2017 Porsche Macan GTS first drive review

Porsche’s strategy for old GTS models had been magnificent in its mission: Even if buyers couldn’t afford faster cars, there was still a race to empty whatever they had left in their wallets.

Engineers insist that’s not the case with the 2017 Porsche Macan GTS. This is the “target” Macan, they say. All other Macans are derivatives.

What pleasant happenstance.

Porsche buyers go nuts on options: Sport Chrono for $1,800, painted key fobs for $525, brushed aluminum kick plates for $250, Burmester sound for more than $5,000, and so on. The GTS trim on any Porsche used to be the ultimate “option” in some circumstances: more style, not a ton of substance.

That’s not explicitly true for the Macan GTS. For starters, the GTS boosts output from the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the Macan S from 340 horsepower up to 360 hp. The twist in the GTS is similarly increased, from 339 lb-ft to 369 pound-feet.

The GTS gets bigger anchors at the corners, too. The front rotors are 10 mm larger than those of the Macan S (rear rotors are the same size), and the treads are wider by 30 mm up front and 40 mm out back. Stopping power has effectively been increased by a magnitude of half a face peel, according to me.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Porsche Panamera to debut June 28

The ride height on the GTS can be lowered by roughly half an inch compared to the Macan S by way of the Porsche Active Suspension Management, which is standard on all GTS models. The air springs on PASM also raise the car for “Off Road” mode, which many Macan GTS buyers will use less than a laminated wedding dress.

The four-seater is best when slung low and menacing. It’s combination of matte black below the windows, and gloss black above the windows, sets off the GTS best when paired to Carmine Red, a seductive, lipstick exterior shade closer to crimson and I just lost my train of thought. Big, 20-inch black Spyder wheels are a step up from the 19-inchers on the Macan S and black quad-tipped exhausts finish the Macan GTS’s look.

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