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The 2015 Carrera GTS could be the sweet spot in Porsche’s 911 lineup

In the sometimes convoluted world of Porsche, models with the “GTS” tag have become something of a sweet spot, offering more performance than base versions without going too hardcore.

A GTS model was also one of the few things missing from the vast 991-series 911 lineup. Porsche is filling that gap for 2015 with the 911 Carrera GTS.

Available in either coupe or convertible form, and with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the Carrera GTS attempts to bridge the gap between the Carrera S and hardcore 911 GT3.

To do that, Porsche made the Carrera S Powerkit – Sport Chrono package and sport exhaust – standard equipment. That means the GTS’ 3.8-liter flat-six produces 430 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque.

Equipped with the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, Porsche says the GTS coupe will do 0 to 60 mph one tenth of a second quicker than the Carrera S, making the short trip in 3.8 seconds. With the seven-speed manual transmission, it takes 4.2 seconds.

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However, the manual has a slight advantage over the PDK in top speed, reaching a nice even 190 mph compared to 189 mph. The convertible versions are slightly slower.

In addition to the tweaked engine, GTS models get lowered suspension, a Porsche Dynamic Light System, and interiors trimmed in Alcantara.

Visually, the GTS is distinguished by 20-inch center-lock wheels, tinted headlights, and black chrome exhaust tips. Rear-wheel drive models also get the same Carrera 4 wide body as all-wheel drive versions.

The 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS will go on sale in the U.S. before the end of 2014. Pricing (including destination) starts at $115,195 for the coupe and $127,095 for the convertible.

All-wheel drive Carrera 4 GTS models start at $121,895 and $133,795 for the coupe and convertible respectively. That equates to a roughly $15,000 premium over comparable Carrera S models.