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LA show: GTS treatment for Porsche Panamera
Porsche applies the GTS blowtorch to its four-door Panamera grand tourer
17 Nov 2011
PORSCHE has presented one of the few surprises of this year’s Los Angeles motor show by inducting the four-door Panamera grand tourer into its exclusive GTS club.
Not satisfied with staging the North American debut of its seventh-generation 911 on the eve of its global launch in Porsche’s largest single market this week, the Stuttgart sportscar-maker staged the world debut of the new Panamera GTS just five months before first Australian deliveries begin in April.
On sale now at $315,300 – $18,300 more than the all-wheel-drive Panamera 4S on which it is based – the GTS is claimed to add more than $30,000 worth of extra equipment to make the newest member of Porsche’s GTS model family the most sporting Panamera yet.
Like the 911 GTS and Cayenne GTS, the ‘purist’ Panamera GTS eschews turbocharging, instead being powered by a tweaked version of the naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 that motivates the Panamera S and 4S.
Matched as standard like the rest of the Panamera range with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission, the GTS delivers 22kW more power at 316kW (produced 200rpm higher in the rev range at 6700rpm), 20Nm more torque at 520Nm and a 400rpm-higher 7100rpm redline, courtesy of higher-tension valve springs, new camshafts and a revised inlet system design to increase air flow above 3500rpm.
The inlet system also comes with a ‘Sound Symposer’, which Porsche says directs a more glorious engine note into the interior at the push of the Sport button.
Aided by an active all-wheel drive system, Porsche Traction Management, Porsche Active Suspension Management, adaptive air suspension and launch control, it shrieks to 100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 288km/h, while being able to return combined fuel consumption of just 10.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 256g/km (10.7L/100km and 251g/km with low-resistance tyres).
The GTS also gains an upgraded chassis including a 10mm-lower ride height, Sport Chrono Package with quicker-shifting Sport Plus mode as standard, sportier electronic stability control calibration and bigger brakes with red callipers from the Panamera Turbo, which also supplies the 19-inch alloy wheels.
As with Porsche’s other GTS models, the newest Panamera variant scores an Alcantara faux-suede-appointed interior (including headlining, door, centre armrests and Sport Design steering wheel with shift paddles) and 18-way power-adjustable sports front seats.
Panamera GTS drivers will not go unnoticed, thanks to oversized Turbo-style front air intakes for its aggressive front bumper and an adaptive four-way rear spoiler lifted directly from the Panamera Turbo.
“No other four-seater has similar racetrack capability,” declared Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz.
“Fit for the road and fit for the track has always been the Porsche promise. The Panamera GTS represents everything Porsche stands for.” As well as revealing the Panamera GTS and new 911, Porsche used the LA show to highlight the importance of North America, which it described as its second home and where almost 270,000 911 Carreras have been sold since 1970 – almost half the global total – more than 80 per cent of which are still on the road.
911 sales were up 30 per cent in the US last year and the German brand expects sales of its most famous model to top 30,000 this year in its largest market.
Porsche also announced it will invest more than $US100 million to build two new Porsche Experience Centres.
The company said that, in addition to the Atlanta facility it announced earlier this year, it will break ground on a new museum, vehicle restoration and driving centre on a 53ha site in LA by mid-2012.
“We are not just selling cars but delivering an unrivalled customer experience,” said Mr Hatz in underlining Porsche’s commitment to the US market.
The Panamera has been a global hit with 30,000 annual sales since launch, exceeding the company’s expectations.
In Australia, Porsche has sold about 150 Panameras annually since September 2009, representing a 15 per cent share of a relatively tiny limousine segment that attracts an average of between 850 and 1000 total sales each year.
“The segment is almost non-existent in Australia,” said Porsche Cars Australia managing director Michael Winkler, “so the Panamera is punching well above its weight and the GTS should continue that tradition.”
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