What is it?
Demand still rages for the Porsche Macan, so Porsche has been in no hurry to rush new versions to market. As a result this GTS model has been more than a year in the making, but history suggests it should be worth the wait.
You see, for quite some time Porsche’s GTS models have arguably represented the sweet spot in the range thanks to their blending of the motorsport-themed GT cars’ hard edge with a generous smothering of everyday usability. It’s not often the case of less being more with a Porsche, but the GTS usually proves that splashing out on the pricier models doesn’t necessarily mean having a better time behind the wheel.
As with its predecessor the formula is fairly simple: the Macan getting a more focused suspension set-up, a bit more power and some natty visual additions to let your neighbours know just where you stand in the Porsche pecking order. And as ever with these models, the changes manage to add up to a little more than the sum of their parts.
As before, the chassis is treated to a 15mm drop over the standard car, making the GTS the lowest model in the Macan range - although if you go for optional air suspension the ride is only 10mm lower. This reduced ride height is combined with recalibrated adaptive dampers, tuned and tweaked for even greater control when pressing on. There are also bespoke RS Spyder Design 20in wheels that cover brakes now clamped by bright red calipers. Our test car was sprinkled with a few choice dynamic options too, such as the trick PTV torque vectoring rear differential.
The biggest change is reserved for the engine, with the old car’s 3.0-litre V6 being ditched in favour of the latest 2.9-litre. A detuned Turbo unit rather than an uprated S engine, it gets ‘hot vee’ twin turbos to deliver 376bhp (up 20bhp on the previous model) and a thumping 384lb ft, which works out at an extra 16lb ft. Impressively, this torque is available from just 1750rpm all the way through to 5000rpm. Furthermore, the engine is located on stiffer mounts that aim to improve steering accuracy, plus it breathes through a fruitier sports exhaust.
Some dabbling with the seven-speed PDK’s brain helps sharpen the shifts, while the gearbox is mated to the latest four-wheel drive system with Porsche Traction Management that aims to deliver a more rear-wheel drive handling balance.