New Porsche 911 GTS 'can be available quickly'

* Celebrated edition likely to return on current model * Wider body format would be retained * Upgraded engine could have 424bhp...

New Porsche 911 GTS 'can be available quickly'

Porsche can launch a GTS version of its latest 911 'easily and quickly', according to a senior company source, although production capacities are ruling the car out for now.

The GTS edition of the previous-generation 911 (codename 997) was a roll-out model during the final months of the car's life. The car's combination of the wider body of the Carrera 4S and the choice of either four- or rear-wheel drive proved popular with aficionados; the rear-wheel-drive GTS is rated by many as the pick of that generation of 911.

The latest 911, codenamed 991, has been on sale since the end of 2012, so it would still be relatively early in the lifespan for a GTS. However, Porsche has shown with the recent Cayman and Boxster GTS editions that it now considers that badge a more regular fixture.

August Achleitner, Porsche's Director of Product Line for the 911, told What Car?: 'We already know that we can do a GTS version of the current 911 quickly. It wouldn't be instant because we would need some time to make some development changes, like suspension settings and so forth, but it would be a relatively straightforward and fast process.

'The problem is that we can only build so many 911s per day at our factory in Zuffenhausen, and there are economic implications in adding more complexity to that process.'

Achleitner acknowledged that the eventual new-generation 911 GTS would probably retain the same format of wide body and rear-wheel drive. This would probably be accompanied by the power kit that's currently offered on the Carrera S; it takes power from the standard car's 394bhp to 424bhp.

Achleitner also confirmed that a rear-wheel-drive version of the latest Targa model (which uses the wider Carrera 4S as its basis) could be produced. 'It's not in the plan right now but we will of course gauge customer reaction; let's wait and see,' he said.

There will not be a 911 Turbo Targa, however; the range-topping model's aerodynamic aids would prevent the Targa's unique roof mechanism from tipping up the single-piece rear windscreen.