With a name like Kurt Ernst, you can probably guess that I’ve got some German in my lineage. In fact, most of my relatives come from a small village outside of Stuttgart, and I spent time in Stuttgart proper as an exchange student. Being of German descent and having spent part of my formidable years near Porsche’s home should be enough to qualify me as a certified Porsche aficionado, but I’m not. None of their models have ever made me say, “yes, I must own this” and make the sacrifices necessary to put one in my garage. That is, until they introduced the 911 Carrera GTS in late 2010.
In case you haven’t read my opinion on the GTS, I’ll sum it up here: it’s superb, and it’s everything you expect a 911 to be. It’s supremely comfortable, yet surprisingly fast. The balance is almost indescribable, and even pushing the car on a wet racetrack yielded no surprises. If my income had just one more digit on the end, I’d have one in my garage right now; in fact, “buy a 911 Carrera GTS” is first on my to-do list if I ever hit the lottery, or if the economy ever recovers enough for me to return to corporate life (both seem equally likely these days). I’ll take that one step further: even if money were no object, there is no other car in Porsche’s current lineup that I’d rather own. I’d take a 911 GTS over a 911 Turbo S.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the market for a new 911 Carrera GTS, you now have another choice to make: Porsche is offering the car in an AWD version, for those who want the best handling, regardless of conditions. Like the rear wheel drive GTS, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS comes with the 402 horsepower, 3.8-liter flat six engine, which gets the AWD GTS from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds (or 4.8 seconds in the Cabriolet). A six speed manual transmission is standard, but Porsche offers their seven-speed PDK gearbox as an available option on all GTS models. Opting for the PDK nets you a quicker GTS, shaving 0.2 seconds from the manual’s 0 to 62 mph time.
The car launches in Germany this July, but pricing and availability for U.S. customers has yet to be published. As for me, I’d drive both versions before I made a purchase decision, but if you live where the weather gets nasty, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS may be the perfect compromise between your wants and your needs.