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911 Carrera GTS 3.8 – 408 ch [2011 à 2012]

Porsche Index: 997 Carrera GTS

Porsche is hardly shy when it comes to celebrating the 911, and it certainly knows how to tempt buyers with something extra special, but how to celebrate the demise of one of the most respected generations of all? The answer was the GTS, and even the quickest perusal of the spec sheet reveals an enticing confection.

Tempting enough, in fact, for a manual Coupe with low mileage to set you back in the region of £70,000 today according to Greig Daly from RPM Technik and RSJ’s Darren Street. To put that in perspective the Coupe cost £77,000 at its 2010 launch and, really, prices only ever dipped as low as £50,000 back in 2013.

Based on the wider-hipped shell of the Carrera 4S, Porsche added a Sport Design front apron with a black-painted lower edge that extended to the sills and rear bumper. 19-inch RS Spyder centre-lock wheels were standard, while low-key GTS logos completed a look that was both subtle and effective. The same could be said of the cabin, the ambience managing to be both tasteful and clearly a notch up on the standard Carrera – an effect that was entirely fitting for a special 997. Black instrument faces and stainless-steel sill trims looked terrific, the rear seats had gone, saving 5kg, and just about every surface had seen the liberal application of Alcantara.

There was plenty of standard equipment, too, including climate control, Sound Package Plus and the PCM system, although naturally there was scope to enrich this further if your pockets were deep enough. It looked and felt superb, but what of the mechanical specification? Well, it was suitably impressive, thanks to the adoption of the Powerkit that boosted the output of the 3.8-litre flat six to 408hp. That arrived at a deeply sonorous 7,300rpm and was backed by 420Nm of torque, the same as the Carrera S but spread across a wider rev range.

Transmission options were the familiar six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK (an extra £2,500), the latter gaining a launch-control function if Sport Chrono Package Plus had been specified. A manual Coupe despatched the 0-60mph sprint in 4.6 seconds – it was swifter still with PDK – and the electronics called time at 190mph. Porsche didn’t stop there, specifying the GTS with Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), with a firmer, lower, limited-slip differential-equipped PASM Sports set-up optional. Beefier brakes featured larger, thicker discs, while anyone planning track use could delve deeper into the options list and their bank account for (largely unnecessary) PCCB carbon ceramic items. Oh yes, and you could have all of the above as a Cabriolet if you preferred.

The only major change arrived in July 2011 when the four-wheel drive C4 version was added to the mix, the electronically controlled system featuring Porsche Traction Management that apportioned torque via a multi-plate clutch, and included a limited-slip differential at the rear. Aside from an additional 60kg and a red reflector between the rear lights that told onlookers you’d chosen your GTS with all-weather abilities it was the same as the C2, just a little pricier, with Coupe and Cabriolet costing £83,145 and £90,024 respectively.

For our comprehensive buyer’s guide on the 997 Carrera GTS, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 164 available here. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the world’s only magazine dedicated to the Porsche 911, with every issue delivered direct to your door.

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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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Total 911’s top seven water-cooled Porsche 911s of all time

Some Porsche 911 enthusiasts decried the move away from air-cooling in 1998 however, from the 996 generation to the latest 991-type 911s, Zuffenhausen has proved that water-cooling can still produce awesome sports car, as these superb seven prove:

7) Porsche 996 Turbo with X50
Porsche 996 Turbo

As the first water-cooled production 911 Turbo, the 996 Turbo helped to modernise the forced-induction Porsche platform. With the optional X50 Powerkit (the same as the Turbo S), the Turbo becomes an exciting all-rounder, especially in manual form, and currently available at sensible money.

6) Porsche 991 50 Jahre Anniversary
Porsche 991 Anniversary

Normally the Carrera models are outshone by their more illustrious Turbo and GT3 cousins however, the 50 Jahre Anniversary Edition is one of the most special water-cooled 911s we’ve ever driven. Porsche really made an effort with this particular anniversary model, adding the widebody and numerous retro touches.

5) Porsche 996 GT3 Mk2
Porsche 996 GT3 Mk2

This list could easily have been populated with 911 GT3s and their Rennsport derivatives but, if we had to chose just one of these ‘racers for the road’, the second generation 996 GT3 stands out. With improved handling compared to the Mk1 (and arguably better looks) the 996 GT3 Mk2 is also the most affordable GT3 currently available.

4) Porsche 997 GT2 RS
Porsche 997 GT2 RS

Will Porsche ever build a car like the 997 GT2 RS again? It looks doubtful with rumours that the 991 will be bereft of even a standard GT2 variant. The GT2 RS is the fastest production 911 ever built, with a formidable reputation thanks to its 620bhp transferred purely to the rear wheels through a manual gearbox.

3) Porsche 997 Carrera GTS
Porsche 997 Carrera GTS

The Porsche 997 Carrera GTS is quickly rising to the status of modern classic and, like the 991 Anniversary Edition, it is easy to see why. With its mix of centre-lock RS Spyder wheels, Carrera 4 body shell, as well as Powerkit as standard, the GTS is one of the best 911 all-rounders ever.

2) Porsche 991 Turbo S
Porsche 991 Turbo S

The latest 911 Turbo S is one of Porsche’s finest technological feats. It is supremely comfortable yet still maintains a devastating turn of pace. The mandatory PDK gearbox enables timewarping acceleration, while the 991 Turbo S’s chassis provides prodigious grip, making even average drivers feel excellent.

1) Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0
Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0

As this list wore on, you probably assumed this would be the car at number one. Produced in limited numbers, the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 stretched the legendary ‘Mezger’ flat six to its limits and, with a number of motorsport-inspired touches, the last Porsche 911 GT3 RS was easily the best. It’s legendary status is already guaranteed.

Do you agree with our choices? What would be your ideal water-cooled Porsche 911? Join the debate in the comments below, or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

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