Leave it to Porsche to be as dependable as the atomic clock. Unlike Volkswagen’s disappearing diesels, BMW’s sprawling-23 model lineup, and Audi’s habit of saving its best for Europe, Porsche’s hierarchical lineup is clearly and efficiency defined – so long as you disregard the 21 separate 911 models. The Boxster slots below the Cayman, which slots below the 911, which slots below the 918. For the front-engined cars, the new Macan slots below the Cayenne in the SUV department, and while the Panamera holds down the sedan segment for now, though it could have company soon too.
To break things up even further, virtually every model is offered has a base model, the sportier S, and the sportier-still GTS. The hotter Boxster, the GTS, is just a hare faster than the Cayman S, and the hottest Cayman GTS still falls short of the entry-level 911. It’s a measured game of increments and power-per-dollar, and at the Tokyo Motor Show, the company announced that the last holdout in its lineup, the Macan, will be getting a GTS version for 2017. While that may be big news for people looking for a sportier alternative to the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG, Audi SQ5, and BMW X4 M Sport, we frankly would’ve been shocked if Porsche had gone without it a minute longer.
The GTS treatment in the Macan is just about on par with the rest of the Porsche lineup too. The twin-turbo 3.0 liter V6-powered SUV gets a 20 horsepower boost over the S (340 to 360), or the same jump seen in the Cayenne S to GTS. Its zero-to-60 time of 5 seconds flat is down from 5.2 in the S — compared to the Cayenne S to GTS, which falls from 5.2 to 4.9. It tops out at 159 miles per hour, up from 156 in the S. For that extra power, the Macan GTS starts at $67,200 – a whopping $14,600 leap over the S. And with Porsche’s infamous a la carte options list, that means you’re dangerously at risk for leaving the dealership with a $100,000-plus Macan.
As Porsche points out, even if you skip ordering a $690 special color (read: not white or black), $1,320 wheels, a $4,790 GTS Interior Package, or $8,150 Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes (among many, many other things), your Macan GTS needs to at least come equipped with the $1,290 Chrono Sport package in order to reach its full performance potential.
But while the price difference between the S and GTS could buy you a nicely-equipped Mitsubishi Mirage (no, that’s not an oxymoron), you get more for your money than just two extra letters on the liftgate. On top of the power upgrades, the Macan GTS comes standard with blackout exterior accents to differentiate it from the S, different interior appointments, and a host of suspension upgrades to make it easier to drive in anger, including Porsche Active Suspension Management, and the company’s adjustable air suspension. One thing that can’t be upgraded is transmission; Like the S, all that extra power is routed through Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch unit.
While the GTS tops the S, it still slots neatly below the $73,900 Turbo, with its 400 horsepower 3.6 liter V6, 4.6 second zero to 60 sprint, and 164 mile per hour top end. Compared to most other crossovers, the GTS is an exercise in excess, but in the Porsche lineup it makes perfect sense. Since its introduction in mid-2014, the Macan has joined the Cayenne to account for over 50% of Porsche sales in America. Adding yet another trim level to this popular model only means good things for Porsche. And considering how dire things are for parent company Volkswagen right now, that’s certainly not a bad thing right now.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.
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