Built for winning: Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS

Porsche is the queen of the 24 hours of Le Mans and the winning spirit of the 919 can be felt at the wheel of the new 911 Carrera 4 GTS.

June 14, 2015 will go down in history as the day that – exactly 45 years after the first – Porsche achieved its 17th victory in the biggest race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The brand also cemented another record that it has held since 1985, when its 10th triumph meant it had overtaken Ferrari's nine.

With Nico Hülkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber at the wheel, the number 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid wrote yet another glorious page in the history of the Stuttgart constructor, ending a spell with no titles since 1998, the year in which Porsche crossed the finish line first for the last time.

For those who can't compete in Le Mans, the next best thing is to look at the sportiest 911 on the market today, the Carrera GTS.

These three letters are sacred in the heart of Porsche and are reserved to the more driver-focused models that don't display the acronyms GT2, GT3 or GT4.

Essential Madeira tested what is perhaps the most exciting GTS in the current catalogue: the 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK. The 6-cylinder 3.8 boxer engine packs 430 horse power at 7500 rpm, with specifically tuned suspension and steering.

The Alcantara-lined interior and Plus sports seats are other distinctive elements in this version, with stunning 20-inch alloy wheels with black matte finish giving it an aggressive look that mirrors its personality.

The result is a captivating car that immerses the driver in a driving experience that's vintage 911, but with a few extra sprinkles of fairy dust. The brand says that the 911 Carrera GTS should be seen as the bridge between the 911 Carrera S and the 911 GT3, and that's exactly how it feels at the wheel. The sound of the engine's mechanics is as addictive as it is intoxicating and, with a perfect balance of the chassis, the 4 GTS enables breakneck pace.

The Launch Control system allows you to hit 100km/h in just four seconds, and if you keep your right foot to the floor and the road allows you to do so, the Porsche reaches 302km/h. With all the GT3s produced so far quickly selling out, and the same happening with the GT3 RS, the GTS is the most extreme 911 you can buy and the perfect way to channel the unique winning spirit of a brand that continues to break barriers in technological terms and innovate like no other in the world, pulverising every record along the way.