Smart Moves


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PORSCHE 911 GTS CABRIOLET PerforManCe: 0-60: 3.8 SecondS; top Speed 189 MpH PoWerTrain: 430 HorSepoWer FroM 3.8-lIter, 6-cylInder; 7-Speed StIcK or autoMatIc; optIonal tHree-WHeel, Four-WHeel drIve MileaGe: cIty 19 Mpg; HIgHWay 26 Mpg; coMBIned 21 Mpg SoUnd SYSTeM: BoSe SySteM: 12 SpeaKerS and 445 WattS (optIonal) PriCe: $126,100 BaSe, aS teSted $147,060

The porsche 911 is one of the most recognizable sports cars because of its longevity and unique looks. Recently, the 911 celebrated its 50th anniversary. yes, the rear engine location is still the same, but the major shift some time ago was from an aircooled to a water-cooled power plant.

In the present tense, Porsche has created multiple models within the 911 camp. The 360-horsepower Carrera is the starter, followed by the 400-horsepower Carrera S. Now there are even four-wheel drive versions of the Carrera. Add a turbo to the name, and the horsepower jumps to 560 for the S model.

New this year is the GTS, in either the coupe or convertible form, with a 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine, which produces 430 horsepower. Styling changes in this model maintain the overall 911 look, but with tweaks to the lower front and some design changes in the rear quarters.

But the 911 experience comes from sitting in the driver’s high-bolstered seat, turning the key, punching the accelerator and spinning through the gears. And there are some real gear choices. For those who like the clutch/stick dynamics, a 7-speed transmission is standard. The dual clutch Formula One-like automatic is optional. And, of course, it can be shifted manually (either with paddles behind the leather-covered steering wheel or with the gearshift lever in the driver’s side position). But fair warning to the stick-shift crowd: The automatic shifter option is a good deal faster than the manual with a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds.

Bonus? The GTS is outfitted with multiple performance options. Would you like a sportier exhaust note (i.e., louder and more entertaining)? Simply press a button on the center console. Tighter handling and cornering are available with three other console buttons each stepping up the game—choices include: sport, sport plus and adjusting the dampers. In the aerodynamics department, a rear spoiler rises automatically as vehicle speed increases (or to impress bystanders). Simply press another button, and the spoiler pops up.

The interior is as modern and updated as they come. A 7-inch touch screen dominates the center of the dash and handles navigation, the stereo and other amenities. But tradition is also present with a regular tach in the center of the dash pod, along with four other analog gauges. But a video screen on the left gives you all of the electronic data and information you would need or want.

For the top-down crowd, the Cabriolet easily satisfies. The vinyl power top (with metal reinforcements) can be dropped in a very quick 13 seconds—even while moving at speeds up to 30mph. Punch up the sport exhaust button, hit the accelerator, and you are in performance heaven. The ride is taut, but not jarring. And with 20-inch wheels, cornering is completely under control. Admittedly, space in the front trunk is limited, so most would use the storage found in the small rear jump seats.

No question that the GTS carries on the Porsche tradition with a modern look for the 911, with updates on the performance and luxury fronts.

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