2019 Porsche Panamera GTS review - price, specs and release date
The second-generation Porsche Panamera GTS now shares its engine with the top-flight Turbo model. Could it be the pick of the range?...
Priced from £105,963 | On sale February 2019
The days when Porsche exclusively made sports cars are long gone. But although the German manufacturer now builds vehicles in a great many shapes and size, they are always among the best to drive in their class. That is particularly true of the GTS versions, which are engineered to be a touch more powerful and agile than their rangemates. And so successful has the recipe been that the sporty stick has once again been waved at the company's four-door coupé, to make the second-generation Porsche Panamera GTS.
So, how does this pricey Panamera differ from the others, and what exactly does its six-figure asking price get you? Most obvious are some more aggressive design cues. Both the front and rear bumpers are decked out with black details and there’s black trim around the windows. You also get plenty of black badging, and black side-skirts stretch out between the vast 20in alloy wheels, painted – you guessed it – black.
For some, the GTS will appear to have indulged in too much eyeliner, but in the metal, this is probably the best-looking Panamera to date. Certainly, the fact the bodywork – available in both the five-door coupé and more practical Sport Turismo estate styles – sits a little closer to the road, and that the GTS also borrows the extending, origami spoiler of the flagship Turbo model, doesn’t hinder its cause one iota.
2019 Porsche Panamera GTS on the road
All of this merely sets the tone for what the GTS is really about, and that’s the driving experience. Adaptive air suspension is standard, and there are several modes to alter the firmness of the ride, but the one constant is control. This Panamera changes direction with such ease and accuracy that you’d swear it was a much smaller car, and few if any rivals inspire so much confidence.
Our test car was also equipped with four-wheel steering. This costs an extra £1536, but the extra manoeuvrability it affords is well worth the outlay if you often drive along urban routes. Another option box you can tick is the one labelled Dynamic Chassis Control Sport. This equips the car with state-of-the-art anti-roll bars and torque vectoring to further build on the handling improvements yielded by the standard (on the GTS) Sport Chrono Package. At £3527, it should be regarded as surplus to requirements unless you intend to drive especially hard. This being a large-tyred car with four-wheel drive, immense grip, traction and all-weather stability are included as standard.
There is, however, something missing. The previous Panamera GTS may not have been so attractive, quick or agile, but it did feature a naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 engine that sounded terrific and was wonderfully responsive. To help Porsche achieve emissions targets, this new model uses the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as the Turbo, only detuned from 542bhp to 454bhp. It generates tremendous torque from just 1800rpm – making for hassle-free overtaking and a 0-62mph time of 4.1sec – and is smooth and refined, but it’s a touch bland on the ears. Official fuel economy of 27.4mpg isn’t in any way remarkable, either.
2019 Porsche Panamera GTS interior
The GTS retains the fabulously crisp, spacious and yet somehow cosseting layout inherent to every Panamera. The dashboard is still dominated by a 12.3in touchscreen and the digital dials behind the steering wheel are also beautifully crisp. Porsche’s digital handiwork isn’t quite as intuitive to use as what you’d find in the latest BMW M5, but both systems are painless to operate, and the Panamera’s interior feels more special elsewhere.
That ‘elsewhere’ is largely down to the reams of soft, grippy Alcantara featured as standard. This covers the heated steering wheel as well as the supportive but not at all uncomfortable seats. You’ll also find it on the central armrest and doors, with contrasting stitching.
If you want to know about the Panamera's space and practicality or discover more about the other engines available, have a look at our full review here.