The 911 GTS has carved out a special place in the hearts of 911 enthusiasts. It equips a wider body to a more powerful Carrera, and adds almost every available chassis performance upgrade as standard, but at a price vastly cheaper than if you specified a Carrera S to the same levels. It's the performance bargain of 'lesser' 911s, though in this Carrera 4 GTS trim, the addition of all-wheel drive adds a further layer of control safety, and all-weather enjoyment.
With a soft-top convertible roof, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS loses some of the practicality usually associated with the Porsche 911. Sure, there's a rear seat in the 2+2 seater cabin, but it's hardly very usable and is best used as a parcel shelf. The trunk volume suffers as a result of the convertible roof and mechanism, with only 5 cubic feet available. There are an additional; 4 cubes in the front trunk.
Ingress and egress are easy, and once inside the seating position is low slung and ideal as a driver's car. The Sports Chrono package is standard, adding to the interior a drive selector switch, analog chronometer on the dash, and sport seats. Front visibility is excellent, and rear lines of sight aren't too bad either, despite the engine and folding roof mechanism creating a hump-backed shape. Materials are high in quality, though the abundance of buttons lags behind newer Porsche models.
The GTS' adaptive engine mounts, active suspension, low profile wheels, and locking differential transform the 911 Carrera into a monumental driving tool. Available rear wheel steering can be had to aid maneuverability and improve stability at speed, though the Carrera 4 GTS' all-wheel drive provides incredible levels of grip. However, the system is rear biased, which lends the GTS a natural balance that feels primarily rear-wheel driven. Turn-in is sharp and direct – the electronically power assisted steering providing responses and feedback not seen on other EPAS systems, and the chassis communicates almost telepathically with the driver. However, the changes that make the GTS such an incredible driver's tool also change its levels of comfort, making it harsher on broken tarmac and less pliant on imperfect roads. It's still by no means uncomfortable or jarring, but it's not as plush as lesser models, or even the more expensive 911 Turbo.
The Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet features a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat six engine – the very same one as you'll find in standard Carrera and Carrera S models. However, reworked tuning and turbochargers increase outputs to 450 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to a rear-biased all wheel drive system through either a 7-speed manual gearbox, or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. The manual is the driver's choice, but lacks the positivity of the 6-speed manual in the 911 R. The PDK is ultra-efficient and provides incredibly rapid shifts.
The Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet has not been crash tested by any local authorities, but the standard levels of safety equipment are impressive nonetheless. High performance brakes and bi-xenon headlights are standard, along with ABS brakes, airbags, electronic stability control, and available parking sensors and rear-view camera.
In terms of regular equipment, the Sports Chrono package and all that it entails are standard on the 911 GTS Cabriolet, but it also features a centrally mounted exhaust system, central-locknut Turbo S alloy wheels, Alcantara interior trim and upholstery, cruise control, and dual-zone climate control, along with split folding rear seats.
If you fancy a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabrio, but with extra grip and all-weather ability, then the Carrera 4 GTS Cabrio is your pick. In adding a driven front axle, it adds weight, but increases grip and performance – without losing its incredible handling.