After its introduction in 2002, a unique task force at Porsche was given the assignment of expanding the road-based performance of the successful model. Oliver Laqua, an engineer with Porsche at the time, had worked on the first generation of the vehicle and was tasked with creating a vehicle that would be slotted in between the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo. This is the start of the GTS project that now has a place in every Porsche series in production today. Here is the story behind that project and the GTS models we get to enjoy today.
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It All Started With ‘Roadrunner’
When Laqua was tasked with creating a road-optimized performance vehicle, the project was affectionately nicknamed ‘Roadrunner.’ The initial move was to clear weight off of the current Cayenne model by getting rid of the transfer case, however, management disliked the idea of a purely rear-wheel drive Cayenne. Eventually, it was settled to increase power with a naturally aspirated V8 for a real throttle response and make a six-speed manual transmission standard for driveability. The suspension was also combined with the Porsche Active Suspension Management that had, until that point, been reserved for two-door sports cars.
A Little Fine Tuning
Once the powertrain and suspension had been thought out, the chassis needed to be upgraded for optimum road performance. By enlisting the help of world rally champion Walter Röhrl, the AWD system was configured to deliver 62 and 38 percent of the power to the rear and front axles respectively, but electronically adjustable to deliver 100 percent to either axle. The ride height was also lowered by 2 cm when compared with the steel spring-equipped models. And, when air suspension was integrated, that ride height was able to be brought down by almost another centimeter.
The GTS was also about to get some cosmetic and support upgrades. The wheel arches were widened, the trim was updated, and the exhaust system was configured for better expulsion and sound modification — giving the new creation a throaty V8 rumble. If you are looking for tuning when it comes to your Porsche, let the specialists at HOUSE Automotive get your car optimized for your driving.
While the Cayenne GTS is being developed, the project is still being referred to as ‘Roadrunner.’ However, it was time to bring the product to market. With a long race history, Porsche eventually settled on a name from their athletic bloodline: the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. More specifically the GTS portion of that name, which stands for ‘Gran Turismo Sport.’ This name is meant to represent the perfect combination of sportiness and long-distance road trip qualities.
Today’s GTS is still the road-worthy sports crossover it was originally designed to be. With 453 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds but the capabilities that an AWD car should offer, the Cayenne GTS is designed to offer more power and better drivability than the base models. As are all of the other GTS models in the Porsche lineup.
HOUSE Auto Group – Porsche Cars Only
Whether you drive a 911 GTS, Panamera GTS, or Macan GTS, it stems from the original ‘Roadrunner’ project headed up by Oliver Laqua. At HOUSE Automotive, our Porsche specialists are experts in their field, providing your car with the repair and maintenance you need to enjoy the Porsche experience interruption-free. If you are looking for Porsche repair or maintenance in LA, get started with HOUSE today.