With cars, as in life, there are introverts and there are extroverts. Some are happy to plough the furrow of efficiency, dependability and quiet composure, choosing to open up away from the judgemental eyes of their fellows. And then there are the others – the sort that turn up to the party well lubricated, rear end on show, hollering and shrieking for attention without a care in the world.
With a couple of mutations in the family tree (Mssrs. GT3 RS and perhaps the Turbo S) the Porsche 911 falls firmly into the former category. You know where you are with a Porsche. The Mercedes AMG GTS pretender to the just-sub-supercar throne is, on the other hand, a different beast entirely.
It's the stuff of a madman's dreams, all aggression and cartoonish seduction – the unholy alliance between Jessica Rabbit and the A-10 Warthog.
First of all, we’ve got to address the looks. Whereas the Porsche is an old family friend who still manages to be attractive under the right light the AMG GTS is a straight up leave-your-spouse pearler. The long Cruella de Vil bonnet, tapering tail and gangster-matte paint job literally stop people in their tracks as the machine roars past them. Its the stuff of a madman’s dreams, all aggression and cartoonish seduction – the unholy alliance between Jessica Rabbit and the A-10 Warthog.
In fact, roaring is something the AMG GTS does very competently indeed. The twin turbo hot 503 bhp V8 combined with AMG’s frankly supernatural grasp of exhaust acoustics produces a deep rumble, through throaty gurgle right up to a jungle cat scream. It is a noise that causes animals to attack their owners in the street and old people to require oxygen. Flip the dial into race mode and see civilians wince as you gun the engine. It never gets old.
But it is also precise, tightly wound and torquey to the point of silliness and, when mated with a stunningly crisp and responsive gear box, it delivers an incredibly locked on experience. Indeed, this sense of driver and engine harmony allied with hugely agile and responsive handling makes the AMG GTS a truly great car.
Unthinkably, the 911 may have met its match.