2013 Porsche Panamera GTS is a double-double animal style

The 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS invokes major sensory overload.  Like In-N-Out Burger, Porsche serves up their menu simply, with five basic flavors and a multitude of options for personalization.

The best bang-for-your-buck, just like In-N-Out’s double-double animal style, is the Porsche Panamera GTS; a treat for the purist’s senses that’s just plain good at everything.

My Panamera GTS’ platinum silver wrapper, devoid of In-N-Out’s signature red palm trees, turns more heads than Megan Fox in a skimpy bikini.  Driving through downtown Denver’s club scene on a Saturday night, I may as well have been piloting a Ferrari 458 Italia with giant breasts for a bumper.

Rather than don a toasted golden facade, the all-wheel-drive GTS flanks its sexy curves with dollops of glossy black trim.  Nearly every panel on my test car displayed a form of the dark contrasting hue, including its stunning $3,375 20-inch sport design wheels.

A twist of the Panamera GTS’ ignition key summons the meat between the buns, a 430 HP, 4.8-L V-8 which roars to life with an Italian-esque bark from its sport exhaust system.

Borrowing a set of hotter camshafts from the Panamera Turbo, the GTS’ increased valve lift and lowered intake restriction provides a healthy growl and instant throttle response at any RPM.

Wasting no time, I shift the standard seven-speed Porsche Doppel-Kupplunggetriebe (PDK) transmission to drive, engage sport-plus mode, disable the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system, wood the brakes and floor the gas.

The greatest pop-up message of them all, Launch Control, is illuminated between the three o’clock spokes of the steering wheel as the V-8 hangs at 7,000 RPM.

I side-step the brake pedal, the Panamera’s clutch takes a bite, and I’m instantly crying for my Mama.

All four tires break contact with the pavement, and the 4,232-pound all-wheel-drive GTS rockets forward with authority.  In sport-plus mode, the PDK’s shift programming does away with fuel cut-off and throttle intervention, and instead slams from gear-to-gear with a mechanical alacrity.

To round out the package, my Panamera GTS tester features the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system, which includes Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus).  In tight corners, the PDCC’s active anti-roll feature helps maintain a flat cornering attitude.  Stomping on the gas mid-corner invokes a healthy nudge from the PTV-Plus’ electronic rear axle differential lock.

Disabling sport-plus mode quickly returns the Panamera to its more supple GT roots, allowing for a comfortable and composed ride at any speed.

Inside the cabin, my Panamera GTS tester is neatly finished, with more glossy black trim spread throughout, as well as contrast red stitching and seat belts.  The carmine red theme, though pricey at $3,450, looks brilliant, and the adaptive front sport seats provide massive levels of lateral support.

The standard PCM 3.0 infotainment system features high-resolution graphics, an easy-to-use interface, and unlike most systems nowadays, allows for the input of navigation information while in motion.  Nutritional information for restaurants is thankfully not displayed.

Flexibility in configuration allows the 2013 Porsche Panamera to compete with several different classes of vehicle.  For example, while the Panamera 4S might compete with the BMW 750i xDrive, Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic and Audi A8, the Panamera GTS sees fit doing battle with the M5, S55 AMG and S7, respectively.

During 300 miles of driving, mostly in sport-plus, the Panamera GTS averaged 15.9 MPG.  For comparison, I averaged 14.1 MPG in a 2012 BMW 650i xDrive coupe earlier this year, and my last double-double took exactly ninety seconds to consume.

To anyone except a hard-core Porschephile, the $111,000 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS’ value proposition is difficult to legitimize.  Its closest competitor, the 420 HP, twin-turbocharged 2013 Audi S7, starts at $78,800.

There remains an indescribable sensory feeling, however, when piloting a Porsche.

You could, of course, go for the regular double-double burger at In-N-Out, devoid of grilled onions and the animal style preparation.  It costs a bit less and offers a more traditional taste that is suitable for the masses.

For the purist, however, there is nothing like knowing an insider secret, and catering your order exactly to your liking.  Porsche spared almost no expense in optioning my platinum silver $135,060 Panamera GTS, and I’d have it absolutely no other way.

On the TFLcar.com recommendation scale of:

–   Buy it

–   Lease it

–   Rent it, or

–   Forget it

I give the 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS a BUY IT!

If you have the means, go ahead and splurge.  The Panamera 4S is too pedestrian, and the pricey Panamera Turbo too effortless.  Encapsulating the perfect balance of naturally-aspirated goodness, the 2013 Panamera GTS is the best of the breed, and provides all the automotive nutrients a purist would ever need.

Daniel Buxbaum (Writer)

Daniel Buxbaum has had a life-long passion for all things automotive.  His background as a Porsche, Audi and BMW service advisor brings a more technical approach to his writing.  Dan’s passion for automotive journalism secured him a position as regional manager and contributing writer for Parts & People, a multi-region automotive trade publication. Dan is also an active member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) and Motor Press Guild (MPG).