buying: The 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Is Practically Perfect

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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.

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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.

You can get the GTS with a PDK dual-clutch automatic or seven-speed manual transmission. Porsche © Provided by Roadshow You can get the GTS with a PDK dual-clutch automatic or seven-speed manual transmission. Porsche

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.

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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.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS: Perfectly Poised

When the fun is done, it's easy to drive the GTS in Normal mode and just go about my day. The 911 is airy and comfortable, though the GTS is still loud inside. You won't ever be moving the kitchen sink in your Porsche, but the 4.5-cubic-foot frunk is big enough for a few soft-sided bags. The backseat is useless for humans -- even tiny ones -- but it's easy enough to fold them down and create some extra storage space. Note that Porsche offers a rear-seat delete option on the GTS for $5,900 if you want to save a little weight.

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The EPA rates the 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS at 17 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined. I'm pretty stoked to see that even after a week of hard driving I've averaged 22.7 mpg.

Porsche's Communication Management tech is here managing infotainment duties on a 10.9-inch touchscreen, and for 2022, this system finally adds Android Auto. It's mostly easy to use, though I've experienced a few issues with the voice control not being able to recognize easy street names. As for advanced driving aids, they are available, but far from standard. Lane-change assist, parking assist, a surround-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert and more are all part of a $4,090 package. Adaptive cruise control is an extra $2,000 and if you want lane-keeping assist and Porsche's InnoDrive traffic jam assist, add another $1,020 onto that.

Carmine Red is such a good color. Emme Hall/Roadshow © Provided by Roadshow Carmine Red is such a good color. Emme Hall/Roadshow

In typical Porsche fashion, you can really go wild with the options. The 911 Carrera 4 GTS starts at $145,350 including a $1,350 destination charge, but playing around on Porsche's online configurator, I have no trouble adding $37,000 worth of extras to my ideal car. I'm talking about things like a carbon fiber roof, an aero kit, rear-axle steering and rear-seat delete, among a few other items. You should definitely snag the $2,770 electronic front axle lift, which can raise the car's nose 1.5 inches at speeds up to 31 mph, and what's really cool is that it's connected to the car's GPS, so the next time you're in that spot, the front will lift automatically. I would also be sure to spring for the Porsche Dynamic Chassis control for $3,170, though on a car like the GTS, I'm surprised this isn't standard.

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The 911 Carrera 4 GTS might not be as all-out crazypants as a 911 Turbo or GT3, but it's easier to live with everyday and you'll never want for power or grip on your favorite canyon roads. There are dozens of 911 models to choose from, but it's hard to argue with the all-around goodness of the GTS.

This was originally published on Roadshow.

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Porsche's new benchmark for manual-transmission 911 greatness is aimed at its most hardcore fans.The GT3's six-speed manual is a different animal than the seven-speed stick in other 911s, tracing its lineage back to the 2016 911 R model. While the seven-speed unit uses Porsche's clever"mechanically converted shift actuator"(MECOSA) to translate its PDK dual-clutch-automatic-derived guts into an H-shift pattern, no such system is needed on the six-speed, which is gloriously easy to slot into the proper gear. It feels somehow frictionless until the soft crunch of engagement tells you you've hit the next cog. Revs climb—and fall off—instantly, as if the 4.

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