Life gets in the way, even when you're behind the wheel of a 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS. Instead of zipping around scenic Lake Tahoe or pushing things to the limit on a South African racetrack, as we've been fortunate to do before, I just spent a week behind the 911 GTS' wheel through rain and shine, in gridlock traffic, on city streets, and even on a racetrack.
We've already come to the conclusion that the 2017 Porsche 911 GTS is the bargain 911 that you really want, but until now we've never lived with one.
As a refresher, the 911 Carrera 4 GTS is basically a well-optioned Carrera 4S at a discounted price. It comes with the power kit that ups the boost from 16 to 18 psi to add 30 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque to the 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-6, bringing the totals to 450 and 405, respectively. The power kit also includes the Sport Chrono package and the Sport Exhaust. All told, that is a $12,350 value. The only other mechanical feature is the PASM Sport Suspension, which is an $890 option on the 4S.
Exterior appearance options that are included consist of the Sport Design front fascia and exterior mirrors, black logos, the model designation on the doors, tinted taillights, and satin black wheels. Inside, it features the Sport Seats Plus option, the GT Sport steering wheel, and an Alcantara storage compartment lid.
All told these features retail for $21,975, but Porsche charges merely an additional $13,900 for them, and that doesn't include the fact that the car comes with the special center-lock wheels from the 911 Turbo S. These wheels aren't optional on the 4S, so Porsche can't put a value on them. However, Porsche does say that the GTS represents a 10 percent value over a comparably equipped S model.
Not that the Carrera 4 GTS is cheap. My tester carried a $126,950 base price, and it was packed with another $13,405 in options. They started with the $3,850 leather interior in black, which included the Alcantara GTS package in Carmine Red; the $4,120 GTS Interior package with carbon fiber trim, contrast stitching, and other uses of contrasting color; the $2,090 front axle lift system; the $3,025 Adaptive Sport Seats Plus (18-way) with Memory package, and a Premium package with heated front seats and auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors.
That brought the total for my tester to $142,945. However, a trip through the Porsche configurator shows that price increases since this one was built mean the same car now costs $144,670. Maybe not every GTS is exactly a bargain.
After more than 400 miles behind the wheel, I have some thoughts on what it's like to live with the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS.
It's a sports car that you can drive every day.
Slung low and set on big and bigger 245/35 front and 305/30 rear Pirelli P Zero 20-inch tires, you might think the 911 GTS would ride like a buckboard. But somehow Porsche has introduced suspension compliance into the mix. The streets around my home in Chicago are some of the worst anywhere, but this car soaks up their abuse without turning occupants' innards to jelly. Sure, the ride is firm and you can feel those road imperfections, but they don't pound through like I thought they might.