2021 Porsche Panamera GTS clings to relevance
Just as we became comfortable with the existence of Porsche sedans and luxury SUVs, the company started throwing more curve balls at us. While the 911 and 718 sports cars still pull our chords, they have now been joined by an electric Porsche in the form of the Taycan sedan, several Cross and Sport Turismo station wagons and whatever the Cayenne Coupe tries to do. ‘to be. Against this background, the four-door Panamera, even in its most driver-oriented GTS configuration, begins to look positively conventional, perhaps even a bit irrelevant.
Porsche is trying to keep the Panamera in the conversation by updating it for the 2021 model year with a few new setups and some minor styling tweaks. Of those changes, the GTS model tested here now develops 473 horsepower from its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, a gain of 20 ponies from last year. Within the Panamera lineup, which runs from the base 325 hp V6 model to the 690 hp Turbo S E-Hybrid, the GTS remains the cheapest way to get a V-8 in a Panamera, and its the finely tuned chassis configuration gives it the sharpest responses in the group. As before, the GTS features all-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The exhaust note of the GTS’s melodious V8 also remains unchanged for 2021, which continues to emit an idling motorboat-like hum that transforms into a stirring hiss when the engine runs at its 6,800rpm redline. / min.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see the results of the last power bump on the test track. Compared to the 2019 Panamera GTS we last tested, the 2021 iteration’s 3.2-second zero to 60 mph run was a tenth of a second slower, a difference it maintained. during its 11.7 seconds, 116 mph goes a quarter mile. That’s hardly to say that the latest GTS feels slow – even without launch control, the GTS sprints from 5 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds – but we expected at least a slight improvement in acceleration given than the most recent, 4714- The pound car weighed just 35 pounds more than before.
Conversely, the 2021 GTS beat its predecessor on the skate and under braking. Riding on 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, it topped the 2019 model by 0.01 g (1.02 g) and stopped 70 mph in nine feet (145 feet). These are sports car-worthy action figures, and they combine with the courageous V-8, far-sighted dual-clutch gearbox, and smooth steering action of the GTS to produce a thrilling driving experience on to. pretty much any road.
Putting our test car’s performance figures in context, however, is complicated by the strength of its competition. For example, the electric Taycan 4S, which starts at $ 105,150 versus $ 130,650 for the Panamera GTS, is only 0.2 seconds slower at 60 mph, and it pulled 1.03g across the pad. In addition, the Taycan provides better visual impact to most spectators. While the proportions of the second-gen Panamera are arguably more attractive than the hunchbacked design of the original, we think the Taycan is a much better interpretation of a four-door Porsche, even though it’s considerably smaller. inside. But if you’re looking for highway range, the Panamera GTS dominates the Taycan 4S’s 220 miles between charges. We averaged 30 mpg at 75 mph, which translates to a 710 mile bladder between refuelings.
It’s also worth noting that the winner of our most recent high-performance luxury four-door comparison test, the Audi RS7, will only set you back $ 115,045 to start. This 591-horsepower Audi also beats the Panamera GTS in our acceleration tests, as it should, while maintaining an impressive degree of luxury car comfort.
Porsche’s formula for its GTS models typically includes valuable packaging compared to similarly equipped lower versions. This positioning applies to the Panamera, but it’s hard to call the GTS variant a smart buy unless it’s in the company of the 620bhp Turbo S model (base price, $ 179,050) or the Turbo. S E-Hybrid 689 hp ($ 189,050). Even with a relatively light options load for a Porsche, our test car posted $ 148,800 but lacked extras like adaptive cruise control and ventilated seats.
Not so long ago, the Panamera was buzzing with attention, both positive and negative, as it brought Porsche into a new profitable market segment. But as the brand enters a new era, the shine of its once-controversial four-door hatchback begins to wear off as more enticing alternatives arise both within the Porsche lineup and elsewhere in the space. luxury high performance. With the Taycan, we imagine the strength of the Cayenne lineup, including the new GTS model for 2021, will continue to hamper Panamera sales, which stood at 3,870 units last year, lower than all others. Porsche models, with the exception of the 718 sports cars. As engaging as the GTS is to drive for a sports sedan, we won’t be shocked if the Panamera doesn’t return for a third generation.
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