2022 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Review: Practically Perfect

The 911 GTS can cut up backroads and handle daily chores with ease.

There are 22 versions of the Porsche 911 currently on offer and the difference between some of these models is razor-thin. So if you're feeling overwhelmed by being spoiled for choice, let me make it easy for you: The GTS is the 911 to get. But which GTS, exactly? You can get this model as a coupe or convertible, with rear- or all-wheel drive, and of course there's always the Targa, which is an AWD-only affair. 

For the sake of this review I'm testing the Carrera 4 GTS Coupe, which is kind of the sweet spot within the sweet spot. My tester wears a stunning Carmine Red paint job to the tune of $3,270, but there are a few blacked-out trim pieces that distinguish all GTS models from lesser Carreras and Targas. 

Inside, the $4,530 GTS Interior Package adds matching Carmine Red accents (and seat belts), Race-Tex fabric upholstery and a few other small flourishes. Taken as a whole, the Carrera 4 GTS is stunning -- a car that quickens your pulse at a mere glance. Just behind the cabin you'll find the 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-6 engine used in other 911 models, pushing out 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque -- increases of 30 hp and 30 lb-ft over the Carrera S. 

My tester is fitted with Porsche's eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, though a seven-speed manual is available as a no-cost option. Much as I love a manual, the PDK provides plenty of driving enjoyment, shifting much quicker than I could do on my own and automatically downshifting under braking and holding gears to redline. The Carrera 4 GTS is much quicker with PDK, too, able to sprint to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, compared to 3.9 with the manual. Carving up some backroads in Southern California, the GTS' advantages over other Carreras are clear. 

The standard Sport Chrono pack adds two additional driving modes: Sport Plus and Individual. In Sport Plus, the PDK's shifts are lightning quick and throttle response is immediate. Individual, meanwhile, lets me tailor specific aspects of the 911's performance to my liking. Combined with Porsche's excellent Dynamic Chassis Control -- a $3,170 option -- the 911 exhibits flat cornering, which works well with the chatty steering. Overall, the 911 perfectly communicates what's happening as you blast down the road. The Carrera 4 GTS' all-wheel-drive system is rear biased, so much so that, unless I launch the 911 from a stop, I never see more than 10% of the engine's power going to the front axle. As such, despite the 4 in its name, the GTS feels like a rear-drive 911. 

With the sport exhaust roaring, the rear-axle steering tucking the 911's rump in just a smidge and the engine's torque coming on strong at 2,300 rpm, this thing is an absolute riot on winding roads. Stopping power comes courtesy of brakes lifted from the 911 Turbo S. It's great to have these big 16-inch front and 15-inch rear brakes; I can carry more speed longer before needing to slow for a turn. Brake hard, let the transmission downshift, float into the apex and get back on the gas. The 911 GTS encourages me to push harder, and I'm willing to play along.

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