PORSCHE PANAMERA SPORT TURISMO GTS — 5MIN REVIEW
During the pandemic and now with the world slowly opening up again, consumers have been looking for new ways to avoid public transportation yet the availability of popular vehicles (depending on what you're searching for), is either scarce or in abundance. Furthermore, because of the lack of available rental vehicles, travelers have resorted to the trend of compact sport utility vehicles, shooting brakes, and grand touring specialities, where available. And manufacturers are finding all sorts of ways to get people into the right rides to get you outside. The needs have changed while the needs of some few remain (excessively) the same. The trend of Automotive sales for the last three decades has revolved around crossovers and grand touring models, and now the new wave of electric vehicles, the customization of vehicles is growing and forever changing how we see the vehicle parked in our driveways known as "the car”.
Within the nearly two-year span of the COVID-19 pandemic, the automotive and transport industries have been hit in unimaginable ways with record-low sales quarters and manufacturing challenges but the rise in prices with specific vehicles, not to mention some OEMs have had record-breaking quarters, is still quick astonishing. One thing is for sure-- luxury automotive companies are not feeling the pinch or pain of Covid. In fact, Italian automaker Lamborghini stated that it had its best year ever in 2020, while Japanese OEM Toyota had its worst year ever, since 2012.
Having tested a multitude of Porsche vehicles, the Panamera still maintains my attention against their crossover options and the ultra-sporty (compact) legend, the 911, even with the all-new Grand Touring package. As a sporty road warrior within its segment, the Panamera has more than 21 options available in its product lineup— a plethora of opportunities from Base, Hybrid, or Turbo to make it your own. And while I have my choices, the Sport Turismo with GTS trim is the beasty coating for this model with a Sport Design package that grows on you and growls for the wild.
GO FURTHER, FASTER
Among the many things that you can appreciate of the Panamera Sport Turismo is the four-liter V8 engine that delivers 473 horsepower output and a maximum of 457 pound-feet of torque-- a very decent delivery of power and push that’s still not even seen in most high-end SUVs. The engine’s sound is emotional and the driving experience is formidable beckoning for the great outdoors.
The biturbo engine, which features a gasoline particulate filter, can accelerate the Panamera GTS Sport Turismo from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. Not bad for a five-seater, right? The top speed of 289 km/h is achieved with no interruptions in tractive force as power is transmitted to the Porsche PTM all-wheel-drive system by the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Trust me, it’s flawless— gear shifts are rare and barely felt. Going the distance is easy, without mileage anxiety and fear that a big V8 engine is going to blow through fuel in one big swoop. Fuel consumption is moderate at 10.6 liters per 100 km. Traveling with a hefty V8 doesn’t mean frequent visits at local Hospitality and Fuel stops- just means getting to where you need to go can be fun, driving skills permitted.
Designed to reflect the sporting prowess of the Panamera GTS models, the sports chassis with three-chamber air suspension is impressively dynamic. The adaptive air suspension tech is standard, which results in flexible control and optimum spring rate spread. Separating itself from the Base RWD, 4, and 4S Panamera variants is that the sports chassis has been lowered by 10 millimeters, while the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) function has been adapted for an even sportier calibration. The result? Outstanding lateral dynamics. Not to mention that large brakes (390 millimeters in diameter at the front, 365 millimeters at the rear) deliver outstanding deceleration and stability— perfectly-matched stopping power for a perfectly designed road trip rover— affording performance and comfort, all in one.
BLACK FEATURES MATTER
When compared to the predecessor, the new Panamera GTS models’ basic equipment package has been significantly upgraded in a number of areas. The majority of Panamera trims included accents with chrome, making the sedan or estate vehicle resemble a finely-produced coach for a different demographic. The essence of that look remains in the GTS, however the desire for sporty design is perfectly applied with black accents, black wheels (20-inch Panamera Design wheels as standard), black front end, black trim at the bottom of the rear, and a variety of darker elements highlighting the more athletic ferocity that sets itself apart from the rest of the Panamera product lineup. A notable notch is the black spoiler which comes out of the rear roofline versus the rear tail, again setting the Sport Turismo apart as a modern, hyper station wagon ready for everyday usability, a grand tour, and some offroad rips.
SIT BACK— IT'S A COMFY RIDE, AT ANY SPEED
The design team for Panamera knows that they are designing a sports car regardless of the length and class of the model, and it shows. The interior still offers the stylish cockpit for the driver along with cabin grace for passengers that Panamera and Porsche enthusiasts alike have come to appreciate with the inclusion optional Interior GTS package elements where drivers can customize their vehicle with various design elements, such as a rev counter, designer seams, and GTS logos in the contrasting shades of Carmine Red or Crayon. And look out for hallmark elements of black Alcantara and anodized aluminum, a heated multifunction sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles and Alcantara trim that offers precise steering and driving modes, and the Connect Plus module for a wide range of digital services. The creature comforts are in abundance and can be found in the slim design console like many elements continued from previous generations and influenced by the 911 models.
With the Sport Turismo model, naturally additional cargo space is offered over the sedan model variant. And you’d be surprised what you can fit in the 18 cubic feet trunk and with the rear seats lowered, which have a 60/40 split, there's a combined 52 cubic feet of cargo space. And with that, your Porsche becomes more than just a sports saloon. So get ready, set, HAUL !
THROWBACK TO THE FUTURE WITH A NEW HATCHBACK
The Panamera Sports Turismo GTS has a presence like no other when it comes to shooting breaks on the road— it's a timeless ride with a spirit that is forever young with a 90-year pedigree. Because of its long body and wide stance, it's hard to miss it soaring along on a highway with its power, control, and rally racing appeal. While this version of the Panamera is not for everyone, but perhaps for a select few of hot-hatch enthusiasts who’ve always wanted the right wagon with aggressive styling, it’s undeniable that getting behind the wheel of this version will allure any driver to go the distance with as much cargo as they can (or cannot) muster to experience the Summer Road Trip, anew. Especially since Porsche AG offers a notable amount of 'tequipment' such as roof racks, roof boxes, and rear bike carriers to haul all the gear you could need to get away, fast and efficiently. The sporty trim inflates the Panamera with accouterments that would please any Tuner, yet leave some Porsche Purists shaking their head, in a few different directions. And if there's anything we've learned from the Covid pandemic is to reinvent ourselves and follow new paths. New forms and directions have pushed for a new lineage of Porsche vehicles which are hitting the road offering versatility on long jaunts— this is where I say the magic word “Taycan”. But don't forget the Panamera is THE sports car of its segment. And in Sport Turismo GTS form, it's even so, so much MORE.