With electric-only mobility ranging from 30 to 50 kilometres, most plug-in hybrid buyers won’t be expecting to use their EV modes much, unless their commutes or errand runs are confined to short distances,…
With electric-only mobility ranging from 30 to 50 kilometres, most plug-in hybrid buyers won’t be expecting to use their EV modes much, unless their commutes or errand runs are confined to short distances, but extending that range up to 80 km could make a PHEV viable for those with lengthier daily drives.
No doubt, Porsche is thinking along these lines with a recent announcement of up to 80 km of electric range for their future Cayenne and Panamera plug-in E-Hybrid models. When the new extended-range PHEVs arrive for 2024, they’ll offer one of the most competitive EV ranges in the industry, making these models ideal bridges to fully electric options, as they were always meant to be. Ideal for traveling long distances without the need to stop and wait while recharging, a long-range plug-in hybrid would provide a nice best-of-both-worlds alternative.
Future 911 hybrid to likely come with extended electric-only range too
As mentioned in a previous Porsche news story, the quintessential sports car brand will soon offer a hybridized version of its legendary 911 model, which should benefit from similarly long EV capability.
The upcoming 911 hybrid, scheduled to arrive in 2025, actually pulls its electric tech from the Stuttgart, Germany-based brand’s motorsport division, as well as its 919 Hybrid supercar, giving it street and track cred that few sports car competitors could even hope to match, and that’s even before factoring in that it’s a 911, one of the most celebrated road and track cars ever created.
Porsche sees EV is profits due to 42,000 Taycans sold in 2021
Worldwide Taycan sales soared to 42,000 units in 2021, making the sporty four-door EV profitable according to Lutz Meschke, Porsche’s Chief Financial Officer. What’s more, Porsche’s Macan EV will arrive in just two years, so the brand is on track to attract an entirely new eco-focused clientele.
The Macan EV will utilize the same Porsche- and Audi-designed PPE architecture that underpins the Taycan and E-Tron GT, plus the upcoming 718 Cayman and Boxster EV sports cars that will be 100-percent electric by 2025 (check out our previous Porsche story). All new Porsche BEVs boast 800-volt fast-charging capability, making them as convenient as they’re clean and responsive.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Whether on the road or track, history tends to repeat itself with Porsche. After attaining the highest podium position in the Canadian Black Book (CBB) “2021 Overall Brand Award – Luxury” for three…
Whether on the road or track, history tends to repeat itself with Porsche. After attaining the highest podium position in the Canadian Black Book (CBB) “2021 Overall Brand Award – Luxury” for three years in a row, the German performance brand once again secured top spot in the 2021 study.
While Porsche scores strongly within all the categories it competes in, the Panamera retained the highest percentage of any rival in the Prestige Luxury Car class, and has done so for eight years running. Likewise, the Macan, which took first in its Compact Luxury Crossover category once again, has held the position for three consecutive years, while the 911, dominating the Premium Sporty Car class, is enjoying its second year on top.
“We are honoured and delighted to accept the Overall Brand Award – Luxury as well as three model accolades from Canadian Black Book this year,” stated Marc Ouayoun, President and CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “Consumers have many available choices in the market and we welcome these recognitions, which provide an additional reason to consider the brand. These outstanding acknowledgments by the leading authority highlight strong value retentions which ultimately benefit the customer.”
To be clear, the CBB study ranks vehicles on the retained percentage of their manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) after four years. Retaining the highest value means ownership costs less when it comes time for resale or trade-in.
Find out how a CarCostCanada membership can keep money in your wallet when you purchase your next new car, and be sure to download their free app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, so you can have all of this critical info at your fingertips when you need it most.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Porsche has once again earned top spot amongst premium brands in J.D. Power most recent 2021 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. It’s the second time in three years that Porsche was awarded first place…
Porsche has once again earned top spot amongst premium brands in J.D. Power most recent 2021 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.
It’s the second time in three years that Porsche was awarded first place in the luxury sector, and this happened just a month after the brand earned a “most trouble-free new car overall” ranking for its 911 sports car in the same third-party analytics firm’s latest 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study, and the Macan achieved the highest position possible in its “Premium Compact SUV” class.
“Our dealers worked hard for our customers throughout the initial lockdowns of the past year and subsequent social distancing and health measures to make sure they could rely on Porsche,” stated Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). “We are continually striving to not just meet, but exceed the high expectations of our customers – and it’s vital that the quality of service must live up to that vision.”
The J.D. Power CSI Study measures “customer satisfaction with service for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles,” with the survey’s latest data collection period having taken place from July 2020 through December 2020. More than 62,500 new vehicle owners responded to this CSI study, allowing for a comprehensive ownership base to draw results from.
Porsche garnered 17 additional points since last year’s CSI study, incidentally, with its 2021 results totalling 899 points out of a possible 1,000. The automaker’s retail outlets were ranked in either first or second place in each of the survey’s five categories, which include Service Facility, Service Advisor, Service Initiation, Service Quality, and Vehicle Pick-Up.
According to CarCostCanada, Porsche is offering all models with zero-percent financing, so follow the links embedded into each model’s name (above) to see their body style and trim pricing, to configure a car with all of its colours and options, and learn about any other manufacturer incentives that may be available. Also, be sure to find out about a CarCostCanada membership so you can access dealer invoice pricing that can save you thousands when negotiating your next deal, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app so you can access all of this important information when you need it most.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
If you’re in the belief that Porsche’s Panamera flagship is simply a low-slung luxury sedan, think again. Designed to transport four adults in a comfortable cabin filled with some of the most impressive…
If you’re in the belief that Porsche’s Panamera flagship is simply a low-slung luxury sedan, think again.
Designed to transport four adults in a comfortable cabin filled with some of the most impressive interior quality and luxury amenities available, it would be easy to surmise that Porsche didn’t have its eye on performance when conceiving its most luxurious car, but after a single lap on the arduous 4.0-km long Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, such thoughts should forever be banished.
The new 2021 Panamera Turbo S was chosen, the quickest of its type yet with 620 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque on tap resulting in a shocking zero to 100km/h launch of just 3.1 seconds and wickedly fast terminal velocity of 315 km/h. The car, set to arrive at Canadian Porsche retailers this spring, managed the fastest time ever set by a production sedan of one minute and 31.51 seconds (1:31.51).
This record, set with professional racing driver Leh Keen at the wheel, beat the new Taycan Turbo S’ single lap time of just 1:33.88 minutes set the month prior in December, although the electrified Porsche continues to hold the track’s production EV title.
“The engineers found a perfect balance,” said Keen. “They really made it feel small and sporty. The stability gave me a ton of confidence to use every bit of the asphalt and curbs. And yet the car has a completely different and more refined and relaxed character on the highway – an amazing combination.”
Along with a luxurious interior filled with premium materials and state-of-the-art electronics, the 2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S gets plenty of standard performance equipment that make it as quick on the road as it is on the track, including Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+), rear axle steering, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport roll-stabilization system (PDCC Sport).
It should be noted that the 2021 Panamera Turbo S example that set the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta production sedan record was upgraded with an optional set of newly-developed road-legal Michelin Pilot Sport cup 2 ND0 ultra-high-performance tires measuring 275/35 ZR 21 103Y XL at the front and 325/30 ZR 21 108Y XL in the rear. The tires’ “N” designation signifies their co-development between Porsche and a tire manufacturer, in this case Michelin. The special tire was in fact designed specifically for the Panamera, and tuned at the legendary Nürburgring race track in Germany.
Also notable, vehicle data acquisition and timing expert Racelogic recorded and verified the Panamera Turbo S’ Road Atlanta lap time utilizing their VBOX video HD2 system.
What’s the world’s best sport-luxury sedan? Many would point to Porsche’s Panamera on performance alone, despite not technically being a sedan due to its practical rear hatch and sloping rear deck lid to match. There’s even a more useful wagon-like Sport Turismo version that’s responsible for many of the Panamera’s sales since being introduced for the 2018 model year, so therefore the car more appropriately fits within the alternative four-door coupe category. Still, no matter how you look at it, the Panamera is one impressive sport-luxury offering.
As it is, the Panamera will cruise into 2021 with some modest styling updates and yet bolder drivetrain enhancements, particularly at the top of the range where the new Panamera Turbo S replaces the Turbo, with power moving up from 550 horsepower to 620, a 70-horsepower bump in just one, single refresh. This results in a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h of just 3.1 seconds when Sport Plus mode is selected, all before attaining a top track speed of 315 km/h.
Of note, last year’s most potent Panamera was the electrified Turbo S E-Hybrid, good for 677 net horsepower, albeit a zero to 100km/h run of “just” 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the outgoing Panamera Turbo, but 0.3 seconds off the new Turbo S. That hyper-quick hybrid is at least temporarily gone for 2021, but don’t fear hybrid fans as it’ll be back soon with even more power.
According to plenty of interweb reports, Thomas Friemuth, who heads the Panamera line at Porsche, has confirmed the electric portion of the car’s drive system will produce some 134 horsepower, which means the new Turbo S E-Hybrid, when mated to the new 620-horsepower twin-turbo V8, should put out somewhere in the neighbourhood of 750 horsepower. If you think this lofty number sounds insane, consider for a moment that a key Panamera rival, Mercedes-AMG’s fabulous GT 4-Door Coupe, is expected to hit the tarmac soon with more than 800 horsepower.
Those satisfied with mere blistering pace rather than ultimate scorching speed, yet still wanting hybrid economy, can opt for the all-new 4S E-Hybrid that comes fitted with 552 net horsepower that propels the big luxury car from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds ahead of topping out at 298 km/h. The entry-level 4 E-Hybrid, which only made 462 net horsepower and needed 4.6 seconds to arrive at the 100 km/h mark, is no longer available for 2021.
Benefiting both new 4S E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid trims is 30-percent more EV range than their predecessors, all thanks to an upgraded 17.9 kWh battery, an improvement of 3.8 kWh. The hybrid models’ control systems and chassis components have been modified too, with next-generation steering control as well as new tires, enhancing comfort and performance.
This said, the hybrid isn’t the only 2021 Panamera to receive steering and suspension improvements. In fact, the new Turbo S gets a custom tuned three-chamber air suspension, while the top-tier model’s Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system and roll stabilization system, the latter called Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport), have also been modified to perform at more extreme levels. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) was updated to improve at-the-limit handling as well, all resulting in the best performing Panamera yet, and one of the best performing passenger cars available period.
Proving that point, the automaker took its new Panamera Turbo S to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race course in Germany on July 24, 2020, resulting in Porsche works driver Lars Kern setting a new “executive cars” class record of 7:29.81 minutes over the 20.832-kilometre track. We can hardly wait to see how the new Turbo S E-Hybrid will fare.
Those wanting most of the Panamera Turbo S’ performance for a more approachable price point can opt for the Panamera GTS, which continues into 2021 with the same 473 horsepower 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and identical zero to 100 km/h rating of 3.9 seconds. This engine added 20 horsepower over its predecessor when introduced, helped along by a special standard sports exhaust that utilizes asymmetrically positioned rear silencers for an especially exhilarating exhaust note.
Lastly, or more accurately, the first rung on this model’s hierarchal ladder is the most basic Panamera, which is the only trim offering rear-wheel drive, all others incorporating Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive as standard. Both the base Panamera and the Panamera 4 include a 325-horsepower twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 capable of very a spirited 5.6-second zero to 100 km/h sprint with RWD, and an even better 5.3-second run off the line with all-wheel drive.
That base Panamera starts at just $99,300 plus freight and fees for 2021, which is unchanged despite its improvements, while a Panamera 4 can be had for $104,600. The rear-wheel drive Panamera only comes with the regular wheelbase and coupe-like liftback, but the base powertrain will all-wheel drive can be had in three body styles, starting with the regular wheelbase liftback before moving up to the longer wheelbase $112,200 Executive and finally the more wagon-like $111,700 Sport Turismo.
The 4S E-Hybrid is next on the financial pecking order at $128,500, or $141,400 for the Executive version and $133,100 for the Sport Turismo, while the 2021 GTS remains priced at $147,400 for 2021, and increases to $154,400 when its cargo compartment is expanded to Sport Turismo dimensions.
Finally, the Turbo S starts at $202,400 for the regular wheelbase model, $214,300 for the Executive, and $207,000 for the Sport Turismo.
Of course, there’s more to any Panamera than mere performance, which means it was important for Porsche to keep the car looking fresh and up-to-date. Therefore, all 2021 Panameras will now come standard with the previously optional SportDesign front fascia design, which includes the brand’s new single-bar front lighting module, augmented air intakes, and bigger, more assertively styled corner vents.
The new Turbo S gets some exclusive frontal styling with even larger lower fascia corner vents that adds to its aggressiveness, while some unique exterior paint options help to set this model apart.
Three new 20- and 21-inch alloy wheel sets can personalize any Panamera model further, while the new car’s long, body-wide horizontal taillight gets new contours for 2021, while the lenses have been darkened on the GTS model.
The Panamera’s interior remains mostly the same entering 2021, which is no bad thing. Just the same, improvements include new functions and services for the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system, such as enhanced Voice Pilot online voice control, Risk Radar for real-time road sign and hazard info, wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, and more.
Also enhanced, the 2021 Panamera can be had with Lane Keeping Assist featuring road sign recognition, as well as with the Porsche InnoDrive suite of advanced safety and convenience systems, which includes Lane Change Assist, LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, Night Vision Assist, Park Assist with Surround View, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display unit that projects key info on the windshield ahead of the driver.
The 2021 Panamera is ready to order from your local Porsche retailer now, with deliveries starting in Q1 of 2021. After you make that call, make sure to check out our complete photo gallery above, and then be sure to enjoy the three videos below (which include the new 2021 Panamera Turbo S on the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track), plus remember to go to CarCostCanada’s 2020 Porsche Panamera Canada Prices page where you can learn more about the automaker’s zero-percent financing offer on all 2020 models, plus access info about manufacturer rebates when offered, and always available dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. Find out how the CarCostCanada system can save you money, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google PlayStore so you can have access to all this important info whenever you need it.
New Panamera achieves lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (3:09):
The new Panamera – digital world premiere (11:33):
The new Panamera: Highlights (2:13):
Story credit: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Gold on black has long been a much-loved colour combination in motorsport, with the JPS liveried Lotus 56B probably most revered, as much for its dominance as its much-loved pilot Emerson Fittipaldi.…
Gold on black has long been a much-loved colour combination in motorsport, with the JPS liveried Lotus 56B probably most revered, as much for its dominance as its much-loved pilot Emerson Fittipaldi. It was followed by the great Jody Scheckter’s Wolf WR1, much later by Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus E20, and most recently by Haas F1 team’s VF-19, all combining a dark menacing spirit with the rich glitter of gold.
After decades of white gold and platinum adorning the majority of things glimmering, including our wristwatches, jewellery and other trinkets, gold has also been brightening up premium smartphones and tablets over the past half decade, not to mention plenty of premium and exotic car wraps. Now Porsche, a carmaker that’s hardly oblivious to tasteful trends, is adorning its 10th anniversary edition Panamera in the classy colour scheme, and we like what we see.
Yes, it’s now been 10 long years since the Panamera went into production as a 2010 model, having its first complete redesign in 2016 for the 2017 model year. The current second-generation made big gains in styling, refinement, technology and performance, with each year since improving, especially when it comes to hybrid electric performance, plus for 2018 an entirely new Sport Turismo body style.
While some markets will offer a Sport Turismo version of the new Panamera 10 Years Edition, Porsche Canada will only make the attractive new package available with its regular four-door coupe body style, specifically for its base Panamera, all-wheel drive Panamera 4, and electrified Panamera 4 E-Hybrid models, although Porsche is only showing pricing for the latter two trims so far, the Panamera 4 10 Years Edition starting at $122,000, for a $17,400 increase over the regular Panamera 4, and the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 10 Years Edition starting at $132,700, resulting in a $14,900 increase over the regular base hybrid.
Some of the Panamera 10 Years Edition gold highlights including a unique set of 21-inch Panamera Sport Design alloy wheels painted in satin-gloss White Gold Metallic and special White Gold Metallic “Panamera10” logos painted onto the front doors, while the cabin gets the same logo stamped into the metal doorsills and inlayed within the instrument panel ahead of the front passenger. The interior theme is black with contrasting White Gold thread stitched in all the right places.
While all that lovely gold might look best next to black, the 10 Years Edition offers up an exterior colour palette as wide and varied as any other Panamera trim line, while the cabin is customizable to personal tastes as well, with additional standard colourways and plenty of options. Likewise, all available trims and options are available too. Make sure to check pricing and other details at CarCostCanada, where you can also learn about available rebates and otherwise hard to find dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands.
The list of standard Panamera 10 Years Edition features not yet mentioned includes LED matrix headlights, ParkAssist with Surround View, Lane Change Assist with Lane Keep Assist (LKA), 14-way comfort seats with a Porsche crest on the headrests, soft-close doors, and a Bose surround audio system, while standard performance features include Porsche’s adaptive three-chamber air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Power Steering Plus. Those upgrading to the hybrid benefit from the more capable 7.2-kW on-board charger instead of the usual base 3.6-kW charge system.
Like all Panamera 4 models, the Panamera 4 10 Years Edition comes standard with Porsche’s turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine good for 330 horsepower, while the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 10 Years Edition combines the automaker’s twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 with an electric motor for a maximum of 457 horsepower.
Panamera 10 Years Edition deliveries are expected to begin during Q1 of 2020, so make sure to talk to your local Porsche dealer to get your name on one.
To anyone interested in purchasing a sport sedan from a premium brand or something from the even sportier four-door coupe category, Porsche’s Panamera needs no introduction. It’s one of, if not the…
To anyone interested in purchasing a sport sedan from a premium brand or something from the even sportier four-door coupe category, Porsche’s Panamera needs no introduction. It’s one of, if not the sportiest ways to get around with four doors, while its elegantly raked rear liftback makes it one of the more practical entries in its category too.
This relatively new market sector has expanded considerably since Mercedes-Benz launched the CLS-Class 15 years ago, with the original Panamera first to compete in 2009, the Audi A7 and Aston Martin Rapide following in 2010, and BMW finally showing up with its 6 Series Gran Coupe in 2012. Ideally timed with the latter Bavarian model’s imminent demise and the upcoming 2020 8 Series Gran Coupe’s arrival, Mercedes is now tripling down in this low-slung viertürig segment with a new higher-priced GT 4-Door Coupe model that will soon join up with the recently redesigned second-generation CLA and third-gen CLS, so it’s not as if this category’s expansion is slowing, at least when it comes to entries. As for sales, it remains stronger than the more traditional luxury sedan segment.
While some low-volume offerings have spiced things up along the way, such as the limited production (120 units) Rapide-based 2015 to 2016 Lagonda Taraf that was priced at a cool $1 million-plus, possibly even more interesting is the success of smaller entries from Mercedes, BMW and Audi that have pulled the sleek body style down market almost as far as VW’s CC (now the much more appealing Arteon) and Kia’s stronger selling Stinger.
Bridging the massive gap between the $40k range and one million-plus, Lamborghini has long toyed with the idea of launching something in this sector, the stunning Estoque concept ruthlessly teasing the supercar world with production rumours for years, while talk of a more rakishly penned Bentley four-door has been circulating the interweb for almost as long. Both make loads of sense being they could utilize the Panamera’s underpinnings and hard points, Bentley already sharing Volkswagen Group’s MSB architecture for the new Continental and Flying Spur, but for the time being those in the $300,000-plus crowd will need to remain satisfied with a fully loaded Panamera.
And yes, if you completely load up a top-line Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive you’ll be paying in excess of $320k, and its glossy black SportDesign Package enhanced exterior will wear an exclusive colour with matching wheels, its upgraded interior will boast softer, plusher leather nearly everywhere that’s not already covered with hardwood or carbon fibre, and every technology will be included.
I drove a regular wheelbase version of that new for 2018 model last year (check out the four-model review here), the Turbo S E-Hybrid outrageously quick thanks to a once unfathomable (for a hybrid) 680 (net) horsepower, while I put last year’s new wagon-like Sport Turismo body style through its paces as well (again, see it here), albeit that car was motivated by the very same 440-horsepower twin-turbo V6 powerplant found in the Panamera 4S seen on this page.
Moving into 2019, other than small pricing bumps across the line nothing has changed with any of the cars mentioned thus far, the version shown here exactly as it was for the 2017 model year when the second-generation Panamera arrived on the scene. This said, 2019 hasn’t been without additions to the Panamera lineup, thanks to a special 453-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8-powered GTS model now slotting between this 4S and the Panamera Turbo in both price and performance (see my overview of the 2019 Panamera GTS here), the car I’m reviewing now starting at $119,600, the new GTS at $147,400, and the Turbo at $174,200.
Unfortunately no GTS was available at the time of testing, leaving me with the first-world problem of this less potent 4S. Still, it produces 110 more ponies than the 330-horsepower base Panamera (read my review of this model here), and sends them to all four wheels, hence the “4” in its designation. The gurgling exhaust note is sensational in Sport mode, crackling and popping at liftoff, although rest assured its Jekyll and Hyde personality provides luxurious quietude when the drive mode selector is set to default.
Its seemingly perfect balance between serene opulence and raucous tomfoolery is the Panamera’s best asset, no other four-door providing its ground-hugging sports car like performance along with such a rarified level of highbrow pampering. It bucks against today’s ride ‘em high SUV trend, Porsche offering its Cayenne (see a 2019 Cayenne Buyer’s Guide overview here), new Cayenne Coupe, and Macan for those wanting performance with a view, the Panamera instead coming across like the ultimate gentrified SoCal low-rider without the hopping and bopping suspension.
That’s the thing. It slices through fast-paced corners like nothing so large has ever been able to before, yet its ride quality is surprisingly smooth. Whether suffering through inner-city laneways, inundated with poorly paved railroad crossings and ill-engineered bridge expansion joints, or tackling a circuitous back road filled with broken tarmac, the Panamera provides plenty of suspension travel for soaking up the worst bumps and ruts without getting unsettled. Of course its compliance or firmness depends on the trim and wheel options chosen, but I’ve driven every grade besides the new GTS, and all combine racetrack-worthy performance with a level of comfort I’d be happy to live with daily.
My test model’s optional Satin Platinum finished 21-inch alloys on 275/35 front and 315/30 rear Pirelli Cinturato P7 performance rubber are the largest on offer, so it wasn’t as if I was temporarily whisked away on the velvet carpet ride of the base 4S model’s standard 19s, the exact same 265/45 front and 295/40 rear ZRs used for the most entry-level of Panameras, incidentally, which can be had for just $99,300.
That more luxury-oriented model might not be the quickest in the line, but it still provides a spirited 5.7-second sprint from standstill to 100 km/h or 5.5 seconds with the available Sport Chrono Package, while my tester reduces such stoplight shenanigans, er… such professionally sanctioned launch tests on privately owned drag strips to just 4.4 or 4.2 seconds respectively. Likewise the 4S continues charging onward and upward to 160 km/h in just 10.3 seconds, shaving 3.3 seconds from the base model’s zero to 160 km/h time, all before topping out at 289 km/h, an amazing 25 km/h faster terminal track velocity than the entry Panamera.
As exciting as all this sounds there are still much quicker Panameras on offer, the new GTS doing the initial deed in 4.1 seconds, the Turbo blasting past in just 3.8 seconds, and the Turbo S E-Hybrid needing a mere 3.4, while top speeds rise commensurately, the latter model capable of 310 km/h if you can find a track with a long enough straight to test it on, but suffice to say this Panamera 4S performs better than most sport sedans, its new eight-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox delivering quick, smooth, paddle-actuated shifts, and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive maintaining awe-inspiring grip in all weather conditions, while it looks just as sensational when blurring past at high speeds as when cruising through town.
As I glossed over earlier, the inky black exterior accents don’t come standard, but my tester’s darkened trim contrasted the white paint beautifully. Satin silver and/or bright metal embellishment is the norm, or alternatively you can paint out the mirror caps, door handles, badges, etcetera, in glossy black. Inside, the possibilities are nearly limitless, but the Panamera’s incredibly fine attention to high-quality details, including the best of composites and leathers, optional woods, aluminum or carbon fibre, and digital interfaces that are so high in resolution it’s as if you can stick your hand right into the depths of their beautifully deep, rich contrasted screens and graphically illustrated artistry.
Yes, this is as good as digitization gets in the automotive realm, whether staring at the classic five-dial Porsche instrument cluster, its centre circle being the only analogue component in an otherwise colourful array of displays, the left-side screen for more driving related information and the one on the right being a comprehensive multi-information unit, or alternatively letting your fingers do the walking over the wide centre infotainment touchscreen, which comes close to 3D when viewing the navigation map. All the expected gesture controls make this as easy to use as a smartphone or tablet, and speaking of your personal device of choice it now syncs up to either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, while providing all of the functions expected in this class including an as-tested overhead camera that, together with audible and visual fore and aft sensors, makes parking much easier.
Most controls on the sloping centre console are touch sensitive, requiring a subtle push and click to engage. All the switchgear feels extremely high in quality, a real solid piece of work. The surrounding surface is relatively easy to keep clean thanks to a black glass-like smartphone treatment, although the piano black lacquered trim found throughout my tester, especially the section on the ashtray at the very base of that lower console, was always covered in muck, dust and what have you. Fortunately you can opt for any number of surface treatment substitutes that look cleaner even when dirty, although there’s something to be said for being able to easily see what needs cleaning for the sake of keeping things sanitary.
Ahead of the driver is one of the best leather-wrapped sport steering wheels in the industry. I love the narrow spokes, hollowed out for an even lighter, more sporting look, while the integrated buttons and scrolling knurled metal dials are superbly crafted with wonderful tight fitment and ideal damping. As usual the heated steering wheel button hides within the base of the third spoke, a smart design for sure, albeit some might find it easy to switch on or off when spinning the wheel. This said it comes on automatically when starting up, or likewise stays off, depending on its settings.
My tester included three-way heated and cooled front seats, plus a fabulous optional 710-watt 15-speaker (including sub) Bose Centerpoint 14-channel surround audio system that only gets upstaged by the 1,455-watt 22-speaker (including a 400-watt active sub) Burmester 3D High-End Surround system (I’ve tested this before and it’s out of this world). This said my test model did not include the aforementioned Sport Chrono Package, so therefore was shy 0.2 seconds of sprint time (not that I noticed), plus its centre dash top-mounted clock merely provided a lovely looking black face with white numerals and indices, rather than the chronometer version with digital displays used for lap timing, et al.
Then again, thanks to a full rear console with a massive high-definition touchscreen of its own, plus three-way heated rear seat switchgear, dual rear automatic climate controls for a four-way system front to back, powered-side and rear window sunshades, plus a massive dual-pane panoramic sunroof overhead, not to mention the model’s usual snug fitting bucket seats that are as comfortable and supportive behind as they are up front, I’m not sure whether I would’ve rather driven or been chauffeured in my particular test model, but not requiring the funds or available friend for the latter I enjoyed a quiet sojourn in back while taking notes, and otherwise took care of all driving duties without complaint.
Let’s be reasonable here. The Panamera is now so good in every way it’s impossible to find much fault. Certainly the rear seating area is not as accommodating as an S-Class, but no matter which Panamera model I’ve tested, I’ve never had a problem fitting comfortably within, and remember that Porsche offers the longer-wheelbase Executive version for those who occasionally transport larger family members or friends, which means you don’t have to give up gorgeous design and ultimate performance in order to maintain a practical lifestyle.
That last point pretty well sums up the Porsche Panamera, and with such a wide variety of trims, packages and options, all available to review in detail at CarCostCanada, where you can also find out about available manufacturer rebates as well as dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands, the 2019 Panamera offers something for nearly every sport-luxury car buyer.
Now moving into the third year of its second-generation redesign, the thoroughly improved Panamera four-door coupe is once again available in the purest of Porsche performance trims, GTS. The new GTS…
Now moving into the third year of its second-generation redesign, the thoroughly improved Panamera four-door coupe is once again available in the purest of Porsche performance trims, GTS.
The new GTS model slots in between the $118,500 Panamera 4S and $116,800 4 E-Hybrid models and the $172,500 Panamera Turbo line in both price and performance, with a starting MSRP of $146,200 plus freight and fees in the regular five-door liftback body style or $153,300 in Sport Turismo guise.
Unlike the previous Panamera GTS that stuffed a big naturally-aspirated 4.8-litre V8 with 440 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque under the hood, the new one uses the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine found in the latest Panamera Turbo, albeit detuned to make 453 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque, which is 13 horsepower and a sizeable 73 lb-ft of torque more than the outgoing model, resulting in a zero to 100km/h sprint time of just 4.1 seconds, compared to 4.4 seconds with the previous GTS as well as the current 440 horsepower Panamera 4S (or 4.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package), 4.6 seconds with the 462 net-horsepower 4 E-Hybrid, and 3.8 seconds (3.6 seconds with Sport Chrono) with the 550 horsepower Panamera Turbo.
The Panamera’s standstill to 100km/h straight-line performance ranges from 5.7 seconds with the base 330 horsepower rear-wheel drive Panamera to 3.4 seconds in the almighty 680 net-horsepower all-wheel drive Turbo S E-Hybrid, so the new GTS fits right into the quicker side of the equation, while it also powers from zero to 160km/h in just 9.6 seconds before attaining a top speed of 292km/h (289 km/h for the GTS Sport Turismo). By comparison, the 4S takes 10.3 seconds to arrive at 160km/h and peaks at 289km/h, whereas the Turbo S E-Hybrid hits the 160km/h mark by 7.6 seconds and maxes out at 310km/h.
Like all other Panamera models, the new GTS utilizes Porsche’s new in-house designed and built eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, while Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive makes sure that all available power is put to efficient use.
Being that most owners will never see the top speed of any Panamera, with even the base model capable of 264km/h, the GTS sets itself apart from its siblings with styling and handling. With respect to the latter, the new model utilizes a standard three-chamber adaptive air suspension preset 10 millimetres lower than the regular Panamera, with the standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system modified for an even sportier setup than usual. Larger 390-mm front and 365-mm rear disc brakes harness all the GTS’ forward momentum, making sure the big four-door is as capable at stopping as it is at going.
If you don’t happen to see the italicized “GTS” script on the lower front door panel or rear liftgate as it speeds past, the new model is as easy to spot from a distance as other GTS models in the Porsche lineup thanks to blackened exterior trim in place of body-colour and metal brightwork. Additionally, a standard Sport Design package means that a black lower lip spoiler, side skirts and rear diffuser get added, while grey accented headlamps and taillights maintain the darkened theme. Lastly, glossy black 20-inch multi-spoke Panamera Design alloys round out the exterior look.
Inside, trademark GTS design elements get applied generously, particularly soft black suede-like Alcantara and beautiful anodized aluminum accents. Both are applied to the standard sport steering wheel, with just the former dressing up each insert of the otherwise leather sport seat upholstery front to back. Alcantara gets used for all armrests as well.
Additionally, as part of the standard GTS Interior Package, Porsche covers the steering wheel hub, the upper and lower sections of the dash including the glove box lid, the edges of the centre console, and each door panel in its entirety with soft leather for a downright hedonistic experience.
The aforementioned sport steering wheel includes its own heatable element to match those in the front seats, plus each spoke is filled with multifunction switchgear that includes Connect Plus for accessing a variety of digital services, while at the backside of each spoke you’ll find a set of metal paddle shifters.
The aforementioned GTS Interior Package can also be combined with a Carmine Red or Chalk grey two-tone effect for an extra $3,980, or if you want to personalize the look further you can choose from myriad leather colourways. Porsche also offers the ability to upgrade the interior with a unique tachometer face, Carmine Red or Chalk contrast stitching throughout the interior, embroidered GTS headrest logos in Carmine Red or Chalk, matching seatbelts, etcetera.
All of the special GTS features get added to a new Panamera that was much improved for its second-generation makeover, with all 2019 models including the Porsche Advanced Cockpit digital gauge cluster as standard, not to mention advanced driver assistance systems like the highly sophisticated Porsche InnoDrive adaptive cruise control system with stop and go capability plus more.
Also, new to the Panamera range yet standard with the GTS is a full colour head-up display unit that projects vital information onto the windscreen ahead of the driver.
The new 2019 Panamera GTS is available now at Porsche retailers across Canada.