Practical Performance

The New 2019 Panamera GTS Is the Thinking Man’s Porsche

October 16, 2018 Cars By Photo by Porsche AG

Ever since Porsche re-introduced the GTS letters back on its cars as a new trim level, it pretty much created the optimum package. Taking up space just below the high-performance Turbo and above the base level Panamera, the latest Panamera GTS isn’t just the Goldilocks option for Porsche’s sedan family, it’s arguably the smartest choice the brand offers.

If a coupe or a mid-engined piece of exotica boasted a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 pumping out 453 horsepower and 457 lb-ft and a 0-60mph of 3.9-seconds, you wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. However, that’s what the Panamera lists on its spec sheet. Yes, the 911 and 718 get all the glory with track times and race wins, but they only have two doors and engines in places that make life miserable for passengers. Porsche’s SUV family manages the same feat, but they fall victim to the awkwardness of trying to drape 911-design over a bloated and raised frame.

This current-generation Panamera nails the styling and comes with most options as standard, like the bigger brakes, upgraded exhaust, Sport Chrono and Sport Design packages — so all the performance you’d expect and realistically need, but with a healthy dose of practical architecture. Slightly less reasonable is the price, starting at $128,300 and $134,500 for the Sport Turismo GTS Panamera, but with the $154,000 Panamera Turbo sitting at the top, the fully-loaded GTS strikes a balance when it comes to the bang-for-buck factor.

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Bryan Campbell

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