Black says sporty. That’s the mantra of every car designer under the sun, and Porsche doesn’t buck the trend with the GTS, endowing it with the Porsche SportDesign package. This includes black window trim, side skirts, badging, rear diffuser and even exhaust tips. Both at the front and rear the bumper and air intake treatment is unique to the GTS models. You can choose to have GTS badging on the doors if you wish, along with tinted LED headlamps. Sports alloy wheels are black, brake callipers are red and on both the Panamera GTS and GTS Sport Turismo the rear spoiler is active, extending at speed to increase rear downforce.  Inside, it’s Black leather and Alcantara™ for the Sport seats, with more Alcantara™ for the multifunction steering wheel rim and even the headlining. You can choose to have contrast stitching in either Carmine red or Crayon, and if you do you’ll find it on dashboard, door panels, seats, centre console armrest and floor mats, with the GTS embroidery on the headrests in the same colour. And matching seat belts, naturally. 


The Panamera GTS gets a useful boost in power compared with the model below it, developing 460hp and 620Nm of torque. The 4.0 Litre twin-turbo V8 locates the two twin-scroll turbochargers between the cylinder banks so the exhaust gases are just a short distance from the turbos, reducing perceived lag to near zero. There’s a crisper, more urgent feel to the engine response. Choose Sport Plus driving mode and you’ll hear what we mean blasting out from the sports exhaust system. All GTS models come with four-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox as standard. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 4.1 seconds (compared with 4.4 for the Panamera S) and top speed is a largely-academic 181 mph. The GTS models ride 10mm lower on the adaptive air suspension (though you can raise the suspension by 30mm to clear uneven ground). The spring rates are firmer, the rear antiroll bar is stiffer, and the overall feel is more sports car than executive express, though it’s also excellent at that role. Brakes are six-piston aluminium monobloc fixed callipers at the front, four-piston at the rear.


The Panamera GTS shares its cockpit architecture with the rest of the range, a welcome reduction on the button overkill of the previous model. An analogue rev counter is flanked by two additional digital readouts, which can be configured to show everything from navigation to trip computer. The centre console is pared back, while most controls have migrated to the 12-inch touchscreen. Porsche Connect with real-time traffic info, navigation and native speech recognition plus phone compatibility is standard and head-up display is available as an option.


Every Panamera feels like a very safe place in which to travel. Optional enhancements to the standard safety systems include Night Vision Assist and Porsche InnoDrive which includes adaptive cruise control, Lane Change Assist, Lane Keeping Assist or ParkAssist including surround view.