The Porsche 911 is the world-renowned leader in the class of the "nearly-super-car" grand touring cars, albeit turned up a notch more to give the road trip beast some additional bite. But what if you don’t want a flat-6 911 or are bored with the largely unchanged lines of the 56 years of historic Porsche style? Look no further than the mighty AMG GT. Our example under examination for this article is GTS trim offering a bit of extra spice!
From the outside, a GTS truly has the aesthetics of an older GT car; massive front end, cabin-over-the-rear-axle design, and surprisingly normal doors. If you’ll remember our review of the SLS AMG Black Series, (if not you can read that here) the GT is the son of what AMG learned from their first exclusively developed car, with gullwing doors and a gargantuan V8 in the same front mid-engined format as the GT. The Black Series SLS made more than 600 horsepower. This 2016 GTS only made 515 horsepower when it came off the assembly line. So what gives and what are the key differences?
Well, the owner of this spectacular example, Dustin James from Eurocharged New York thought the exact same thing and he set out to fix the power deficit as priority number 1. The list of mods he choose and implemented is impressive.
Swapped in new downpipes, fuel pumps to run on E85 fuel, and of course a custom Eurocharged tune to crank his GTS up even more. Oh yeah, I'll need to mention he strapped two Pure 900 turbos in replacement of the stock snails?
All these mods equate to exactly 797 horsepower to the wheels, meaning this is nearly a 1000 horsepower car.
Wow. But numbers are just numbers, and to really get a feel for what almost 800 horsepower feels like to dump into the rear tires, we need to take this beast out for a drive. A quick disclaimer before we get on the road: I reviewed this car before it was retuned and had the new fuel pumps installed, and we drove with traction control on in the spirit of the 50-degree Buffalo days, so the car was making in the realm of 600-650 horsepower, but it still was no slouch.
With the 4.0 liter V8 fired up and warmed in snowy Buffalo, we set off. The first thing I immediately noticed when inside the GTS is how low you sit, not ride height-wise but the seating position that's fit into this body design, every button in the center stack of this car sits above your waste and some even up to your chest, and the dash is a mountain of a thing as well.
Honestly, you feel like a gangster in this car, and I can imagine Dustin does too, laid back with one hand on the wheel as we cruise with the car in automatic mode to the highway.
Another observation is the ever-present rumble firing out the back of the GTS, not what I’d call a drone, but a reminder that there’s 800 horsepower beneath your right foot when you call upon it. We hop on the highway, and Dustin unleashes the V8 that kicks to life with a brutal snarl followed by the spool of the Pure 900s and we’re gone. I can only wonder what the men in the garbage truck thought as we flew by them at nothing less than full tilt.
Something I've observed, when you drop massive power into supercars that are already operating at what the OEM thinks is the limit, they become to a certain extent "unruly" if you attempt to drive them with regular car expectations. I didn’t see that with Dustin’s GTS, it actually became a more civilized machine. We dropped into 7th gear when we weren’t ripping on it, but it refused to punish us with harsh suspension over the dirt road at our photo location and across the brutal Buffalo potholes on the highway. I credit this unique experience in this case to the custom Eurocharged tune. It was perfectly matched to the hardware and provided for an amazing ride.
If I had to pick, my favorite part of this car is how the V8 and the transmission work in such harmony that the GTS becomes what I’ve deemed, “a precision monster,” nail it on any long strip of asphalt, and the shifts become so seamless that the acceleration feels infinite.
As Dustin and the GTS drives away post our evaluation, I contemplate the meaning of the car, how little it compares to the analog SLS it was born from. A good car? Without question, yes! The view over the dash, front fenders, and out the back may be slightly hindered by the distribution of the body of the car, but it feels so good on the road and it's these very traits that make it look so good as I watch the GTS run off into the distance.
The GTS may not have the legacy and connected feel of a 911 of the same idea, or even the class and comfort of an Aston Martin Vantage, but you won't see a 911 Carrera or a Vantage make 800 wheel horsepower on nothing more than upgraded turbos! Well, at least not without some work from our friends at Eurocharged New York!
This car is a mighty thing on the road, and clearly, when tuned properly, can be a proper menace to unexpecting 488’s and Huracan’s on the streets while providing top-notch German comfort and quality. If you’re looking to stand out from crowds of 911 owners and have the itch to modify your car, the GTS would be a prime choice for you.
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The photographs used in this article are amazing and all image credit goes to @jacobcarspotting on Instagram.