People often call the Porsche 911 GTS the “sweet spot” in the range. It's not as soft as your standard Carrera, nor as hot as the Turbo model – it's the 911 Goldilocks would drive if she weren't so preoccupied with porridge. And with so many variants to choose from (21 by our count), the sweet-spot 911 makes the most sense for a majority of shoppers, bundling power, poise, and comfort into one exceptionally pretty package.

But picking the right 2022 Porsche 911 GTS is a process among itself. This version comes in coupe, cabriolet, and Targa body styles, with rear- or all-wheel drive, and the choice of either a seven-speed manual or a dual-clutch gearbox. And let's not forget options like Dynamic Chassis Control, Race-Tex upholstery, leather, a Lightweight package – it's enough to make your head spin.

In order to better understand the nuances of the new 911 GTS and all that it offers, Porsche invited me to its North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, gave me a brief walkaround of the space, and then presented me with two keys: one for a sultry Carmine Red coupe and the other for a Chalk-colored Targa 4 GTS.

Quick Stats 2022 Porsche 911 GTS Coupe 7MT 2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS 8DCT
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.0-liter H6 Twin-Turbocharged 3.0-liter H6
Output: 473 Horsepower / 470 Pound-Feet 473 Horsepower / 470 Pound-Feet
0-60: 3.9 Seconds 3.3 Seconds
Top Speed: 193 MPH 193 MPH
Trim Base Price: $136,700 + $1,350 Destination $156,800 + $1,350 Destination
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior

Targa Time!

With the sun shining over downtown Atlanta, I jumped in the Targa first to enjoy as much top-down time as the weather would permit. Porsche equipped this Targa model with nearly every bell and whistle, as an example of what $193,000 will get you (including $1,350 in fees): 18-way Adaptive Sport seats, 21-inch Spyder RS wheels, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, a front axle lift, an eight-speed PDK, and as standard on all Targa models, 4S all-wheel drive.

Visually, all GTS models wear the same black accents along the grille, within the light fixtures, atop the badges – and on the Targa model – even on the C-pillar. There's also a black “GTS” sticker on each of the door panels, in case you forget, and all of it is customizable. While the styling here is still more subdued than that of the wild and winged GT3 or even the Turbo model, the GTS has a unique sharpness that separates it from the standard Carrera.

2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior

The cabin of this model doesn't stray far from the basic 911 formula either, featuring a carefully crafted mix of black leather on the steering wheel and seats, with Porsche Race-Tex dotting the dash and door panels, and aluminum fixtures elsewhere. The only obvious GTS upgrades are the embroidered logos in the headrests and the appropriately marked side stills. Nonetheless, the inside of this car remains a wonderful place to sit.

A long hold of the roof removal button just behind the shifter lifts the rear hatch and stows the fabric roof neatly below it. Watching the window fixture jut up from the body and lock into place is like observing a real-life Transformer in action. But Porsche is quick to remind me to only remove or apply the roof when static, otherwise, the large rear fixture acts as a mechanical parachute. Noted. So with the top fully dropped, I tick the drive mode selector to Sport and set off.

2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Interior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Interior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Interior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Interior

More Boost

Uncorking the Targa's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six out of Porsche HQ and onto the adjacent highway, there's a gratuitous 473 horsepower and 470 pound-feet at my right foot. It's all paired to Porsche's lightning-quick, eight-speed PDK, and as mentioned, standard all-wheel drive. That setup is plenty to get this car up to speed on Atlanta's Interstate 85 before traffic hits.

Those power figures represent an improvement of 30 hp over the 992 Carrera S and 23 over the outgoing 991 GTS. Unlike in the 991.2 GTS, Porsche didn't tweak the turbo size. Engineers instead pumped the boost figure from 16.0 in the base Carrera to 18.6 here. And there are a few minor mechanical tweaks elsewhere that give this model its extra oomph.

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Unsurprisingly, the Porsche 911 GTS' six-cylinder is sublime. Maximum twist arrives between 2,300 rpm and 5,000 rpm – with no discernible lag – which helps the GTS scoot to 60 in 3.3 seconds with the PDK equipped. Horsepower peaks at 6,500 rpm, but there's still plenty of pull all the way up until the tachometer bounces off the 7,400 rpm redline. And if you want an extra boost, press the Sport Response button on the steering wheel for a burst of maximum power for up to 20 seconds.

Off the highway, the hilly roads north of Atlanta open up and allow me to put that power down more gratuitously. With the drive mode selector on the steering wheel ticked to Sport Plus – a fixture of the now-standard Sport Chrono package – the 911 Targa GTS applies power with effortless fluidity up and down these backroads. And the now-larger exhaust emits a subdued but still appealing note that echos throughout the North Georgia hills.

2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior

With all-wheel drive and a slight weight gain via the removable top, the Targa GTS does feel heavier than you might think – at least for a 911. This version, with its all-wheel drive, tips the scales at 3,737 pounds fully equipped. Still, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (the German brand’s name for active anti-roll bars) helps the 911 dive more easily into turns, which means the Targa GTS carves corners with utter precision and smoothness.

Eventually I make it to our lunch spot. And after about two hours behind the wheel, I'm convinced this nearly loaded 911 GTS is unmatched in the class. The ability to cruise comfortably and carve corners – all with the top down – makes it a perfect one-car solution. But for a more visceral experience, there's a 911 GTS coupe waiting in the wings.

2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa Exterior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Interior

Coupe De Jour

With key in hand, I walk out to the parking lot to find a searing-hot Carmine Red GTS coupe waiting for me. It's wearing staggered, center-locking, 20- and 21-inch wheels inspired by the Turbo model, hiding carbon-ceramic brakes and big, black calipers behind them. GTS-specific black accents dot the bodywork and light fixtures to match. This is a stunning spec.

The cabin features some of the same Race-Tex detailing as the Targa, but now the material carries over to the steering wheel as well, as opposed to a traditional leather setup. I prefer high-quality leather at my fingertips, but it's all a matter of preference – the Alcantara-like material feels premium and sporty. And instead of the hyper-supportive 18-way buckets from the Targa model, the GTS coupe dons full sport buckets with a rear seat delete.

2022 Porsche 911 GTS Coupe Exterior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Coupe Exterior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Coupe Exterior

As a young person, typically I have few complaints with ingress and egress when it comes to sporty coupes. But the Great Wall-like side bolsters require acrobatic levels of contortion, and once seated, the sport buckets only move in three directions: forward, back, and up. There's no adjusting the seatback, which meant I was about to spend the next three hours in a position that felt too awkwardly upright. And on top of that, they're not supportive over long distances – my back was aching in these chairs as opposed to the Targa’s more comfortable buckets.

But the draw here wasn’t the seats – it was the seven-speed manual transmission. Porsche shortened the gear lever on this GTS model and added a mechanically locking differential on the manual to make the experience more tactile compared to a base Carrera. And on top of that, now drivers have the ability to individually turn rev-matching on or off, no matter the drive mode.

Gallery: 2022 Porsche 911 GTS Coupe: First Drive

That individual rev-matching management is a new function embedded within the Porsche Communication Management 6.0 infotainment system, which comes standard on all 2022 models. The new infotainment display sits atop the 10.9-inch central touchscreen and is fully customizable with apps like a calendar, weather, news, and more. That baked-in tech now joins wireless Apple CarPlay, and for the first time, a wired Android Auto connection.

Honestly, though, I spent far less time fiddling with the infotainment system than I did flinging the 911 GTS around the North Georgia hills. The seven-speed manual is nearly perfect, snickering into gear with beautiful precision. And that gearbox makes the flat-six feel that much more satisfying; power is fluid, straightforward, and plentiful. Although the manual makes the 911 a touch slower to 60 than the PDK, you won't be able to tell from the driver's seat.

With the addition of the Lightweight package, which removes the rear seats and swaps the side and rear windows for lighter glass, my 911 GTS sheds about 55 pounds from its curb weight. That may not sound like much, but the estimated 3,300 pounds of this particular car is about 430 pounds lighter than the PDK-equipped Targa. And the manual coupe feels much nimbler by comparison.

The 911 GTS Coupe snakes through one-lane backroads with beautifully precise body movements and predictive steering. The suspension is already flawless in managing movements, the addition of the adaptive PDCC supposedly makes turn-ins even tighter than the non-PDCC setup, but this car is so good already that it's hard to notice any change with it active. And even without all-wheel drive, this 911 never lacks for grip; the 245/35 front rubber and 305/30 rear tires afford the GTS ample sticking power.

2022 Porsche 911 GTS Interior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Interior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Interior
2022 Porsche 911 GTS Interior

The Quintessential 911

As expected, the sunny morning turned into a torrential downpour by early afternoon as I continued my trek back to Atlanta. Beyond the obvious Sport and Sport Plus drive modes, Wet mode – which dulls the throttle and steering to handle inclement weather – proved useful as the rain continued all the way back to Porsche HQ.

Even with the last few miles of my drive hampered by a passing hurricane-like storm, I was smitten. The Targa model gave me a taste of what a top-end GTS offers – comfort, poise, and a PDK – while the coupe did away with some lavish options that ultimately made it a better pure performer.

As the “sweet spots” in the range, they are priced as such. The GTS Coupe starts at $136,700 while the Targa asks at least $156,800, and options bump the final prices of these two cars as-tested to $178,440 and $193,960 respectively. But if you’re in the market for a new 911, the relatively lofty price tag shouldn’t dissuade you. The GTS delivers an expert blend of performance and poise, with the power you want and without of the drawbacks that the hardcore Turbo might bring. It really is the sweetest 911 of all.

  2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS 2022 Porsche 911 Coupe GTS
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.0-Liter Flat-Six Twin-Turbocharged 3.0-Liter Flat-Six
Output: 473 Horsepower / 470 Pound-Feet 473 Horsepower / 470 Pound-Feet
Transmission: Eight-Speed Dual-Clutch Seven-Speed Manual
Drive Type: All-Wheel Drive Rear-Wheel Drive
0-60 MPH: 3.3 Seconds 3.9 Seconds
Top Speed: 193 MPH 193 MPH
Weight: 3,737 Pounds 3,433 Pounds
Seating Capacity: 4 4
Cargo Volume: 4.7 Cubic Feet 4.7 Cubic Feet
Base Price: $121,300 + $1,350 Destination $101,200 + $1,350 Destination
Trim Base Price: $138,050 $138,050
As-Tested Price: $193,960 $178,440

911 GTS Competitor Reviews

Gallery: 2022 Porsche 911 GTS Targa: First Drive

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