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First drive: Porsche Macan GTS (2020MY). Image by Porsche AG.

First drive: Porsche Macan GTS (2020MY)
Our choice of the Porsche Macan line-up, the GTS, has been updated. Itís still our choice.

 



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Porsche Macan GTS 2020MY

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Arguably, the cleverest thing about the new Porsche Macan GTS is its positioning in the range. That's not to detract from its technical make-up one jot, but there's no doubt that the product planners at the German powerhouse sat down with the tech specs and pricing of the Macan S and Macan Turbo, and then focused on the space between them. It's a strategy that has paid dividends for it in the past, in the Macan line-up and elsewhere in the Porsche range, so the appearance of a new GTS model for the revised Macan family was of no surprise. Does it retain the 'just right' vibe of its predecessor?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Porsche Macan GTS
Pricing: GTS from £58,816; Macan starts at £46,913
Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol
Transmission: seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic, PTM all-wheel drive
Body style: five-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions: 218g/km (VED Band 191-225: £1,280 in year one, then £465 per annum years two-six of ownership, then £145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 29.4mpg
Top speed: 162mph
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds with Sport Plus
Power: 380hp at 5,200-6,700rpm
Torque: 520Nm at 1,750-5,000rpm

What's this?

The sportiest of all the Porsche Macan models, according to its maker. The GTS apparently now completes the line-up of the company's best-selling SUV, sitting between the Macan S and Macan Turbo. It ditches the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 of its predecessor for a (only slightly) detuned version of the Macan Turbo's 2.9-litre V6. That's the one with two turbochargers nestling together in the vee between the two banks of three cylinders, incidentally, and in the Macan GTS it puts out 380hp and 520Nm of torque. Impressive by any measure, but take a look at the tech specs and you'll also notice that those figures are available over usefully wide rev bands, hinting at this engine's flexibility. Incidentally, the peak numbers are up 20hp and 20Nm on the previous Macan GTS.

That V6 is bolted to a seven-speed PDK automatic, sending power to the active PTM all-wheel drive system. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus is optional, though. As is the Sport Chrono package, annoyingly. You'll need that to get the driving mode controller on the steering wheel and the fastest 0-62mph time quoted above.

As is Porsche's way, there's a long list of tempting options to enhance your Macan GTS, but it's not a bad package as standard. The GTS theme involves lots of black and dark detailing on the outside, extending to the front and rear LED lighting, the specific bumpers and side sills, and even the rear diffuser and exhaust outlets. There's a Sports exhaust lurking under there as standard, incidentally.

The interior follows the same theme, adding tactile Alcantara into the mix, along with plenty of other GTS identifiers. Buyers can customise it with Carmine Red or Crayon colour schemes for stitching, the seatbelts, rev counter and more, but it's a decent cabin more or less as standard, and it comes with GTS-specific sports seats up front with extra bolstering.

Prices start at £58,816 and alternatives with similar pricing and performance include the Audi SQ5 (even though it's fuelled by diesel...), BMW X3/X4 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43.

How does it drive?

That Sports exhaust sets the tone for the Macan GTS with a rousing note. How rowdy it is can be set by the driver over two levels. And really, it suits the car's personality, giving the powerful twin-turbo V6 voice in a world accelerating hard toward zero-noise electric cars. That engine kicks hard from seemingly anywhere in the rev range, with very little noticeable lag and a strong final dash to the red line that focuses your mind.

The PDK gearbox alters its shift strategy depending on driving mode, from smooth and refined in Comfort to a focus on gearchange speed and keeping the engine on the boil in the Sport Plus setting. It works well, but you'll want to take over just to have an excuse to use the wonderfully tactile paddles behind the steering wheel.

All Macans drive well, so the GTS has a good chassis to start with. In a bid to justify its 'sportiest' claim, Porsche has tweaked the anti-roll bars, steel springs and damping. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is included in the price, and it brings with it a 15mm lower ride height than other Macans, meaning a usefully lower centre of gravity. Without testing them back-to-back, it's not easy to say if it's noticeably better at cornering, but there's no doubt it has a talent for such things, attacking bends with more vim than most SUVs can muster, and even allowing the driver to get involved in the experience. We didn't get a chance to test the basic GTS set-up, unfortunately, as optional air suspension was fitted.

Direct steering, solid brakes and iron-fisted body control mix with the engine's performance, the huge traction on tap and the quick-thinking transmission to make the Macan GTS as enjoyable to drive quickly on an interesting road as many a sports car. Job done.

Verdict

This test drive was an affirmation of our belief that the GTS is the pick of the whole Porsche Macan range. It looks good, drives brilliantly and can do the whole premium SUV thing well, too. Even if we could afford the Macan Turbo, we'd put the money into the GTS, and then give in to the temptation to pile on the optional extras...

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

5 5 5 5 5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Shane O'Donoghue - 10 Feb 2020









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2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.

2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.2020 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche GB.








 

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