By Eric Barton
Here is a car for the executive who wears suits to the office and Converses around town, lives in the suburbs and base jumps on vacation, speaks with measured tones with the children and orders pitchers at the bar. With the Panamera GTS, Porsche has built a car that conforms with the company rules and goes cruising with the rebels.
First, there’s the simple fact that the Panamera is the practical sports car. Passengers will be calling shotgun for the back seat, where legroom is expansive. The console separating the two reclining rear chairs alone have more controls – from seat adjustments to temperature gauges – than your average Hyundai. This is a Porsche that’ll fit two baby seats.
The commuting bean counter will choose comfort mode for the suspension. (There’s even a button that raises the whole car up a couple inches, giving the GTS a ride like a Bayliner taking waves from a cruise ship). In regular driving mode, and with modest work on the gas pedal, the Porsche almost seems slow. Or maybe better to call it smartly conservative.
Troublemakers will start by pushing the exhaust button, which changes the sound of the car from almost not there to the gurgling growl kids make when pushing toy cars around. Switch over to sport-plus mode, and the transmission holds gears to the redline, and the exhaust sounds like somebody threw hammers into a jet engine.
Neighbors will curse you. Others will look on with envy. They’ve always wanted a sports car like this.
If only they knew it was also so practical.
Braman Motorcars, 2801 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-615-4800; Champion Porsche, 500 W. Copans Road, Pompano Beach, 800-940-4020; The Collection, 200 Bird Road, Coral Gables,