It plugs the gap

The Advertiser - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD - JOHN CAREY

IT takes skill and judg­ment to squeeze an SUV into a tight spot and Porsche aims to park the new­est version of its medi­um­size Ma­can in an amaz­ingly nar­row gap.

The GTS must slip into the skimpy space be­tween the ex­ist­ing Turbo and S mod­els.

Porsche’s best­seller, the Ma­can ac­counts for about half of the brand’s Aus­tralian sales so far this year.

When it goes on sale in April, the GTS will add a dash of sporty spice to the line-up.

Porsche care­fully cal­cu­lated this in­crease in spici­ness.

The GTS has a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, just like the S. Porsche’s en­gi­neers have turned up the dial to make it more pow­er­ful but not as pow­er­ful as that in the Ma­can Turbo, a larger twin-turbo V6.

At $109,500, the GTS adds a $20,200 pre­mium to the S but it is $16,300 less than the Turbo.

Porsche claims that the GTS will scoot from 0-100km/h in 5.2 sec­onds, a lit­tle quicker than the S, but also a frac­tion slower than the Turbo.

The GTS seems de­signed for the kind of well-off dither­ers who sim­ply can’t de­cide whether the S or the Turbo is the right Ma­can for them.

But there is a lit­tle more to this speedy five-seat SUV than sim­ply fill­ing a nar­row niche.

Porsche fits the GTS with sus­pen­sion 15mm lower than the S, adap­tive shock ab­sorbers spe­cially tuned for faster cor­ner­ing and big 20-inch wheels wear­ing wide rub­ber.

It’s the sporti­est Ma­can of all, Porsche plau­si­bly claims.

Black trim­mings on the out­side and deep-sided, Al­can­tara-trimmed front seats in­side give the GTS a more pur­pose­ful look and feel, with­out re­duc­ing its wagon-like ver­sa­til­ity.

On a smooth and wind­ing road, the Ma­can GTS is a stun­ningly quick SUV.

The en­gine de­liv­ers solid punch through the stan­dard seven-speed dou­ble-clutch trans­mis­sion.

Its all-wheel drive chan­nels power mainly to the rear wheels, aid­ing trac­tion and making the han­dling more car­like than lesser SUVs. There’s great grip from the broad tyres, the steer­ing is quick and the brakes — al­ways a Porsche strength — are ex­cel­lent.

But on roads that aren’t per­fect, the GTS can be tire­some to drive. Its stan­dard adap­tive shock ab­sorbers — Porsche’s name for this tech­nol­ogy is PASM, for Porsche Ac­tive Sus­pen­sion Man­age­ment — are frus­trat­ing.

The driver can choose from Com­fort, Sport and Sport Plus modes, none of which can hap­pily com­bine sporty han­dling and smooth ride.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.