Test Drive: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS car test drives porsche luxury cars
2013 Porsche Panamera GTS. Click image to enlarge
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Review and photos by Tom Sedens

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2013 Porsche Panamera GTS

Oh sure, the purists have already slung their barbs into the air. “Sacrilege.” “Blasphemy.”

You name it, the poor Panamera has heard it.

Mind you, the Cayenne heard it all first. Those lucky purists seem to have endless fodder for their mutterings, huddled around the slotted hoods of their air-cooled 911s for warmth.

But hey, those old 911s and the new ones, which, on paper and on the road, are simply a triumph, cost a fortune to continue to develop. Making something continuously more awesome isn’t cheap. What finances the research and the racing programs that funnel their lessons and technology down into those 911s? Well, the profits from the Cayenne and the Panamera for starters.

The Panamera is no cheap date. The V6 model starts at $87,500. The Panamera GTS, optioned as I drove it, comes in at a spittle-stopping $148,175. A-hem.

Test Drive: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS car test drives porsche luxury cars Test Drive: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS car test drives porsche luxury cars Test Drive: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS car test drives porsche luxury cars
2013 Porsche Panamera GTS. Click image to enlarge

Let’s see what you get for your hard-earned or easily inherited dollars.

The styling of the Panamera has certainly caught some flak. Love it or hate it? Nah. The Panamera has so many different angles that you could be loving it from one side, and hating it from the next.

I love it, almost from every angle. It’s a low-slung car. The shape is unmistakably Porsche. It’s surprisingly big and wide, and those rear flanks get even wider, calling for an XL set of lederhosen.

Sitting on top of that is a large glass cabin, with a brilliant rear side window. The curve in it fools the eye, and actually oversteps the rear door edge, which makes it easy to focus on the greenhouse instead of the fact that it’s a four door. The sloped nose is all Porsche, and the rear end, although a bit of a bubble butt, yodels its 911 lineage loud and proud.

The fenders are filled with (optional) 20-inch black rims and enormous rubber boots.

In terms of its styling, this schnitzel happily sets itself apart from the rest of the automotive world with its styling and says, “Take it or leave it.”

The GTS comes with Porsche’s lovely 4.8L V8, putting out 430 naturally aspirated horsepower at 6,700 RPM. Torque is nothing to sneeze at either – 384 lb-ft of it are available at 3,500 RPM.

The Panamera GTS is rated at 11.1 L/100 km in the city, and 8.5 L/100 km on the highway.

The fuel tank holds 100 L, which is nice considering I averaged 15.8 L/100 km during my week with it – plenty of fresh snow, often driving it hard and never making an effort to conserve fuel.

The Panamera simply, and seemingly miraculously at times, overcomes the laws of physics. It’s a heavy bratwurst – 1,920 kg (4,232 lb.)! It’s a big, wide car. Yet, the faster you drive it and the harder you push it, the better it gets. Cruising around town is a clinic in comfort. The suspension soaks up big and small hits alike – nothing makes its way through to the cabin. Handling is very good, and although it feels heavy, it leaves you surprised any time you push it. Want to spice things up? Dial in the suspension and drive settings. Sport and Sport Plus modes stiffen things up noticeably, keep the car even flatter around corners and hold the shift points as long as the transmission thinks you want them to be held. You’ll pay for it with slightly reduced comfort, but this car will carve a canyon road any time you want.

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