2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Porsche's flagship goes out on a high note.

Story: Will Sabel Courtney

Model Tested: Carrera GTS Cabriolet

Rating: 6 out of 6

Can you have too much of a good thing? Porsche doesn’t think so. The legendary sports car builder currently offers 23 varieties of its iconic 911 in the United States, from the entry-level $79,000 Carrera to the track-crushing $245,000 GT2 RS. Yet despite its wide variety, Porsche has managed to instill its trademark traits—mythical handling, grin-worthy acceleration and classic style—into each and every version. At $117K, the 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet sits firmly in the middle of today’s 911 lineup. The car separates itself from lesser versions with a slight power bump and some unique exterior and interior trim pieces, but don’t think it’s just some cheesy special edition designed to scare up new sales—it’s every bit as true to the Porsche name as the rest of the 911s.

When the gas gets mashed, the 3.8-liter flat-six comes on strong and keeps on pulling, blasting the car forward with a force (and a noise, thanks to the sports exhaust system) that gives a charging bull an inferiority complex. Twist the wheel through a tight turn and this 911 doesn’t squeal in protest or roll its body the opposite way—it just changes directions. Apparently Porsche has found ways to cheat the laws of physics: The only parts of the car that get tossed around in the corners are the passengers.

But the GTS Cabriolet is no hard-edged racecar dressed up for public roadways. It’ll cruise along the freeway as smoothly as a family sedan. You’ll never confuse the tight interior with that of a Tahoe, but if you consider the backseats additional storage space instead of chairs for legless little people, you can throw some goods back there. There are even cup holders that pop out of the dash. Granted, they look like they might snap off if used to hold anything heavier than a can of Red Bull, but if you think of wheel time as a chance to dine and drink, this Porsche probably ain’t for you anyway. Like all 911s, the Carrera GTS is for those who love to drive—plain and simple.

Specs:

Damage: $117,220

Power: 408hp, 310 lb.-ft.

0-60: 4.4 secs.

Gas Cash: 19 city, 27 hwy

Miles Driven: 127

Interior: The cocoa-colored leather swaddling almost every surface looks so tasty, you occasionally have to remind yourself not to bite it.

Exterior: Center-locking wheels painted to match the exterior are fresh enough to make a trip to the aftermarket unnecessary.

Floss Factor: No matter how good you are with a car, the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox bangs off shifts more skillfully than you. Plus, in top gear, it helps this sports car get family-sedan mileage.

Flaw Factor: In certain situations, a Porsche convertible could send the wrong message. Don’t drive it to funerals, and don’t drive it through the South Bronx.


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