Porsche may have built its reputation on sports cars, but these days the brand lines its coffers largely with the profit from four-door models such as the Panamera. Despite the sense of sacrilege a Porsche sedan initially provoked, the 2019 Porsche Panamera has proven to be a natural extension of the lineup – fast and nimble but also family-friendly.
What's New for 2019
The big news is the GTS trim, which is making its first debut on the second-generation Panamera. As always, the GTS represents the middle ground between the lofty Turbo and the potent-but-sane S.
Choosing Your Porsche Panamera
This generation of Panamera debuted in 2017 but has already spawned a number of variants and trims. To simplify things, we're covering the Sport Turismo and E-Hybrid variants separately, with the focus here being on the various flavors of the core sedan.
Power for the Base and 4 trims comes from a turbocharged six-cylinder displacing 3.0 liters. This engine delivers 330 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, good enough for zero-to-60 mph times of 5.4 seconds (Base) or 5.2 seconds (4). Top speed for either model is 164 mph. Like all Panameras, Porsche's eight-speed PDK transmission handles shifting duties.
4S models start with the same basic motor but modify it heavily in the quest for more power. Upgrades include adding an additional turbocharger and slightly reducing displacement to 2.9 liters by the way of reworked internals. The result of all the finessing is 440 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. The zero-to-60 mph time drops to 4.2 seconds and top speed is 179 mph.
Both the GTS and Turbo models bring twin-turbo V8 firepower to the discretion of the driver. In the new-for-2019 GTS, this 4.0-liter engine makes 453 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque, enough to let zero-to-60 mph happen in 3.9 seconds. The Turbo uses this same engine in its ultimate state of tune. This means 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.6-second blitz to 60 mph.
For those who want more rear leg room, a long-wheelbase Executive sub-trim adds another 5.9 inches of wheelbase to the Panamera. It can't be had with the Base or GTS models, but is available elsewhere in the lineup. Springing for the Executive will add $6,700 to the price of the Panamera 4, $11,300 to the 4S, and $10,400 to the Turbo.
The Sport Chrono Package is optional on all models except the GTS, where it's found among the standard equipment. This performance-oriented package includes launch control, a digital chronometer, and additional drive modes. Cars with this package boast zero-to-60 mph sprints that are 0.2 seconds quicker compared to models not so equipped.
The Executive and Sport Chrono are just two of the innumerable options with the Panamera. Some of the more notable extras include four-zone climate control, 14- or 18-way power seats with memory function, air suspension, adaptive cruise control, rear-wheel steering, dynamic LED lighting systems, eight-way power rear seats, and a surround-view camera. The base stereo can be upgraded to a 14-speaker, 710-watt Bose sound system or a 21-speaker, 1,455-watt Burmester unit.
Despite the brand's penchant for à la carte options, a few notable packages conveniently bundle some of the more popular add-ons. The Premium Package, for instance, brings the Bose stereo, keyless entry, 14-way power seats, and lane-change assist under one umbrella.
The Premium Package Plus includes everything aforementioned as well as soft-close doors, heated seats all around, LED lights, and front seat ventilation. The Assistance Package comes with all the active-safety and driver-assistance features Porsche offers.
Numerous aesthetic choices confront the Panamera buyer both inside and out. Exterior customization is as nuanced as the color of the exhaust tips or as blatant as unique bumper fascias and side skirts. Buyers will also have to make selections from the 16 different rim designs and an 18-slice color wheel.
The level of individuality in the interior is likewise only limited by the buyer's imagination. There's color choices for headliners, seat belts, and even the slats of the air vents. Partial leather upholstery is standard, but 12 different full-leather selections are available.
The 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS is the best combination of performance and luxury, coming with all the worthwhile go-fast toys and the luxuries a six-figure car should include. If you think the GTS carries an asking price a bit too rich, the significantly cheaper 4S is still a very satisfying car. We'd get the Premium Package and Sport Chrono Package before going on our way.