Porsche’s Sexy Four-Door Sports Car Just Got An Update for 2021

2021 marks the introduction of a revamped version of the Porsche Panamera. The improvements span across the entirety of trim levels, from the base six-cylinder version, through the GTS, all the way to the Turbo and Hybrid versions of the sports saloon. The GTS package has always been the perfect balancing point between performance and comfort, for all Porsche models. This is especially true for the Panamera, as the main purpose of a sports saloon is to balance these two aspects, in particular. The 2021 Panamera GTS does this balancing act and more.

Drivetrain and Performance

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Exterior
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Whilst the current Panamera GTS boasts 453 horsepower (338 kw) and 457 pound-feet (620 Nm) of torque, the 2021 model makes 473 horsepower (353 kw) at 6500 RPM.

The peak torque figure remains the same but is now available in a much wider range - 1800 to 4000 RPM - giving you that pleasant mid-range punch. Despite being turbocharged, the 4.0-liter V8 builds power relentlessly until right before the 6800 RPM rev limit.

All this means that the Panamera GTS gives you the best of both worlds. On one hand, you have the wide torque band of modern turbo-engines. On the other, you have the progressive power delivery right until the high RPMs, reminiscing of a classic normally-aspirated sports car. At the same time, average fuel consumption is rated at 22 mpg (10.7 l / 100 km) combined.

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Exterior
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Moreover, the performance characteristics of the Panamera GTS are further enhanced by Porsche’s Adaptive Suspension Management (PASM). In addition to lowering the car by 0.39 inches (10 mm,) it also electronically, adjusts the dampening on each wheel based on current road conditions and driving style. The system allows for a choice between two settings. “Normal” for comfortable high-speed cruising and “Sport” which makes everything firmer and favors more spirited driving.

Despite its 4453-pound (2020 kg) curb weight, the GTS is able to make the 0-60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in just 3.7 seconds, on its way to a 186 mph (300 km/h) top speed.

Complementing the 4.0-liter, 32-valve, direct-injected, V-8 is the intelligent Porsche all-wheel-drive system with torque-vectoring and active rear-wheel-steering. The responsibility of shifting gears is trusted to a rapid-shifting 8-speed PDK gearbox.

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Exterior
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With the Panamera GTS, you can opt for Porsche’s Sport Chrono package which gives you a switch on the steering wheel, coming straight from Porsche’s hyper hybrid – the 918 Spyder. This allows for a quick change between the different drive modes, without having to move your hands off the steering wheel. Among the other benefits is a new “shifting strategy” which allows the 8-speed dual-clutch unit to change gears even quicker and optimizes the shift points for maximum performance.

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS specifications
Engine Twin-turbocharged V8
Displacement 4.0 l
Max. power 473 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Max. torque 457 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 4,000 rpm
Top track speed 186 mph
0 - 60 mph with Sport Chrono Package 3.7 s

Exterior Design

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Exterior-wise, the sports saloon is a classic case of Porsche’s philosophy, “Evolution not revolution”. As with the 911, over the years, the design became sharper and more aggressive while remaining clearly distinctive.

For 2021, the Panamera GTS has followed this philosophy and experienced very subtle exterior changes. They comprise mainly of the diffuser, side skirts, and front splitter which are now body-colored, instead of black. This gives the impression that the car is closer to the ground, thus emphasizing the sportier aspirations of the GTS. In addition, the new Panamera adds three new wheel styles that you can choose from, bringing the total of ten.

Interior Design

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Interior
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The good news continues when we talk about the interior. The level of adjustability is immense. The 18-way adjustable sport seats can easily accommodate any body type while providing good levels of comfort and excellent side-bolstering. The sport saloon theme extends to the second row, where two more sport seats can be found.

Despite the sleeker silhouette of the second generation, interior space has not suffered.

Legroom and headroom is enough for even taller people to be seated comfortably in the back. Folding the rear seats reveals an almost flat 47.1 cubic-feet (1334 liter) cargo area. Minimum cargo space is 17.5 cubic-feet or 495 liters.

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In addition, the revised Panamera boasts a new steering wheel which now looks tidier and even more premium, thanks to a revised button layout and new aluminium trim for the centerpiece.

How Much Does the 2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Cost?

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Exterior
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Prices for the 2021 Panamera GTS start from around $120,000 and can go over $160,000, depending on the spec. This places it slightly above its competition, price-wise. However, it is worth noting that, unlike its direct competitors, this is a freshly revised model.

Competition

BMW M850i Gran Coupe

2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
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Porsche’s sports saloon finds itself in a very competitive segment, with rivals like the BMW M850i Gran Coupe and Audi S7 Sportsback. However, in the GTS trim, the Panamera is able to match the performance of the lighter and much more powerful Bavarian Gran-tourer which boasts 523 horsepower (390 kw) and 553 pound-feet (750 Nm) of torque from its 4.4-liter V-8.

Read our full review on the BMW M850i Gran Coupe

Audi S7

2019 Audi S7 Exterior
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Another competitor of the Panamera, the Audi S7 Sportback, has always made a strong case for itself with regards to practicality, having the biggest cargo capacity in the segment. However, with almost the same curb weight as the GTS and less power, it simply cannot match the pace of the Stuttgart missile. It accomplishes the 0-60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in 4.4 seconds which, although respectable, is no match for the 3.7-second figure of the Panamera. At the same time, the sloping roofline of the Audi robs rear passengers of valuable headroom.

Read our full review on the Audi S7

Final Thoughts

2021 Porsche Panamera GTS Exterior
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In conclusion, the sports saloon from Stuttgart has always had a unique position in the segment. The 2021 GTS is further proof that the Panamera is the supercar among sports saloons. In terms of driving dynamics, once again, Porsche shows that supercar-like performance can easily blend with high levels of comfort and practicality.

Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read More
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