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What is it: The latest-generation 911 sports car; GTS versions get better performance without losing daily drivability or jumping to stratospheric prices.

Key Competitors: Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Mercedes-AMG GT, Jaguar F-Type R

Base Price: $120,050 As-Tested Price: $129,560

Highlights: Porsche’s 911 GTS expands on the 911 S with 450 hp (up 30) and both the Sport Chrono Package and Porsche Stability Management (PSM) standard.

Our Opinion: Porsche’s 911 wears a $91,100 base sticker, with its flat-six cranking out 370 hp. A 911 Turbo has 540 hp and the starting price jumps to $162,850. Into that wide gap dashes the 911 GTS. With a horsepower boost over the standard Carrera, oodles of standard equipment and the Carrera 4’s wider, cooler-looking body, to some around Autoweek HQ a GTS is the ideal 911 whether you get rear- or all-wheel drive; manual gearbox or PDK; coupe, Targa or convertible.

No, it’s not as fast as the Turbo, but the GTS is faster than a base Carrera (60 mph arrives in 3.9 seconds compared to the S’ 4.1 seconds) and has quicker reflexes and a glorious wailing exhaust note. We’ve driven a GTS on a track in South Africa, where it was ideal, and again out near Lake Tahoe, ditto. Lately we’ve been tooling around Detroit in a PDK-equipped one, and again it’s been a joy. Even with the goosed performance (and believe me, this engine is a smooth, powerful, delight), the GTS is a comfortable, easy-to-drive around-town cruiser. Detroit’s roads can be choppy and can get crowded. The GTS worked just fine, always quiet and composed and oh so easy to enjoy as a daily driver when track time is hard to come by. That’s arguably as important as any performance increases, in fact.

Speaking of … get out of Detroit and away from the traffic and the GTS is forgiving and full of character. It also loves to hustle. The standard Sport Chrono package mentioned earlier? The four modes — normal, sport, sport-plus and individual — adjust the dual clutch’s quickness, throttle response, exhaust note and the like. The two sport modes bring the most joy. Want to hang the tail out some? Sport or sport-plus is all you, making the car faster and louder, and even letting it get a bit further out of line before electronic gizmos reel it in. Thing is, it still won’t let you get into too much trouble. In fact, it makes you look a hero. Driven quote-unquote normally, the car once again proved perfectly comfortable after a couple hours hustling on the freeway and country two lanes.

Driving any 911 is an event and a privilege. The GTS’ bottom line is there’s just no intimidation here. Good behavior and thrills. A terrific combination.

Wes Raynal

Wes Raynal – Wes Raynal joined Crain Communications’ circulation department while still in college. When he graduated in 1986, he became a reporter for Autoweek sister publication Automotive News. He has worked as Autoweek’s associate editor, news editor, motorsports editor and executive editor before being named editor in 2009.
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On Sale: Now

Base Price: $120,050

As Tested Price: $129,560

Drivetrain: 3.0-liter turbocharged H6, RWD, seven-speed PDK dual-clutch

Output: 450 hp @ 6,500 rpm; 405 lb-ft @ 2,150 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,241 lb

Fuel Economy: 20/26/23 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Options: Porsche PDK ($3,720); Front axle lift system ($2,590); Rear axle steering ($2,090); Heated front seats ($690); Automatically dimming mirrors ($420)

Pros: Perfectly bisects the 911 Carerra and 911 Turbo

Cons: So many great competitors at this price range