with standard manual and optional seven-speed PDK twin-clutch automatic transmissions, priced from $270,100 as a coupe and $288,700 for the cabriolet.

That’s up a respective $19,800 on the Carrera S Coupe (from $250,300) and $16,300 over the Carrera S Cabriolet (from $272,400), but just short the of the more powerful, track-oriented 911 GT3 manual-only coupe ($273,500).

The last current-generation 911 derivative to appear before an all-new model makes its global debut later next year, the rear-wheel drive Carrera GTS employs the same 44mm-wider rear-end of the broad-bodied all-wheel drive models, including the Carrera 4 (from $268,300 in S guise) and top-shelf Turbo (from $360,100).

The GTS also runs a more powerful (300kW or 402hp) version of the 283kW 3.8-litre direct-injection flat six from the latest Carrera S, making it almost as powerful as the GT3 (320kW), and while peak is unchanged at 420Nm (430Nm for the GT3) it is now available at 4200rpm – 200rpm earlier compared to the Carrera S.

25 center imagePorsche claims that makes the GTS Coupe a tenth of a second quicker to 100km/h than Carrera S (4.2 versus 4.3 seconds), when fitted with the optional PDK auto and Sport Chrono Package Plus with launch control. As if it matters in Australia, claimed top speed also increases – this time by 4km/h – to 306km/h.

Despite its extra pace, Porsche says the new flagship of the mainstream 911 Carrera range comes with no increase in running costs or greenhouse gases, since the PDK-equipped Carrera GTS is accompanied by the same lean 10.2L/100km (NEDC) average fuel consumption and 240g/km CO2 emissions figures as the Carrera S.

The latest 911’s 17kW power gain is said to come from a special resonance intake manifold in which six vacuum-controlled tuning flaps – rather than one in the Carrera S engine - switch geometry to optimise either power or torque, while a new sports exhaust system features two dual outboard outlets, which are painted black on the outside, says Porsche, produce “a unique sound”.

Apart from the wider rear bodywork and rear wheel track, which the Stuttgart sportscar brand assures “further enhances the chassis dynamics”, the GTS also gains 19-inch RS Spyder high-gloss black alloy wheels with 235/35 ZR19 tyres at the front and 305/35 ZR19 at the rear.

Other unique GTS styling elements include a SportDesign front bumper with a black spoiler edge and black side skirts, while the rear bumper section between the exhaust outlets is painted black and Carrera GTS logos grace the doors and engine cover – in either black or silver, depending on the body colour.

Inside, the black-themed GTS cabin features Alcantara on the centre sections of the front sports seats, and a SportDesign steering wheel, gearlever and handbrake.

The GTS aims to enhance the Carrera’s performance and exclusivity without sacrificing everyday driveability, unlike the more extreme 911 Turbo AWD flagship or the hard-core rear-drive GT3 road-racer – not to mention even wilder Porsche supercars like the GT3 RS ($337,700) and turbocharged GT2 RS ($560,000), which will arrive here in October as the most expensive and most powerful 911 ever.

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