The odd BMW, a Mercedes-Benz/AMG here and there, Vauxhall’s, Vipers, Ferrari’ and a plethora of Porsches have all been adorned with the GTS moniker.
While each of the decidedly different models from the abovementioned manufacturers may have represented a variation on the GTS theme, the common thread is that they offered a higher-specified and racier version of the car upon which they were based. For example, a Viper GTS has very little in common with a Volkswagen Scirocco GTS.
In the context of Porsche, perhaps the most ubiquitous use of the three-litters, the story goes like this…
904 Carrera GTS (1963): A mid-engine coupé for both road and racetrack fell in line with the maxim that every Porsche was suitable for racing. It was the first sportscar from Zuffenhausen to have a plastic body and only 106 units were built. Its greatest victory came in 1964 at the Targe Florio in Sicily, driven by Baron Antonio Pucci and Colin Davis.
924 Carrera GTS (1981): Born the same year as this author, the 924 GTS proved that the transaxle layout could be successful for Porsche in motorsport. At the time of its launch, it was the most expensive production Porsche ever built. It was developed and homologated for Group 4 motorsport, eventually delivering the Clubsport variant with 202 kW as well as the 276 kW GTR. The total number of units built was small: just 50 left-hand-drive 924 Carrera GTSs, painted exclusively in Guards Red.
928 GTS (1992): The positioning of the GTS models as sporty all-rounders in virtually every segment Porsche occupies began with the 928 GTS. As the final development of the transaxle model series, the GTS had wider rear wings, a red-light strip at the rear, a body-colour rear wing and exterior mirrors and 17-inch Cup rims as standard. It’s 5,4-litre V8 engine delivered 257 kW.