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Road tests

New Porsche 911 GTS 2024 review: hybrid power suits superb sports car

Porsche hits the bullseye with its first electrified 911, which uses the all-new T-Hybrid system

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Verdict

There’s a certain irony that the bleeding edge of combustion-engine development resides in a car with such a poignant connection to the past. And in the case of the new Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS T-Hybrid, the German brand has once again proved itself a master of its craft. The new and wickedly clever hybrid powertrain isn’t just more efficient and regulation-friendly, but also more engaging and visceral than ever. 

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It feels Porsche has been on the brink of fitting a hybrid powertrain to its 911 for years. Endless prototypes, a near-victory at the Nürburgring 24 hours with a hybrid-assisted 911 racer, and the proliferation of battery tech around its other models have made an electrified 911 all but inevitable. But that time appears to be now because as part of a larger update, this new 922.2-generation GTS introduces the brand’s all-new T-Hybrid system. 

Rather than a plug-and-play system developed elsewhere in the VW Group, the set-up within the new GTS is entirely bespoke. To start with, the petrol engine attached to it is actually bigger than the unit it replaces, rising from 3.0 to 3.6 litres. 

It’s an all-new unit, and has been designed specifically to work with the hybrid system. A single turbocharger sits on the engine, integrating a little electric motor between the turbine and scroll wheel. This is powered by a small lithium-ion battery mounted up front. There is also a further motor that’s mounted inside the eight-speed PDK housing.

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These electric motors can capture kinetic energy to feed back into the battery, but the petrol engine can kick in to top it up if the need arises. Yet there are no plugs and no estimated electric range. In fact, there’s no engine-off running at all.

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Combined peak power is up to 534bhp, with 610Nm of torque, and the coupé will go from 0-62mph in three seconds dead, 0.4 seconds faster than the previous 992. As with the best hybrids, there’s a logic behind the layout, and in the case of the new 911, it’s essentially there to fill in the flat spots left by the engine.  

The hybrid fires up in a guttural and satisfying manner, and has to be one of the most convincing applications of a turbocharged engine mimicking the response and feeling of a naturally aspirated motor that we’ve experienced. 

In Sport Plus mode, both the engine and turbo respond with an urgency that no turbocharged Porsche has ever had before. On the new fully digital instrument cluster, there is a small dial showing where and how the power is being delivered, and aside from just being a curiosity, it reveals how the pushing and pulling of electric energy is being managed. This is powertrain engineering and digital engine management at its absolute best. 

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The rest of the new GTS is just as evolved, and shows yet more distinction from its lesser Carrera siblings. The ride is firm, but wonderfully controlled, and even over broken tarmac, the wheels and tyres have great purchase. The new dampers are adjustable through the drive modes, and show their own gains in terms of variability. 

There is a little bit of extra mass with this Targa model, but the razor-sharp coupé’s general level of handling and dynamic excellence remains. The open roof also adds a welcome bit of drama to the package. 

There’s an irony that this might be one of the biggest and heaviest Carreras ever, but never has it felt more dynamically capable or proficient. There is a certain aspect of naturalness missing; for a more authentic 911 feel there’s always the brilliant base Carrera, which brings those limits a little more down to earth. But we needn’t have worried about a hybrid 911, because Porsche has nailed it at the first attempt.

Model:Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS
Price:£149,100
Powertrain:3.6-litre 6cyl turbo, 1x e-motor
Power/torque:534bhp/610Nm
Transmission:Eight-speed dual-clutch auto, all-wheel drive
0-62mph:3.1 seconds
Top speed:194mph
Economy/CO2:26mpg/244g/km
Size (L/W/H):4,553/1,852/1,289mm
On sale:Now
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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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