From track days to school runs: Porsche Panamera GTS gets road tested
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It’s going to be a busy year for Porsche New Zealand with the launch soon of the next generation Macan, 911 and later the all electric Taycan.
But on sale now is the GTS version of the Panamera.
Priced from $325,500, the GTS four-door luxury sedan sits below the Turbo model in the lineup of the second-generation Panamera.
GTS stands for Gran Turismo Sport but in reality it’s a grand tourer thanks to the luxurious interior and the rear seats that are more limo-like than everyday passenger transportation.
The 4-litre, V8 twin turbo petrol engine produces 338kW of power and 620Nm of torque paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The biturbo engine, featuring a gasoline particulate filter, outperforms its predecessor by 15 kW and 100 Nm.
It now performs 0-100km/h in 4.1s as it works in conjunction with the standard Sport Chrono package. It has a top speed of 292km/h.
The Panamera GTS also has the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system.
The sports chassis in the GTS model has been lowered by 10mm while the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system has been adapted to create sporty calibration.
At just over 5m long, 1947m wide and 1417m high the Panamera GTS weighs 2585kg. It gets larger brakes than the Turbo (390mm in the front, 365mm in the back) to help stopping at speed.
When compared to the previous model, the new Panamera GTS has had an upgrade in equipment, including sports design front and rear and while 20in alloys are standard, my test model had 21in (priced at $5850) and included such features as carbon interior package, lane change and lane keep assist plus head up display with a final price of $340,910.
When it comes to competition, there’s the two-door Bentley Continental GT or in the premium bracket are the Mercedes E634Matic BMW M5 and Audi A8L.
The GTS also includes the digital Porsche Advanced Cockpit, assist systems such as Porsche InnoDrive including adaptive cruise control, and optional rear-axle steering.
There is also the impressive sport exhaust system with black quad tailpipes that comes standard on the GTS and emits a deep rumble at idle. That is intoxicating.
And turn on the sports exhaust and dial in sport or sport plus mode and the Panamera turns from a luxury sedan to take you between work and home, into a mean sounding performance car that has more power that you could want.
As well as the sport and sport plus modes, there is normal (best for around the city) plus individual setting.
While the Turbo is the gusty member of the Panamera family, the GTS has plenty of speed, too, thanks to the torque extending from 1800 to 4500rpm and tweaks to its all-wheel-drive system, creating a stable vehicle when taking on corners at speed.
The chassis upgrade in the GTS is also impressive giving it a more nimble handling but underlying restraint that is reassuring. Sure, the Panamera Turbo may be the car you race at Hampton Downs, but the GTS is the one you pack you bag in the the large boot and head for a road trip.
When drivers end an eight-hour stint behind the wheel of the GTS, they feel refreshed. The handling is easy, performance is there from 50km/h to 100km/h and the boost of power’s available when needed.
Plus your rear passengers will be equally as relaxed — depending on your music choice.
Overall, the Porsche badge and the performance engine gives the Panamera GTS a fine pedigree and works equally as well as an everyday drive or a weekend warrior.