As a recruiter, every once in a while you come across a truly exceptional candidate; someone who stands out and excels in many areas. And it’s not every day that you find yourself with the keys to a brand new Porsche.
This particular model is very special. The Carrera GTS cherry-picks the best bits from the options list as well as adding some subtle styling changes. Even when stationary, the car looks purposeful. It is slightly lowered compared to the more junior Carreras and the 20-inch centre-lock wheels provide an aggressive, motorsport-like stance.
In short, the car is specified for maximum driving pleasure.
The already powerful 3.8 litre flat six engine from the Carrera S is further boosted to 424bhp resulting in startling acceleration; with the fast-acting PDK twin-clutch gearbox the car will crack 60mph in less than four seconds (quicker than the manual) and it will go on to 188mph.
With all of that in mind you can’t help but feel a sense of occasion once inside and surrounded by the sumptuous interior. This is only the second full re-design of the 911 since the model was launched in 1963.
Aside from significant cosmetic changes there have been improvements to fuel economy on the previous range, not least a stop-start system and electrically powered steering. The latter has come under criticism from some quarters but there was no perceptible lack of feedback and connection.
The seating position is low and the traditional Porsche dashboard layout with the rev counter directly ahead leaves you in no doubt that this is a serious machine. What you quickly notice is that there are two versions of the driving experience: for normal driving around town, the car is civilised, provides excellent visibility and is completely user friendly.
The all round build quality seeps through and you sense the high quality engineering in the whole car. However, find yourself on an open road, snick the gear lever to the left to take full control of the gears via the steering-wheel mounted paddles and bring the car alive.
There are switchable modes for the sports exhaust that basically control the pitch and volume. The bellow as the revs rise is pure intoxication. This car was fitted with a glass sunroof that served to perfectly enhance the aural onslaught.
The GTS is an engaging and thrilling car. With the engine at the rear, you may anticipate an unusual driving sensation. With decades of continuous development within the 911 model range, however, and some clever suspension trickery, the car feels highly stable and confidence-inspiring.
The driving experience is certainly different to a more conventional front-engine car but is highly effective and the light overall weight of the car compared to rivals is a hidden strength. On a flowing road, the GTS cocoons you with confidence and provides a real driving pleasure. Capable as an every day drive as well as a long distance cruiser and even occasional use on a race track. It does everything brilliantly. And that is why some may say the 911 is ubiquitous. My view? This is an exceptional candidate.
The car Martin drove was a Porche 911 Carrera GTS, priced at at £103,990 (VAT Qualifying)
Supplied by Porsche Centre Newcastle, Silverlink Park, Wallsend, NE28 9ND