The GTS variant is almost always the smart-money choice for a particular Porsche model. Sitting between the base model and the top-rung Turbo, the GTS spec usually brings a bunch of standard equipment that would be optional on other models, plus a little extra sporty finessing. Now, Porsche has GTS-ified the second-generation Panamera and Panamera Sport Turismo, and the result lives up to the badge.
The last generation Panamera GTS used a burly-sounding naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V8 cranking out 440 horsepower. But with the all-new second-gen Panamera, there’s no such thing as natural aspiration anymore. They’re all turbos, and that extends to the new GTS, which now uses a version of Porsche’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8.
The new GTS peaks at 453 horsepower and 457 lb-ft, the latter coming in a broad swath from 1800 to 4500 RPM. Porsche’s familiar eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive send the power to the ground, enabling a 3.9-second 0-60 sprint and a top speed of 181 mph for the regular Panamera GTS, 179 for the station-wagon-esque Panamera GTS Sport Turismo.
As ever, the GTS badge indicates sharper performance in a mid-tier package, sitting between the base Panamera/Panamera S and the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo (and the somehow-even-more-top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid). The GTS sits 10 mm lower, with slightly recalibrated settings for the air suspension, which comes standard. Larger brakes, a sport exhaust system, Sport Chrono and Sport Design option packages are all standard on the GTS, as are black 20-inch Panamera Design wheels, a black Alcantara interior with anodized aluminum trim, and a sport steering wheel. And, hell yeah buddy, you can get that contrast-color interior stitching and a red tachometer face. The GTS is also the first Panamera to offer a head-up display, which, neat.
The Panamera GTS starts at $128,300, while the Sport Turismo commands an additional $6200; models will start to arrive at dealers in the back half of 2019.