Between the basic Carrera and the wild GT2 RS, Porsche presently offers roughly 17 different versions of its legendary 911 sports car in North America. That figure, however, will soon jump to 19, as Porsche's rolling out its new 2011 911 Carrera GTS Coupe and Cabriolet at the 2010 Paris Motor Show later this month.
The 911 Carrera GTS is destined for the top of Porsche's Carrera lineup -- in fact, the new model will reportedly slot into the portfolio between the Carrera S and the hardcore GT3. Porsche rates the GTS-spec direct-injection, 3.8-liter flat-six at 408 horsepower, roughly 23 ponies more than the Carrera S and 27 shy of the GT3. Peak torque remains steady at 310 pound-feet, but it's delivered at 4200 rpm --200 rpm earlier than in the Carrera S -- thanks in part to a revised intake manifold and other engine tweaks.
A six-speed manual transaxle is standard equipment on the 911 Carrera GTS, but Porsche's swanky seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox is optional. Power is put to the ground only through the rear wheels, but when launched properly, a manual-transmission GTS Coupe can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, shaving roughly a tenth of a second off a Carrera S coupe. Opt for the PDK, and that number falls to 4.0 seconds flat, which is three-tenths of a second below a PDK-equipped Carrera S. GTS Cabriolets perform the same sprint in 4.6 seconds with a manual transmission and 4.4 seconds with the PDK, both representing a 0.1 second improvement over Carrera S Cabriolet models.
The new 911 Carrera GTS isn't quite as wild as the GT3 or the GT2 RS, but it isn't exactly a sleeper, either. To set its latest 911 model apart from others, Porsche sprinkled a few cosmetic revisions into the recipe, including a new GT3-inspired front fascia, the wide rear fenders (and track) of the all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera, darkened tailpipes, and black, center-locking 19-inch RS Spyder aluminum wheels. Special GTS emblems on both doors and the rear decklid also command attention, but as is the case on any Porsche product, buyers can have said emblems deleted.
Look for the new 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS to make its world premiere in Paris, and arrive stateside in early 2011. According to a press release issued by Porsche's North American wing, the GTS coupe should sticker at $104,050, including a $950 destination fee, while the Cabriolet will command $113,850.