When Porsche's head of research and development, Wolfgang Hatz, uses the words, "uncompromising sportscar" and "race track experience" you expect him to unveil a 911 GT3, but these were the word he used to introduce the new Panamera GTS - one of the few genuine world premiers at an otherwise dull Los Angeles Auto Show.
Why you'd want to drive a near two-tonne limo on a race track is not easy to answer. However, the Panamera is not the craziest Porsche to wear the GTS tag that's was first worn by a Zuffenhausen product in 1963 (904 GTS). Nope that title belongs to the 2008 Cayenne GTS.
Like the Cayenne GTS, the Panamera runs a 4.8-litre naturally-aspirated V8. Power is up 22kW with a peak of 316kW at 6700rpm - 200rpm higher. Torque jumps 20Nm to 520Nm at 3500rpm and the engine now revs to 7100rpm - 400rpm higher than the Panamera 4 and 4S. With these big numbers lurking under the bonnet, it's no surprise the big bus runs hard. Launch control gets the seven-speed PDK-only GTS to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 288km/h.
Despite the hike in performance the fuel consumption isn't absurd at 10.9L/100km in European combined cycle testing.
Sitting on air springs, the GTS sits 10mm lower than the regular Panamera and rides on 19-inch Panamera Turbo alloys.
On sale in March next year for $315,300, the Panamera GTS may be a strange but fast addition to a track day near you.
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