Colour me GTS: An exploration of design

From the 911 and 718 to the Panamera, Macan or Cayenne, a trained eye can pick out the design of the GTS model anywhere, whether it’s on a mountain peak, a winding country road or parked in a bustling metropolis. For those with an appreciation for the details, understanding the design elements that make a GTS a GTS, is an integral part of what makes the badge so special.

718 Cayman GTS 4.0

The beginning of GTS

Power, reliability and speed have always been the defining characteristics of outstanding sports cars. But the very nature of sports racing meant the desire for taking the chequered flag often left the driver’s comfort and the car’s style fighting over second and third place.

But during the '60s, long distance racing on some of the world’s most punishing public roads grew in popularity. The Porsche Carrera GTS (or the Porsche 904) was the answer: A sports car that could go from zero to 100 in under six seconds, grip tightly to the road and still be comfortable while looking the part. Less of a solution, and more of a design revolution.


Becoming the driver’s car

Almost instantly, GTS stood for additional comfort in a hot-blooded sports car, yet it would eventually come to serve as the label for a sportier driving experience with a high level of comfort and design. In short, the GTS became the driver’s derivative, offering even more of the things you love in and outside the driver’s seat. With a sports suspension that offers a lower stance (a tip of the helmet to its racing DNA), front aprons that are adapted from the Turbo models, and every minute design detail carefully considered – from seat stitching to brake calipers.

Macan GTS
Macan GTS

The GTS Red

The first thing that will give away a GTS is the striking shade of Carmine Red. A deliberate choice made by the design team at Zuffenhausen, to set the GTS badge apart instantlyt. Only ever used on a GTS, it can be found on the rev counter, the stitching on the sport seat head rests (topped off with the now iconic GTS logo), or nestled behind silky black Spyder wheels upon each brake caliper, a little red gift to the prying eyes of any driving enthusiast.

A touch of matte black

But where there is Carmine Red, matte black isn’t too far behind. Black is, in fact, a defining element throughout the entire GTS design concept. Historically recognised as the colour of authority and strength, matte black can be seen on Porsche lettering, radiator grille, and the aforementioned wheels; even tinting the Bi-Xen headlights or lining the dual tailpipes of the sports exhaust system.

What’s on the outside counts

These contrasting colours, coupled with the sportier body, give the GTS its own identity within the Porsche world and remain the easiest way to discern the discerning driver. A bold red, synonymous with passion and adventure mixed with a rebellious and sophisticated matte black. They offer a glimpse into what has been a history of uncompromising sportiness, designed with the driver in mind.

718 Cayman GTS 4.0

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