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911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet 3.8 – 408 ch [2012]

Is the 997 GTS the perfect Porsche 911?

« When it became clear that Porsche was going to introduce the 7th generation of the famous Porsche 911 – intern called 991 – at the IAA in Frankfurt in September 2012, the excitement was great. Once again it should be the last of its kind. Once again. the cast-iron fans of the brand shouted and summoned the end of the rear engined classic. As we know today, everything turned out different and the 991 became a brilliant and worthy successor. Nevertheless it is still worth to take a look behind at the last model of the 997 series. The beautiful Carrera GTS! »

 
 
 

Once again the 997 was the last of its kind. Because in September 2012, a new generation of 911 stood on the IAA in Frankfurt. Even shaking the foundations of the 911 history. It was bigger and had more wheelbase. The angry screams of the hard-core regular clientele was thus foreseeable. They had seen the end of the classic Porsche dawn with beautiful regularity again.

That was the case when power steering was introduced, and certainly when the air cooling of the engine was abolished. The sinking of the rear engine empire will not come, but it can still be a good idea to buy a Porsche 997 GTS today!

The suspension comfort is surprisingly good for a sports car of this power class, the driving behavior in the test characterized by exemplary precision. The limit of the Porsche 911 GTS is so high up that it can not be reached by sensible drivers on the road – that was Porsche’s philosophy decades ago.

With its 3.8 liter flat-six in the back, which is still allowed to run without a turbocharger, it already brings it to a proud 408 hp. Thus it not just underpowered and also crackes the so prestigious benchmark of 300 km/h without any problems.

Nevertheless, he may be compared to his successor the 991 as downright petite. The interior is also largely obscured by technical finesses and gimmicks of the modern « touch and tab era ». Even virtual displays are in vain.

Here, parameters such as speed and rev counts can still be read from five genuine round instruments. Simple, analog and honest.

This could give the 997 the title of a future classic and if one observes the prices for a used neat 997 gts, one might find out that even in its years, you have to spend a proud little sum if you want to call one your own in the future.

© Photos: Alp Emre Göksel // www.alpemregoksel.com

 

Model: 997 GTS


• engine: 3.8 litre flat-six (n.a.)
• power: 408 hp
• Topspeed: 304 km/h
• 0-100 km/h: 4.3 sec.


 

Big thanks to the owner of the car, for sharing his pictures with us! – Follow him on Instagram: www.instagram.com/driven34

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GTS showdown: 997 v 991.1 v 991.2

It is ironic that in the week Porsche delivered to us a 991.2 Carrera GTS for testing, the UK government announced it is to ban the sale of all internal combustion-engined vehicles by 2040, following in the footsteps of our French governmental comrades which introduced an identical deadline for the final sales of gasoline-powered cars. Meanwhile, Porsche itself has been busy making significant inroads towards production of electric-only sports cars, recently announcing it is to pull out of the WEC LMP1 class in favour of a venture into the electric-only Formula E racing series. This is part of its motorsporting mission to develop sports cars of the future.

There’s no question the end is nigh for the internal combustion engine then, and therefore the motor vehicle as we know it. This of course makes for a fascinating backdrop to a group test here involving three 911 contemporary GTS models seeking to emulate a traditional driving experience.

Produced with driver purity in mind, Porsche introduced the GTS moniker to its 911 range in 2011 with the advent of the 997 Carrera GTS. Something of a parts-bin special to mark the end of 997 production, the first 911 GTS came with a lavish specification, including some one-off details exclusive to Porsche’s new model. The result was a sharper, more focused drive, available across Coupe and Cabriolet body styles in a choice of both rear and four-wheel-drive.

The new GTS proved a commercial sales success for Porsche, those 997-generation cars selling fast for £76,758 and never really dipping below £50,000. Today, a 997 GTS will set you back around the same figure as its original list price, a phenomenal achievement for a 911 Carrera just over five years old.

It is little wonder, then, that Porsche expanded the GTS moniker into an entire sub-brand, enamouring its Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, Macan and Panamera models with the specification. Naturally this also continued on the 911 with the 991.1, those GTS cars the last 911 Carreras to be fitted with a naturally-aspirated engine, and finally the latest 991.2 generation, released in January 2017. Each car is essentially the pinnacle of its respective Carrera lineup, but which is best of the three GTS 911 generations produced by Porsche to date?

To decide, we gathered a delectable model from each generation for a fast road test along the twisty asphalt of the Suffolk countryside. The specification of our cars are intentionally as close to that ‘purist’ GTS blueprint as possible, so they’re all rear-wheel-drive Coupés, although the Riviera blue example is PDK, while the other two are fitted with a manual transmission. In keeping with the chronological order in which they were released, we begin our test with a seat in the 997…

To see the full feature, get your hard copy of Total 911 issue 158 here or download to your digital device from Newsstand. 

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Porsche 997 Carrera GTS: ultimate guide

The 997 generation was immensely popular with buyers, and rightly so. By the turn of 2010, however, thoughts at Porsche had already turned towards its replacement, the 991.

Zuffenhausen had no intention of completely ignoring the then-current model though, so as a way of marking its imminent departure, they gave us the car you see here, the rather special GTS.

It arrived later in 2010 with a price tag just shy of £77,000 in Coupe form – which admittedly wasn’t cheap, even in the rarefied world of the 911, but there were some key additions that made this one last hurrah for the 997 very attractive indeed.

997 Carrera GTS interior

One of those additions was the Powerkit, which boosted power to 402bhp at 7,300rpm – just 200rpm short of the red line. Torque delivery also benefitted, and although the same 420Nm as the Carrera S (which peaked at 4,400rpm), it was now spread across a wider rev range from 4,200-5,600rpm.

A handy 320Nm arrived at just 1,500 revs too, so there was plenty of shove at light throttle openings. What hadn’t changed was the use of the direct-injected 3.8-litre flat six with four valves per cylinder operated by twin-overhead camshafts per bank, constructed using an alloy block and cylinder heads.

Lubrication was via a dry sump arrangement with an electronic on-demand oil pump for greater efficiency, Variocam Plus was standard, and there was a variable resonance intake system that used six vacuum-controlled flaps to provide those boosts to power and torque.

997 Carrera GTS wheel

When combined with a 12.5:1 compression ratio, further tweaks to the shape of the inlet ports and a standard sports exhaust resulted in an impressive 106bhp per litre.

It was efficient too, considering the performance on offer, the twin catalytic convertors ensuring that the GTS puffed out little more than 250g/km of CO2 – less if you chose the self-shifter.

To read more about the 997 Carrera GTS, the predecessor to the newly released Porsche 991 Carrera GTS pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 118 by ordering online or downloading it now.

997 Carrera GTS engine

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