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2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe Review: The Sweet Spot's Sweet Spot

With such minor differences between Porsche's 911 GTS models, why not stick with the basic brilliance?

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Steven Ewing
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Steven Ewing

Managing Editor

Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog, and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He is also on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV, and play the drums.

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4 min read
2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe
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2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe

Chalk is still one of Porsche's best colors.

Tyler Clemmensen/CNET

Got a lot of cash to blow on a sports car and want to be spoiled for choice? Go get a Porsche 911. There are currently 23 different 911 models on offer, everything from well-rounded base Carreras to blissful GT3s. The new GTS range sits right in the middle and is arguably the sweet spot of the lineup. But even then, there are six 911 GTS models to choose from. So what makes this one the one?

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe
8.8

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Like

  • Powerful flat-6 engine
  • Perfectly tuned dual-clutch transmission
  • Brilliantly balanced
  • More power than base 911s

Don't like

  • The really good stuff is optional
  • Super expensive

It really comes down to two things: specs and money. Every 911 GTS is powered by the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-6 engine, putting out 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Benchmark 0-to-60-mph times range anywhere from 3.1 seconds for the quickest Carrera 4 GTS to 3.4 seconds for the Carrera GTS Cabriolet. And anyone who tells you they can feel a 0.3-second disparity in the real world is a lying liar of lies.

As for pricing, the GTS range starts at $144,050 for a Carrera GTS Coupe (including $1,450 for destination) and swells to $164,150, which is what you'll pay for both the Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet and Targa 4 GTS. (There's also the GTS-based Porsche Design 50th anniversary special, but it's a small-batch effort that costs $187,650.)

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe: Just Right

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Where does this 911 Carrera GTS test car fit into the equation? Porsche estimates it'll hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and top out at 193 mph. This one is equipped with the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic instead of the no-cost-optional seven-speed manual. Being a base coupe, it's the least expensive of the GTS range, and the modestly optioned (by Porsche standards, anyway) tester you see here stickers for $165,090 out the door.

The main difference between the GTS models comes down to the number of driven wheels. You can get the GTS Coupe and GTS Cabriolet with rear-wheel drive, while the aptly named Carrera 4 GTS Coupe, Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet and Targa 4 GTS have all-wheel drive. The AWD cars are a hair quicker while launching, but the RWD versions are more entertaining. The standard 911 Carrera GTS feels a little more playful and free, and the steering is a touch lighter without losing an ounce of feedback. It's a feeling that's hard to quantify, but drive RWD and AWD examples back to back and you'll genuinely feel a difference.

You can certainly make the argument that all-wheel drive adds sure-footedness in inclement weather, and I totally get that opinion as someone who believes in driving sports cars during all seasons. But fit the right tires to your GTS and you'll be fine. The 992-generation 911 is so incredibly poised and balanced that it's hard to upset, even on rain-soaked California roads. If you drive one through the snow (do it!), the 911's ground clearance will become an issue long before all-wheel drive factors in.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe
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2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe
Tyler Clemmensen/CNET

All 911 GTS variants have Porsche's Active Suspension Management chassis tech as well as larger braking hardware borrowed from the 911 Turbo. GTS models ride 10 millimeters lower to the ground than a normal 911, and staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels are standard, with a centerlock design derived from the 911 Turbo S. A raspy sport exhaust is also included on every GTS model, and Porsche will sell you a lightweight package that cuts 55 pounds from the curb weight -- though if it's anything like the weight-saving option on the 911 Turbo S, it's skippable for sure.

GTS models have Race-Tex suede fabric inside the cabin, as well as carbon fiber trim panels, but of course, the world's your oyster when it comes to premium (read: costly) interior add-ons. All 2022 Porsche 911 models got a small infotainment upgrade, thank goodness, which in addition to Apple CarPlay finally includes Android Auto -- both of which connect wirelessly.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe
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2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe

The 992-generation 911's interior remains comfy and nicely appointed.

Tyler Clemmensen/CNET

What really surprises me about the GTS, however, is what Porsche doesn't include. This is supposed to be a sort of greatest-hits compilation of 911 performance goodies, yet things like the company's Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers ($3,170) and rear-axle steering ($2,090) cost extra. On the subject of options, you'll also want the $2,770 electronic front axle lift to avoid scraping that chin, and while Porsche's carbon-ceramic brakes are endlessly powerful, they're a pricey upgrade at $8,970.

I could go through Porsche's a la carte ordering system for days, but what it all comes down to is like every 911, you can get a GTS exactly the way you want. Which model you choose largely comes down to whether or not you need/want all-wheel drive or if you desire some kind of open-air experience. If you're like me and don't care about those things, then we're once again down to specs and money.

The Carrera GTS Coupe offers excellent performance without compromise, and it's the least expensive way to park a sweet-spot 911 in your garage.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe
8.8

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Score Breakdown

Performance 9Features 8Design 9Media 9

Specs

See full specs Engine Flat 6 Cylinder Engine, TurbochargedDrivetrain Rear Wheel DriveMPG 19 MPGPassenger Capacity 4Body Type Coupes