A children’s fairy tale character known to be picky, Goldilocks would approve of the 2022 Porsche 911 GTS. With an appellation that stands for Gran Turismo Sport, this all-new “just right” model slots securely in the middle of the iconic 911 sports car lineup, cleverly representing the near-perfect middle ground in terms of power and performance between the base Carrera and the track-ready GT3.
While all Porsche models target those with a passion for driving, the 911 GTS—configured with an impressive list of standard performance enhancements and upgrades—is aimed squarely at the enthusiast who wishes to enjoy their sports car during the daily commute, and then mimic a racer on the weekends.
Porsche is offering the GTS package with a range of 911 body types. These include the 911 Coupe, drop-top 911 Cabriolet, and open-air 911 Targa models. Rear-wheel drive is standard in the Coupe and Cabriolet, with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) permanent all-wheel drive as an option. All Targa models, however, come with PTM as standard fitment.
Porsche has done an exemplary job with the engine. All GTS versions share the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six that’s found in the Carrera S, but the turbochargers are fed 14.5 percent more boost to deliver 473 hp and 420 ft lbs of torque. (The engineers increased boost, rather than increase the size of the turbocharger units, as they didn’t want to slow the engine’s responsiveness.) An eight-speed dual-clutch “PDK” automatic is standard, yet Porsche is one of the few automakers still offering a traditional option for purists—a seven-speed manual gearbox that can be selected at no extra cost.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is also standard on the GTS. The adjustable dampers are complemented by a .39-inch reduction in ride height and suspension componentry adapted from the 911 Turbo models (excluding the Targa variants). Speaking of 911 Turbo models, the GTS is also bestowed with the Turbo’s more robust braking package, forged-aluminum center locking wheels (20- and 21-inch in diameter) and an electronically locking rear differential—again, all standard.
Porsche’s 992 chassis is wonderful, and the GTS upgrades and enhancements make a good thing even better. I spent a sunny fall day in Georgia with a manually equipped 911 GTS Coupe fitted with all of the go-fast options, including the Lightweight Package, carbon bucket seats and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB). The 200-mile drive was nothing short of blissful. Testing the stunning Carmine Red two-door north of Atlanta, I didn’t encounter a twisty road in the Chattahoochee National Forest that could challenge the Porsche’s competency.
Thanks to the power increase, the 911 GTS feels significantly stronger than the standard Carrera and Carrera S models. Porsche’s conservative numbers claim the GTS variants will devour the benchmark zero-to-60 mph sprint in about 3 seconds, and it feels every bit that fast. Credit copious amounts of turbocharged torque that comes on strong without hesitation. On public roads, my money says the GTS will rocket out of a corner faster than the revered, naturally aspirated 911 GT3. And the standard sport exhaust system on the GTS sounds outstanding.
Suspension damping is firm, but it never annoys occupants with harshness or jolting impacts. (PASM allows the driver to toggle firmness independent of driving mode.) The upside of the 911’s sporty suspension and lower ride height is that steering inputs are precise and body roll is minimal. Toss the GTS into a corner and its wide rear tires hunker down and stick, with no understeer or protest from the front end. The level of capability makes the posted speed limits seem ridiculously low. I do this exercise for hours, only stopping to find my water bottle. It has rolled completely out of sight and firmly wedged itself under the seat rails.
Visually, Porsche differentiates the exterior of the GTS models by fitting the SportDesign Package as standard equipment. Gone is much of the brightwork, replaced with black surrounds and accents on the window moldings, badging, grille slats and exhaust pipes. There is obligatory “GTS” badging on the lower portions of the doors and on the tail, too. And on the Targa versions, the roll hoop is finished in black to complete the transformation.
The interior of the GTS lineup is configured with unique upholsteries and special option choices to set it apart. Black Race-Tex, a high-quality microfiber material, is used on the seat centers, steering wheel and door handles. Interior trim is blackened to match the exterior theme, and the Sport Chrono Package is standard. Two unique GTS Interior Packages are offered: Carmine Red and Chalk. Each adds colored contrast stitching throughout the cabin, including the headrest embroidery. The GTS Interior Packages also add even more Race-Tex fabric to the cabin, and carbon-fiber inlays replace most of the aluminum trim.
The GTS may be configured with a range of seats. Standard sport buckets offer four-way adjustments, but they may be upgraded to 14-way and 18-way adjustable seats at an additional cost. A race-ready, carbon-fiber full bucket seat, which is significantly lighter, is also optional on the GTS. While this form-fitting seat saves weight, the fixed seatbacks don’t adjust for rake—it’s no surprise that most people find them a bit too uncompromising on the more refined GTS.
New to the GTS is an optional Lightweight Package that saves upwards of 55 pounds (weight is an enemy of performance). The package deletes the tiny rear seats, fits the side and rear windows with thinner glass, adds a lightweight battery and reduces the amount of sound insulation. Rear-axle steering is de rigueur. Porsche engineers also resculpted the rear underbody panels for better aerodynamics, and the powered rear spoiler tilts an additional four degrees further upward. These subtle improvements make this vehicle the first GTS to ever produce downforce.
The Lightweight Package is a mixed blessing. While it does boost performance in a desirable manner, I’d argue that few will notice the weight reduction without putting the GTS on a scale (or timing a lap with a stopwatch). Conversely, everyone will note the dramatic increase in cabin noise. The turbocharged flat-six is markedly louder with the Lightweight Package, which understandably boosts the audible thrill, but also intensifies tire and wind noise. As the added clamor may become tiresome, all but those fully committed to the amplified sports car experience—all the time—may be wise to skip it.
Later in the afternoon, I’m stuck in heavy traffic. Instead of crawling at a snail’s pace staring at brake lights, I exit the highway and navigate downtown Atlanta while dodging potholes, broken pavement and defiant cyclists. The GTS adapts to the slower stride, its turbocharged engine tractable even when I lug it in the wrong gear every so often. I’m still enjoying myself, although a look at surrounding motorists reveals that I may be the only one—then again, they aren’t piloting a red Porsche.
It’s extremely easy to like the 2022 Porsche 911 GTS. Although the marque offers a dizzying array of 911 models, a lineup which seems to continuously expand, the GTS is, arguably, the most versatile of them all. Optimized to provide the ideal balance of luxury and athleticism, it’s neither too soft nor too hard. For the impassioned driving enthusiast, the new 911 GTS is simply “just right,” which is why it’s what Goldilocks would have in her garage.