PDK Transmission ($4,320 -- includes seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung [PDK] double-clutch automated-manual transmission with manual, speedshift, and automatic modes plus three-spoke Alcantara PDK sports steering wheel with shift paddles and Alcantara PDK gear selector and handbrake lever); PCM With Navigation ($2,110 -- includes 6.5-inch screen with touchscreen controls, dual-tuner audio system with integrated, MP3-capable CD/DVD-player supporting audio/video DVDs, GPS navigation module with 40GB disk drive, extended navigation with dynamic route calculation, automatic route recording and back track navigation); Sport Chrono Package Plus ($960 -- includes analog and digital chronometer; Sport and Sport Plus buttons in the center console; display in the PCM; ability to adjust lighting, wipers, air-conditioning and door locking to suit personal preference); Limited-Slip Differential ($950); Dynamic Headlamps ($690); Heated Seats ($525).
Even in default Drive (no Sport or Sport Plus) with traction control engaged, the 911 GTS casually, smoothly rockets to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Upshifts are incredibly smooth and seamless with zero head toss. In launch mode (Sport Plus with traction on with brake depressed), the revs hover around 4,500 rpm; releasing the brake drops the clutch, the resulting wheelspin is obviously managed electronically and the transmission short-shifts to 2nd at some point. It all happens so fast and I am unable to determine if this is a closed-loop system or if it samples and adjusts on the fly. Each upshift is sharper/quicker in Sport Plus mode than any other mode and occur exactly at the 7,500-rpm redline. All that said, the quickest 60 and best quarter-mile runs were without launch control. Sport Plus and traction off allows for a split second of pedal overlap (otherwise cuts throttle to idle), but timing a climbing tach with releasing the brake produces no time-sapping wheelspin from a dead stop.
Identical sensations and nearly identical results from 1st to 6th stop from 60 mph: firm-not-hard pedal, excellent anti-dive characteristics, arrow straight, and with a hint of front-tire lock-up just before full-stop. Brakes performed better with some heat, as the shortest stop occurred on the fifth of six stops.
Skid pad: With stability control on, the 911 GTS understeers wide of the circle without any apparent corrections from brakes or throttle. Steering is crystal clear, with a wide range of info on the state of the front tires (goes all light and airy-feeling when traction goes away). With stability control off, there's far less understeer with the same informative steering feel, but with a better sense of front/rear balance of grip. As a result, the car grew more receptive to driver input to throttle and/or steering that had a direct correlation to the arc of the car. It was far easier to keep the car on the line with stability off, so "on" must have been doing something, but not for the better. Slalom: With stability control off, this 911 GTS behaves as all RWD 911s do -- never lift, just steer. Lifting off the throttle even a hair breaks the rear tires loose, requiring countersteering to catch it, which costs time and speed. Best technique was as it usually is in a 911: Slow in, fast out. Entering 1-2 mph slower with a gradually progressive throttle keeps the rear tires planted and the front tires light. Yet, I still couldn't go to WOT at the exit (like a GT2 or 3) with all the torque.