Friday, December 15, 2017
Business

The Daily Drivers car review: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche keeps refining its sedan since unveiling it in 2009 to some grumblings from aficionados. There's now a Panamera for all tastes — from 6-cylinder to hybrid to 550-horsepower turbo. We drove the middle-of-the-lineup GTS, which features a naturally aspirated V-8 and some performance features from the upper-level turbo models.

Appearance: There's no getting around it — this car still looks awkward, with a big, round rear end that gives it a bulbous silhouette. Deal-breaker for some potential buyers? Perhaps. The front end, though, shows off the Porsche DNA: It's sleek, with a long, creased hood, elliptical headlights and black air-intake grille. Our tester featured black 20-inch sport wheels with bright-red brake calipers, which makes for a stunning contrast. (The red-on-black scheme continues inside.) The stainless steel-alloy twin sport exhaust has a matte-black finish.

Performance: The naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 puts out 430 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. That makes for great acceleration and a 4.3-second 0-to-60 time. (If that's not enough power for you, there are two turbocharged versions.) If you want a more aggressive response, you can switch to the sports or sports-plus modes at the push of a button. There's also a button to choose your exhaust note; we prefer the throaty rumble. The 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is one of our favorite sport automatics, making seamless and precise shifts. Porsche has refined its gas-saving auto start/stop system, which is now almost as seamless as the PDK's shifts. You can disable it with the push of a button — nice. The GTS, which has active all-wheel drive, is engineered for performance, and it doesn't handle like a 2-ton-plus car, carving out corners — big butt and all — almost like a smaller Porsche. Fun to drive? That's an enthusiastic yes.

Interior: The GTS is more about sport than comfort. Its adaptive sports seats, though comfortable and offering great lateral support, are on the firm side. There are bright-red embroidered GTS logos on each seat, which also have red stitching. The seat belts are also bright red. We get it, Porsche: This is a sports model. One thing all Panameras share is a technology-laden instrument panel that recalls an aircraft. The center console extends through the cabin to the rear. Lyra counted 48 buttons and dials up front for the alphabet soup of car-control systems and other features; it can be a bit overwhelming. We both were wowed by the Burmester surround-sound system, which we thought was one of the best we've heard. Some things we didn't like: The steering-wheel adjuster is under the column, so if you need to pull it down, you have to contort your arm. Lyra didn't like the Alcantara-lined steering wheel, which she felt lacked grip, and the rear window is small.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Power hatchback: It closes with the push of a button and there's room for suitcases.

Key fob: This is more a source of amusement: It's in the shape of the car and can come in the same color as your car for $335.

Cockpit: The button-heavy console has a visual impact.

Lyra Solochek

Sporty look: Black wheels, red seat belts and stitching.

Just right: Great balance between comfort and performance.

PDK: One of the best transmissions I've driven.

The bottom line: Performance. Comfort. Love-it-or-hate-it styling. The pricey Panamera is many things, but boring isn't one of them. It's definitely for a confident personality.









     
         
Comments
Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Today is the day that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will close for most people. But those affected by the slew of hurricanes that pummelled Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other states earlier this year can take advantage of a two-week ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Published: 12/15/17
Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season.The American Automobile Association projects that 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles by planes, trains, automobiles and other mod...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Two Tampa area widowers whose wives died of ovarian cancer are suing Johnson & Johnson, joining nearly 5,000 other plaintiffs across the country who blame their illness on the daily use of the pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder.Bryan Isa’s wife, ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — Jabil Circuit Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profits and revenue Thursday.The St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer — one of Tampa Bay’s biggest public companies — posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of...
Published: 12/14/17
Soccer store opens on Gunn Highway, just in time for the World Cup

Soccer store opens on Gunn Highway, just in time for the World Cup

Even though the United States Men’s soccer team didn’t qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, that hasn’t diminished local fans’ excitement about the upcoming international event.Ariel Martinez, owner of Best Buy Soccer and Lacrosse, has already receiv...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa chamber names first companies for minority business accelerator

Tampa chamber names first companies for minority business accelerator

TAMPA — Four firms in marketing, construction and secure cash logistics will be the first to go to through a new Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce program designed to help black- and Hispanic-owned companies grow their businesses through two years of...
Published: 12/14/17
FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

NEW YORK — The Federal Communications Commission has voted on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era "net neutrality" rules that guaranteed equal access to internet.The agency’s Democratic commissioners dissented in the 3-2 vote Thursday.The FCC’s ne...
Published: 12/14/17
From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

You don’t have to stare at a greeting card to picture a bustling old main street lined with decorated shops and lampposts. Historic small-town shopping districts are easy to find, and more charming than Walmart. Beyond the downtowns of St. Pet...
Published: 12/14/17
American Social booming on Harbour Island

American Social booming on Harbour Island

HARBOUR ISLAND — Downtowners, conventioneers, hockey fans, concert-goers and anyone hungry for waterfront dining are discovering American Social Bar & Kitchen on Harbour Island. Panoramic views, accessible boat slips and walkability to Amalie Arena a...
Published: 12/14/17