GTS: Synonym for sportiness

 “GTS” stands for a classic sports car formula. The Newsroom talked to Jan Roth, Director of the 718 model line, about the new six-cylinder derivative, the 718 GTS 4.0.

Mr Roth, what's the story behind the three letters "GTS"?

“GTS” stands for “Gran Turismo Sport.” This designation was first used by Porsche in the 1960s with the 904 Carrera GTS, a racing car in the classic sense of the term. Porsche wanted to bring this car to the road and turn it into a vehicle suitable for long-distance driving. The result was the GTS, combining road-worthy comfort and motorsport engineering.

904 Carrera GTS

When applied to the GTS models of today, this means they could actually race on the track ...

Yes, exactly. This is best illustrated by the Cayman and Boxster with their wide spread of capability between performance and everyday usability. On today’s GTS models, we approach the design from the opposite angle than in the 1960s. When the Cayenne GTS was launched onto the market in 2007 as the very first 21st century GTS, we wanted to give it a sportier edge. GTS models were then also introduced for the Panamera, Boxster and Macan range.

What position does the GTS 4.0 hold in the 718 family ranking?

The GTS always sits above the standard and the S model. When we launched the previous 2.5-liter GTS, we were developing the four-liter, naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine for the track-bred GT4 and the Spyder, the top of the range derivatives of the 718 model series, at the same time. At that time, there were already considerations to use this engine elsewhere. This evolved into the GTS 4.0, the top model 718 best suited for everyday use, so to speak.

718 Boxster GTS 4.0

Why doesn’t the 718 model series have a top-level turbo model?

For historical reasons. In the days of six-cylinder engines, we simply didn’t have the space. In any case, above the 718 series we have the 911, which is Porsche’s more powerful sports car. To us, it makes more sense to let our more track-oriented, purist models such as the GT4 and the Spyder lead the field.

You’re talking about the 911 models. How is the 718 model series ranked in the Porsche world?

The standard variant of the 718 is the starting point into the Porsche world. A considerable number of buyers then advance to the higher specification variants, the S and the GTS, and then very often the next step is the 911. But this always depends on the specific market.

How do the markets differ?

In China, for example, we have an average customer age of 32, by far the youngest, and the highest percentage of female customers with 56 percent. China is already one of the largest single markets for the 718. This is partly attributed to the displacement taxation there which is relatively low on the two-liter four-cylinder engine.

What are the top three purchase reasons on the individual markets?

In China, our concept has helped us gain an edge over many competitors in this segment. As we are positioned in a segment which is within the financial means of many customers, we hold 80% of the market share in this segment. An utterly amazing figure. Chinese customers state their main reasons for buying the 718 as the exterior design, brand reputation and the “suits my needs” category.

And in the USA?

Here performance is the top priority, followed by exterior design and brand loyalty. In Germany, exterior design is ranked highest and then performance and body type, in other words, the two-seater concept with a mid-engine layout. All very similar as you can see.

Interior of the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0

Going back to the GTS 4.0. How would you sell this model to a potential buyer?

It offers a great value with a high degree of standard performance equipment, resulting in an ideal sports car suited equally well for spirited driving and for everyday use on the road. It also looks great and has an excellent sound thanks to its naturally aspirated flat six-cylinder engine.

Info

Jan Roth has been with Porsche since October 1996 and has worked with the 718 model series since its beginnings. He characterizes the cars by saying “mid-engine sports cars have always demonstrated their advantages on tight corners and hairpin bends."

Jan Roth and a 718 Cayman GTS 4.0

GTS models + review

The GTS models provide the sporty finishing touch to virtually every model family. Sporty beginnings: with a Targa Florio winner in 1964.

904 Carrera GTS

The forbearer
The silver Carrera is the first Porsche to have the legendary GTS designation added to its name. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed the mid-engine Coupé in line with the maxim “every Porsche is suited to racing” for both the road and the track. The two-seater celebrated its premier at the Solitude track in Stuttgart on November 26, 1963. It was the first sports car from Zuffenhausen which featured a plastic body. A total of 110 units were made. The car recorded its biggest victory in 1964 at the Targa Florio in Sicily driven by Baron Antonio Pucci and Colin Davis.

Characteristic GTS
Classic elements

  • Distinctive front apron
  • Lowered sports chassis as standard
  • Interior with black Alcantara
  • Black twin tailpipes on the sports exhaust system
  • GTS design concept: Logos, radiator grill and tires in silky-black
  • More torque and more output than the other models in the family
  • Red brake calipers
     

Current GTS models

Other model series

Panamera GTS

Engine: Twin-turbocharged V8
Displacement: 4.0 l
Power output: 453 hp
Torque: 457 lb-ft
Top track speed: 181 mph
0–60 mph: 3.9 s

Panamera GTS Sport Turismo

Engine: Twin-turbocharged V8
Displacement: 4.0 l
Power output: 453 hp
Torque: 457 lb-ft
Top track speed: 179 mph
0–60 mph: 3.9 s

Macan GTS

Engine: Twin-turbocharged V6
Displacement: 2.9 l
Power output: 375hp
Torque: 383 lb-ft
Top track speed: 162 mph
0–60 mph: 4.5 s

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