Sharper, faster version of Porsche’s smallest SUV promises a unique blend of driver appeal and everyday usability. Does the new Macan GTS work in the UK?
This is our second encounter with the recently updated version of Porsche’s formidable Macan GTS – but the first in the UK.Our initial drive of this sharper, more focused take on Stuttgart’s golden-goose SUV came all the way back in February at the car’s international launch. And on smooth, technical Portuguese roads, it reminded us why the Gran Turismo Sport model has been the Macan of choice for keener drivers who happen to have families in tow. Now it’s landed here in the UK and it’s time to find out just how effective it is on bruised and battered British Tarmac.But first, a quick recap on what makes a GTS a GTS. The recipe remains pretty similar to last time: introduce a slightly more focused chassis tune; add in a dash of extra visual flair; and give power and torque a modest hike. So you still get a range of tasty visual tweaks that include darkened light housings, black 20in RS Spyder Design alloy wheels and some glossy black exterior trim pieces – all of which leave the Macan GTS looking suitably meaner than the standard car. The car sits 15mm closer to the ground, too, on a sportier suspension set-up that includes recalibrated adaptive dampers for enhanced levels of response and control. Optional height-adjustable air suspension drops it by 10mm in Comfort setting, but in Sport Plus mode takes it lower even than the coil-sprung Macan GTS. Our test car had it, at a cost of £1044.The most significant tweak, however, relates to how the GTS gets its smattering of additional straight-line punch. Whereas the last car got a gruntier version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 from the Macan S, this one uses the 2.9-litre motor from the flagship Turbo. So that it doesn’t step on the range-topper’s toes, power and torque are capped at 376bhp and 384lb ft, as opposed to the 434bhp and 403lb ft of the Turbo. Even so, that’s still 20bhp and 16lb ft more than you got in the last Macan GTS.