First Look: 2012 Porsche Panamera GTS

By Brandon Turkus

November 17, 2011

Porsche has added yet another member to the Panamera range, in the form of the GTS. Based off of the Panamera 4S, the GTS features a modified version of the S/4S’s 4.8-liter V-8, which produces an extra 30 horsepower (430 horsepower compared to 400 in the Panamera S/4S). Torque is up 15 pound-feet as well. Power is delivered to all four wheels by way of Porsche’s seven-speed PDK (or Doppelkupplungsgetriebe if you sprechen Deutsch). 0-60 miles per hour happens in a brisk 4.3 seconds, while the top speed sits at 178 miles per hour.
Other features of the Panamera GTS include upgraded brakes (from the Panamera Turbo) and a more aggressively tuned air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management that lowers the ride height ten millimeters. Aesthetically and aerodynamically, the GTS features Porsche’s SportDesign aero kit along with the deployable rear spoiler of the Panamera Turbo.
Being audio geeks and loving the sound of car engines, this last part excites us. The Panamera GTS features something called a Sound Symposer that, when in Sport, transmits the actual intake sound into the cabin. The sound is transmitted into the A-pillar via a membrane that turns the engine vibrations into sound. We have no clue how that works, but we really want to try it out, as it seems like a surefire way to up the involvement of an already involving vehicle.
Pricing for this new Panamera is still a mystery, but considering its use of the 4S as a base and the inclusion of some pieces from the Turbo, it’s safe to assume it’ll be priced between the two models it’s based on and borrows from.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Porsche.
Porsche Panamera GTS: the Purest Panamera Yet
430 hp, All-wheel Drive and Sports Car Dynamics
LOS ANGELES – November 16, 2011 – Porsche today unveiled the Porsche Panamera GTS at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Panamera GTS is the purest expression of a sports sedan in the Porsche family with a clear focus on performance.
The new Panamera GTS is based on the Panamera 4S and includes more power, upgraded brakes and a body lowered by ten millimeters with new, sportier chassis tuning coupled to air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). These technical modifications make the Panamera model even more capable of cutting it on the race track without sacrificing practicality. The sportiest of all Panamera models also conveys this to occupants and the outside world by its striking sound. In terms of looks, the new Panamera GTS includes distinctive design features at the front, side and rear as well as black highlights. The interior is also tailored to its sporty personality with adaptive sports seats, SportDesign steering wheel with shift paddles and exclusive GTS leather interior with Alcantara surfaces.
The Panamera GTS is powered by a modified 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, delivering 430 hp at 6,700 rpm, increasing the output over the Panamera S/4S by 30 hp. The maximum torque also increases by comparison, from 369 to 384 lb. ft. At the push of a button, thanks to the standard Sport Chrono package, the 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission transmits the engine output to the all-wheel drive system during gear changes without interruption to the power flow. This collaboration enables the Panamera GTS to sprint to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, accelerating on to its top track speed of 178 mph.
The 0-60 figures and top speed only scratch the surface of the new Panamera GTS’s sporty character. Its chassis in particular makes it fit for the race track: the adaptive air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) connect the chassis and body, constantly adapting to the driving challenges by regulating leveling settings, adjusting height, modifying the spring rate and electrically modulating the damping system. The body has been lowered by ten millimeters and the damping designed to be tauter, which helps agility and further reinforces the sporty personality of the Panamera GTS. Five millimeter wheel spacers between the wheel and the wheel hubs increase the rear axle track width, giving the Panamera even more stability. The required grip is provided by standard 255/45 size 19-
inch tires on the front axle and 285/40 on the rear axle. Optional 20-inch wheels are available with 255/40 tires on the front and 295/35 on the rear.
Deceleration on the sporty Panamera is provided by the braking system from the Panamera Turbo, which includes larger diameter front brake rotors than Panamera S/4S. Like all other Porsche models, the Panamera is available with the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), featuring brake calipers finished in yellow.
The sports car among Sports Sedans
The Panamera GTS is the purest member of the Porsche Panamera family. The heart of the new Panamera GTS is its upgraded 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine benefiting from numerous modifications to give it even better performance. Compared with the Panamera S/4S, these modifications result in a 30 hp increase in engine output and an increase in torque of 15 lb. ft. to 384 lb. ft. at 3,500 rpm.
To achieve these enhancements, the engineers increased the speed at which the engine reaches peak power by 200 rpm; the GTS’s eight-cylinder engine achieves maximum output at 6,700 rpm. Redline was extended by 400 rpm to 7,100 rpm. The higher engine speed capabilities are enabled by modified valve springs, ensuring that the valves open and shut precisely in all circumstances.
In addition to the increase in redline; the engine in the Panamera GTS employs a higher-flow air intake system. At low speeds, flaps close each of the two air intake openings. At engine speeds above 3,500 rpm, both flaps open and allow additional air flow into the inlet duct. In order to be able to handle the increased flow of combustion air, two new camshafts with a one millimeter increase in lift control the intake valves. As a result, especially at higher revs, the engine draws in more air and, with it, the engine makes more power.
Hearing performance: Sound Symposer transmits intake noises
At the push of the Sport button, driver and passengers can hear the GTS engine “breathing” even more than usual as a ‘Sound Symposer’ directs the intake sounds into the interior. This is accomplished with the addition of an acoustic channel, which picks up the intake vibrations between the throttle valve and air filter. The acoustic channel incorporates a membrane that transmits the vibrations as an engine sound into the A-pillar. A controllable valve located in front of the membrane enables the Sound Symposer to be activated or deactivated by means of the Sport button.
Exhaust gases exit the Panamera GTS through a standard sport exhaust system. This exhaust comes with larger diameter pipes to reduce back pressure and black exhaust tips. This too, is another building block toward increased power output, and one which adds additional aural excitement: the sport exhaust system features two tuning flaps, which expose additional exhaust openings, thereby emitting an even more powerful sound. The
flaps are controlled by a switch in the center console, which features a “last mode” function that remembers the last setting when the engine is restarted.
The control of the GTS engine is handled by modified and upgraded engine controls. The new system has been tuned for improved torque and responsiveness. The modified engine management system also enables a brief shutoff of individual cylinders when changing gears, allowing the engine speed to adjust even faster to the transmission speed. This further reduces gear change times and is accompanied a short, sharp report from the exhaust system, particularly audible when downshifting in Sport mode.
Sport Chrono Plus Package for individual sportiness
The Panamera GTS comes standard with the Sport Chrono package, which in addition to Normal and Sport modes offers a Sport Plus program as well. Specific characteristics of the Panamera GTS are further accentuated depending on which mode is selected: for example, activating Sport Plus mode enhances gear-shift parameters and throttle response and includes Launch Control for faster off-the-line acceleration.
Moreover, in Sport Plus mode the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) stabilization system intervenes later. The Sport Plus mode offers even greater agility with the PSM deactivated. For safety’s sake however it remains on permanent standby in the background, intervening automatically if both front wheels are in the ABS control range. In addition, the adaptive air suspension lowers the vehicle to the low setting and switches to a harder spring rate. The rear spoiler angle of attack also changes to the performance-oriented setting.
Options for even greater driving dynamics: PDCC and PTV Plus
Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is the final level of development of the Panamera GTS chassis, paired with an electronically controlled rear axle differential lock and PTV Plus. PDCC prevents the body from rolling by using active stabilizers on the front and rear axle to apply a counteracting force.
PDCC is further enhanced by Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus). The system works by varying the torque distribution to the rear wheels and by employing an electronically regulated rear differential lock, optimizing steering behavior. Braking interventions applied to the inside rear wheel generate an additional rotational pulse in the direction in which the steering wheel has been turned. This results in a direct and dynamic steering action as the car enters the curve.
PTV Plus improves steering behavior and precision by modulating braking interventions to the rear wheels when the car is being driven in a highly dynamic way. When entering a corner, braking force is applied to the inside rear wheel as the steering maneuver begins. This imparts greater drive torque to the outside rear wheel and improves the car’s agility.
Panamera GTS aerodynamics package
The aerodynamics of the Panamera GTS are on par with the Panamera Turbo: with its large air intake openings, the standard front fascia from the Panamera’s SportDesign package emphasizes the vehicle’s sporty dynamics and ensures an optimal air supply for the larger air filters unique to the GTS. This is matched in the rear section by fitting the adaptively deploying four-way rear spoiler from the Panamera Turbo. At speeds of 125 mph and above, it positions itself to generate downforce on the rear axle, thereby ensuring stable driving safety at high speeds.
Exterior: Sporty at first glance
The exterior features a high-gloss black exterior package as standard, comprised of side window trim, decorative trim on the rear lid, the headlight washer unit cover, the rear diffuser and the side air outlet panels. Together with the black front fascia grills, black side skirts, black lower rear fascia the sport exhaust system’s matte black tailpipes, the resulting appearance is striking.
A further point of differentiation: Bi-Xenon headlights with black inner bezels. They feature four LED daytime running lights. Optional paintwork in Carmine Red, available exclusively for the Panamera GTS, emphasizes the vehicle’s sportiness and provides an ideal contrast with the black exterior accessories.
Interior: Acceleration display, unique appointments
The Panamera GTS includes a lateral and longitudinal acceleration display. The multi-function display in the instrument cluster and the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system informs the driver about the instantaneous acceleration.
The Panamera GTS’s interior includes leather and Alcantara trimmed seats in a choice of five colors. The standard adaptive 18-way adjustable sport seats feature Alcantara center panels. Alcantara trim is also used on the upper sections of the door armrests and front center console armrest, as well as the roofliner. The SportDesign steering wheel with shift paddles and a twelve hour marking on the steering wheel combines dynamic looks with sporty functionality. This steering wheel can also be clad with black Alcantara if so desired. To ensure clear differentiation, the front brushed aluminum door entry guards are adorned with “Panamera GTS” lettering. “GTS” lettering is also found in the instrument cluster and on the embroidered headrests.
Porsche has put together two special optional interior equipment packages for the Panamera GTS. These packages marry a black interior with decorative stitching on the seats, foot mats, dashboard, door panels, center console armrest and doors, executed in Carmine Red or GT silver. Embroidered “GTS” lettering on the headrests and safety belts is also in the corresponding color.
Nick Twork Dave Engelman
Manager, Product Communications 678-323-6975
About Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager 770-290-3617
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 194 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand’s 63-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency. At the core of this success is Porsche’s proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.