Porsche 911 Carrera GTS: In Case Your Neighbor Has An S

With power output of 408 hp — 23 more horses than the 911 Carrera S — the new Porsche 911 Carrera GTS heads straight to the top of the Carrera lineup. Dude, seriously? Just man up and buy a GT3.

Designed to narrow the never-before-realized-there-was-room-there gap between the Carrera S and the 435 hp 911 GT3, the 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS will see the cloth drop over both a coupe and the cabriolet version at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

So what should we expect from the new head-of-the-Carrera-class? For starters, the sheet metal looks like it was pulled straight off the 44-millimeter-wider Carrera 4. Which, apparently, according to Porsche, it was. But, what distinguishes the GTS from the rest of the Carrera lineup are not-so-much-performance-based features like "the SportDesign front apron with black spoiler edge, special sideskirts, also in black, and the Carrera GTS logotype on doors and rear lid, in black or silver depending on the body color." But, what really distinguishes the GTS is "the area between the two tailpipes in the rear is also black." Did we also mention the each of the two tailpipes is double-tipped? You know, just like the Carrera S and 4S? Whoa, Nelly!

Inside, "black Alcantara" will abound as the GTS's standard interior color.

So what about the powertrain and drivetrain? Well, despite using the Carrera 4's wider-is-better body, the GTS goes rear-wheel drive. Otherwise, the powertrain changes include some go-faster attention heaped upon the intake and exhaust to boost the output on the 3.8-liter flat-six engine. That'll allow for increased torque in the mid-rev range but leaves maximum torque of 310 lb. ft. unchanged, but it's now available at 4,200 rpm; 200 rpm earlier than the Carrera S.

The Carrera GTS comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available. In the U.S., the 911 Carrera GTS Coupe and Cabriolet will be available beginning in early 2011 and MSRP will be $103,100 and $112,900 respectively.

Basically, the Carrera GTS, despite a top track speed for the manual transmission raising by two to 190 MPH, looks to be the answer to the question only competing next-door Goldman Sachs golden parachuters were asking themselves. Mid-level golden parachuters at that. We'll take the GT3 for just $12K more, thank you very much.