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New Porsche Panamera GTS takes to the track (video)

Sat, 19 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0800

New Porsche Panamera GTS takes to the track

The new Porsche Panamera GTS is the latest Panamera variant to arrive – the ninth Panamera, no less – and is, as all Porsche GTS models are, a harder-edged take on the more mainstream variants.

With its naturally aspirated 4.8 litre V8 producing 425bhp, and pushing those horses through a PDK ‘box to all four wheels, the Panamera can scoot to 62mph in a very respectable 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 179mph. Not bad for a big saloon car that eschews forced induction and can carry proper-sized passengers in comfort.

Just like the Cayenne, the Panamera is not a car that your heart can love. Its proportions are ungainly, and from almost any angle it seems bloated. And yet…

And yet it is perfectly suited to fulfil its raison d’etre. Unlike really beautiful cars such as the Aston Martin Rapide, the Panamera has been designed to be not just thrilling to drive, but practical to use too. It’s a car you love with your mind, not your heart and soul. It personifies the Teutonic ideals of being superbly engineered and perfectly suited to its task.

And even now, when turbo-lag is almost a thing of the past, there’s something pure and enormously appealing about a naturally aspirated engine with seamless, linear performance being the driver’s engine of choice – even if there is less power without the turbo.

To ram home the point that the Panamera GTS is a drivers car that can carry passengers, Porsche has chosen the blunt route to demonstrate its abilities by piling in Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer and Patrick Pilet – all suitably attired – for a blat round the track in the Panamera GTS.

Subtle, it’s not. But it is a perfect demonstration  of all that’s great about the Panamera GTS.

(7 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK