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Porsche 991 Carrera GTS super test: Coupe, Cabriolet, Targa

GTS: three letters that, when siphoned together, evoke a strong yet wonderfully nostalgic sporting spirit in the Porsche world. As you’ll know, the legend started more than 50 years ago with the 904 Carrera GTS, a Targa Florio-winning car that gave rise to the infallible 917, and was reignited for the 911 production line in 2010 with the 997 Carrera GTS.

A run-out special with high quality options appointed as standard to the specification, a 997 GTS is an exquisite Carrera with genuine sporting intentions.

It’s a Total 911 favourite and, if that’s not reason enough for you to find similar endearment with it, just take a look at the classifieds to see its current value. Certainly, no other 997 outside of the GT2/3/RS line-up has enjoyed such refusal to significantly depreciate.

Porsche 991 Carrera GTS

Then came the 991 GTS, this time introduced for the first generation. Rolled out across Coupe and Cabriolet body styles in two and four wheel drive along with, for the first time, a Targa variant, worldwide Porsche marketing wasted little time in billing this new GTS line-up as ‘driving purity’.

And, in context with the rest of the first-generation 991 range, there’s a genuine case in favour of that PR slant emanating from Zuffenhausen: all are naturally aspirated and have a passive rear axle, with a manual gearbox offered as standard – a setup you’ll never see roll out of Werk II ever again.

However, such a blanket approach to the entire line-up would be naive. The rear-driven manual Coupe quickly found favour on our first drive back in issue 121 (culminating in a 4.5-star rating in our data file).

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Llanberis Pass

Yet Total 911’s writer extraordinaire, Kyle Fortune described the Cabriolet in all-wheel drive form with PDK as “evidence in spirit and reality that the GTS badge should be limited to a handful of models rather than the entire 911 line-up.”

There were similar musings too when the Targa was later unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show. Suddenly, Porsche had evolved the GTS moniker into an entire sub-brand within the 911 range, but has it proved the right thing to do?

It’s a question that Total 911 needed to investigate, and only a trip to our favourite blacktop in rural North Wales with every current GTS variant would suffice. That’s why I find myself sitting at the wheel of a Sapphire blue 991 GTS Cabriolet as I zip along the A55 past Anglesey.

To read our full Porsche 991 Carrera GTS super test, pick up Total 911 issue 133 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device now.

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS in car

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Total 911’s super seven Porsche motorsport posters

Porsche is a company synonymous with not just motorsport but motorsport success too. Over the years, Porsche racing cars have won at all the major international sports car events, from Daytona to Le Mans.

To mark each milestone victory, Zuffenhausen used to create celebratory posters (a tradition it recently revived after win number 17 at Le Mans) with their designs almost as legendary as their successes.

With thousands of international triumphs, there have been plenty of posters over the years. We’ve whittled it down to a top seven. Which is your favourite?

Three-time European Hillclimb Champion
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Believe it or not, in the Fifties and Sixties, hillclimbing was hugely popular, especially in mainland Europe (where there are plenty of ‘Bergrennens’ to compete in).

Between 1958 and 1960, Porsche stormed the field with, Wolfgang von Trips, Edgar Bärth and Heini Walter taking three consecutives championships. This dramatic poster features a superbly stylised mountain motif that really catches your attention.

1968 24 Hours of Daytona
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Porsche may be famous for its 17 victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but its first twice-around-the-clock triumph actually came stateside in the 1968 24 Hours of Daytona where three factory 907 longtails finished 1-2-3.

The bold text and star-and-stripes inspired design looks truly awesome draped over the famous photo of the Porsche trio crossing Daytona’s finish line for the final time.

1969 Tour de Corse
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Winning in motor racing is big business. However, that didn’t stop Porsche from taking a light-hearted look at its 1969 Tour de Corse victory (the island of Corsica was the home of French hero, Napoleon Bonaparte).

At the height of its rallying pomp, a Porsche 911R won in the hands of French all-rounder, Gérard Larrousse (who would go on to win at Sebring and the Nürburgring in Porsche prototypes).

1970 World Rally Champions
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World championship success? Check. Big bold text? Check. Porsche 911 going sideways? Check. There’s really not much to dislike about this poster from 1970.

Before the introduction of the RSRs, most of the Porsche 911’s success came on the special stages, helping Zuffenhausen to secure the world manufacturers’ championship at the start of the Seventies.

1975 24 Hours of Daytona
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By the mid-Seventies, dedicated prototypes ruled the roost in most major endurance races. However, at Daytona in 1975, Porsche’s 911 Carrera 3.0 RSRs scored victory in spectacular fashion.

A “triumph of reliability” saw, six Porsche 911s lockout positions one through to six, with five of them taking the chequered flag in a neatly arranged line. Sometimes, you’ve just got to be in the right place at the right time to get the photo…

1981 12 Hours of Sebring
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This victory poster from Brumos’ 1981 12 Hours of Sebring triumph is a true case of keeping it simple. The red, white and blue text references both the American flag and Brumos’ iconic livery, with the collegiate typography a clear reminder of the era.

The list of top Porsches adds some extra dynamism to the design while any poster that features a Porsche 935 is a winner in our eyes.

1982 24 Hours of Le Mans
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This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one poster celebrating a Le Mans victory and, while the 1970 triumph was iconic, the design for the all-conquering 1982 win – the first for the new Porsche 956 – won out in the style stakes.

The bold striped lines neatly reference both the French tricolore and the legendary Rothmans colour scheme worn by the three 956s. It’s a crisp design that has stood the test of time, and it always helps when a car carrying the no. 1 finishes first…

Which is your favourite poster? Join the debate in the comments below, or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

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Total 911 issue 133 now on sale

With nearly 200,000 built between 2004 and 2013, the 997-type neunelfer is the most popular Porsche 911 generation of all time. In the latest issue of Total 911, we’ve put together our super six selection of the best Porsche 997s ever, with a little help from you.

Using votes cast by hundreds of Total 911 readers, we’ve compiled our conclusive countdown of the greatest 997s, featuring a Porsche 911 to satisfy all tastes, whether you prefer Carreras, Turbos or Rennsports.

So, to find out if your Porsche 997 made the grade and reached the coveted number one spot, issue 133 is a must have.

Porsche 991 Carrera GTSs

Also inside, we’ve taken all three versions of the last naturally aspirated 911 Carrera – the 991 Carrera GTS – to Wales for a thrilling road trip to decide the outcome of our latest supertest.

There’s also our ultimate guide to the revered Porsche 993 Carrera RS (possibly the greatest 911 of all time) plus a history of Porsche Turbos and a head-to-head between Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 versions of the Porsche 964.

For all this and much, much more, pick up Total 911 issue 133 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device for an immediate Porsche fix.

Porsche 993 Carrera RS

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The six most expensive new Porsche 911 options

We’ve all had plenty of time to digest the details and decide whether or not we want a new Porsche 991.2 Carrera on the driveway. If the answer is ‘yes’, you’ll no doubt be deliberating over your ideal specification because, as we know, a new Porsche 911 rarely leaves the factory without a few choice options.

The added extras can soon wrack up though so, to help you, we’ve compiled the six most expensive options across the new Porsche 911 Carrera range. Some are definitely more useful than others when the cost-versus-benefit is totted up:

6) Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control – £2,186
PDCC

While PASM now comes as standard on all new Porsche 911s, the PDCC system remains an option. On the first-gen 991s, the active anti-roll bars improved the initial turn-in response though some felt this was to the detriment of the chassis’ overall feel.

5) Adaptive Sports Seats – £2,226
Adaptive Sports Seats

Do you really need 18-way electronically-controlled adjustability? If you do prepared to the up the base price of the £76,412 Porsche 991.2 Carrera by three per cent with this one option alone. Still, getting the perfect seating position is crucial for enjoyable driving.

4) PDK gearbox – £2,388
PDK

Porsche’s double-clutch semi-automated manual gearbox retains its seven forward speeds for the second-generation Porsche 991 range and it continues to be one of the costliest options. It does improve both the acceleration and the economy of your 911 Carrera though.

3) PDCC with PASM Sports suspension – £2,744
PDCC with PASM

As with number six, this option gives you the active anti-roll control but also throws in the PASM Sports suspension, lowering your 911 Carrera by a further 20mm, giving you a different front spoiler lip and higher rear spoiler activation, all for an extra £558. It’s only available on Carrera S/4S models.

2) Burmester Surround Sound system – £2,987
Burmester

Despite the two turbochargers, the new Porsche 911 Carrera sounds good. Want proof? Watch our onboard video from Rennsport Reunion. But, if you’d rather listen to your own playlist than a flat six symphony, Porsche’s most expensive audio option weighs in at a shade under £3,000.

1) Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes – £5,787
PCCB

Since its introduction in 2001, Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes have topped the list of most expensive options and, for the latest Porsche 911 generation there is no change. PCCB stoppers are excellent but, for normal road use, you’re probably better off pocketing the extra £5,787 and saving carbon ceramic brakes for the track.

Would you choose any of these options for your Porsche 911? Join the debate in the comments below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

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Porsche 996 Turbo S: the forgotten Turbo

Few could have feasibly predicted it beforehand, but 2015 has undoubtedly been the year of the 996. Historic stories of the generation being unloved are plentiful, though after values of the 996 GT3 RS and both GT3 generations rocketed north in 2014, enthusiasts this year turned to the Turbo as the last bastion of affordable Mezger-engined thrills.

As such, these too have seen values increase: what was a £25,000 supercar is now pushing £40,000 for a clean example, which places the humble 996 Turbo directly onto the heels of its younger 997 Turbo brethren.

While the 996 Turbo has appreciated, values of the Gen1 997 Turbo have remained strong. Boasting an extra 60bhp and more modern aesthetics, the 997 makes for an attractive option to those courting the famed Turbo experience, even though its forecast as an immediate investment isn’t quite as rosy – for now.

996 Turbo S side

The Turbo market has been squeezed as a consequence, though the upshot is there are currently plenty of options available to a buyer with around £40,000 to spend.

But while flames of the 996 v 997 Turbo debate continue to be fanned by respective owners, there is an oft-ignored yet particularly special car available for similar money: the 996 Turbo S.

Boasting a production run of just 1,500 units, the 996 Turbo S came at the very end of the 996 production cycle in 2005, and was given the fullhouse treatment of options.

996 Turbo S engine

The 996 Turbo S is powered by a 3.6-litre twin turbocharged engine with double overhead camshafts operating four valves per cylinder and dry sump lubrication, just like its 996 Turbo counterpart.

The engine is fitted with VarioCam Plus, a further development of the familiar VarioCam system, which changes both the intake camshaft timing (by as much as 25°) as well as the intake valve lift.

Fitted with bigger turbos as part of the X50 Powerkit – standard on the Turbo S – power was boosted to 450bhp and the car’s top speed broke through that magic 300km/h barrier, boasting a maximum of 190mph (307km/h) and placing it firmly in supercar territory.

To read our Porsche 996 Turbo S test drive in full, pick up Total 911 issue 132 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it to your digital device now.

996 Turbo S driving

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