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The 2018 Porsche 911 GTS Range-Exceptional Power, Speed, and Handling
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The 2018 Porsche 911 GTS Range-Exceptional Power, Speed, and Handling

One amazing characteristic of the Porsche 911 brand is that there's one to suit everyone’s tastes. If you simply want to pose around town, the 911 Carrera Cabriolet, a relatively affordable car with a black interior and a manual gearbox, is just what you need. If you are always running late, then a 911 Turbo S will suit you to a tee. Those drivers who want to quickly meander in circles but still wish to drive home could do very well with a GT3 RS.

But if you are a driver who wants to go fast, look good, and enjoy a drive on a track while at the same time avoiding making too many compromises, the 911 GTS is just what the doctor ordered. This impressive car comes in five models-the all-wheel-drive(AWD) coupe, the rear wheel drive coupe, the rear wheel drive convertible, AWD convertible, and the AWD Targa. You can have each one of these with a PDK dual clutch or one whose gearbox is manual, and each one of them can easily clock over 186 miles per hour.

However, if your only priority is speed, the right wheel drive coupe (using a manual gearbox) can hit 194 mph. The quickest-accelerating car among the five models is the all-wheel drive coupe (using a PDK) which goes from zero to 62 miles per hour in only 3.6 seconds. This is quite impressive for a car that sits in the middle-zone of the 911 GTS line-up.

Each one of the five GT models is equipped with the same 3000 cc turbocharged engine just like the 2017 911, albeit with a number of alterations. The car's engine comes with a rating of 444 hp and a torque of 405 pounds per foot, and this means it has immense power. For comparison, the preceding generation of 911 GTS, with a 3800cc naturally aspirated engine, had a power rating of 424 hp and a torque of 325 pounds per foot. It took 4.4 seconds to go from zero to 62 mph. In addition, it had the one thing that is lacking in the current turbocharged version-noise.

Make no mistake—the sound made by the new GTS is great, especially since they have installed an elegant-looking exhaust. But whereas the old engine had less torque and power, it sounded better. The classic 911 roar is still there, just waiting to be unleashed by high revs. In the old engine, you had to push it to the maximum in order to enjoy it, unlike the new one.

You will feel the car’s torque throughout, irrespective of the gear that you are driving in. All you need to do is to apply your foot to the pedal and zoom away. The exceptional Porsche PDK gearbox will give you an instant response, but the feel will depend on the driving mode that you are in. When in Normal mode it is understated, while Sports mode means it becomes more forceful. While in Sports Plus mode, it changes at a blistering speed with a delightful jerk, and it holds on to gears for the longest time possible.

Throttle responsiveness and the suspension improve according to your driving mode also, transforming it from a formidable cruiser to a mind reader within minutes. Sports mode is the most optimal mode-the springs are not too firm, the box hangs on for just the right amount of time and the car has a rather lively feel to it. Sports Plus is most suited for extra-smooth track driving. And talking of track driving…

I tested two models on a track. The first model I drove was the RWD 911 Carrera fitted with a PDK. It is an exceptional car-responsive, wonderfully balanced and light. Driving it was a great experience and I enjoyed its fluid and smooth steering. Approach a corner at a fast speed, and its rear section will make you aware that you are breaking the laws of physics before allowing you some time to make adjustments, steady the car, and surge away.

The car’s ceramic brakes felt smooth and simple to operate as well. They easily handled several laps even in my inexperienced hands. The RWD model is undoubtedly the star of the range. Although I would have wished to try one whose gearbox is manual, the PDK is very suitable for the present-day 911 generation.

The Targa 4 was the other GTS model that I sampled, the model whose roof seems like it was bitten off by robots. The car has a more striking appearance than the coupe, but it is not really as good-looking. The other major difference is that it is all-wheel drive. Approach a corner in the same way as with a coupe at identical speed and the Targa 4 GTS will understeer a bit before it settles. But you can power it much more after coming out of a corner than its RWD sibling.

It is maybe a faster car, but I would be dishonest if I said it was more fun. While it is still a great car around the circuit, I felt that the RWD was livelier, more 911.

All the cars in the GTS range come with added power combined with center-locking hubs, lower springs, and Porsche’s unique Sport Chrono upgrade feature as standard.

Taking the Targa for a spin demonstrated what Porsche has done. It can hardly be said that the base cars are soft or slow, but it is clear that the car-maker has given it an extra edge. It is really a fabulous car in the normal world- with comfortable and easy steering, fantastic gearbox and an outstanding powertrain. The Targa I used in my test was not fitted with the ceramic brakes (which are optional). Even though the standard brakes can withstand rough treatment on the road, they felt a bit warm and smelly after driving on the track. Some laps to cool down were needed.

The interior and the technology applied here is typical Porsche 911. There are buttons to control almost everything, but the touchscreen infotainment car system does a splendid job. You can also use Apple's CarPlay, and therefore, this means that it is possible to ignore all the efforts of Porsche completely.

Porsche purists are critical of the carmaker's decision to go the turbo way, and they are partly right. The quintessential Porsche howl is not as conspicuous as before and you do not have to rev it aggressively to get maximum power. These two aspects were great bonus points in the old days. 

Having said that, the improved economy, additional torque throughout the power band, and more power are all massive benefits. The GTS transforms a standard 911 into an excellent balance between performance and looks. The previous car was the finest in its lineup, and so is the new one. Goldilocks would adore it.

Image credit: pinterest.com 

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