Last week I had the opportunity to join a handful of people to be the among the first in Canada to test drive the new 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS. We took the day driving the cars out to Prince Edward County, a beautiful municipality just east of Toronto, to enjoy a delicious lunch and a stunningly scenic view. The day began at Porsche Canada's head office, where we had some breakfast and coffee then got a briefing of the cars we were about to drive.
The Porsche brand adds two very sporty models to its Panamera lineup this year. With the GTS and GTS Sport Turismo models offering a powerful four-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, an adaptive air suspension system, and a very sleek and modern interior, in addition to an Alcantara option that boasts a stylish look and an extremely comfortable feel. After learning about the cars, we headed outside where they were lined up, and waiting for us. There were four cars and five drivers, so three people would drive on their own and two people were paired in a car together. I had the chance to drive solo to our lunch at the Drake Devonshire.
I hopped in the white Panamera GTS, which was ladened with the Sport Design Package. As I turned on the car, I was pleasantly surprised, as the seat and steering wheel adjusted into place, and I felt immediately comfortable. It was a bit slow making it out of the city, as it was still pretty early, and rush hour hadn't quite subsided yet. As I proceeded, the road opened up, that’s when I really noticed how special the car was. The acceleration, handling and ride quality were like nothing I had ever experienced. The way the car was able to absorb the bumps and potholes as I drove over them was otherworldly. An especially unique feature that I noticed while on the road was the heads-up display reflected in the bottom left of the windshield. We made our first stop in Port Hope, a small town on the way to Prince Edward County, for a cup of coffee and a driver switch, luckily I was on my own, so I got to stay behind the wheel.
When we arrived in Prince Edward County, we made our way to the Drake Devonshire, a restaurant and hotel complex that looks out onto the picturesque Lake Ontario. We enjoyed a delicious lunch there and then made our way back out to the cars, where we all got in different models than we arrived in. For the drive back, I was paired up and we were given the Panamera GTS Sport Turismo model. The sport Turismo's most noticeable difference is the hatchback style trunk, which offers increased cargo space over the standard Panamera GTS model. Visually, there may be a misconception that the Sport Turismo model may not have the same "guts" as the standard model, but that couldn’t be more incorrect. I was driving back for the first half of the trip, and the Panamera GTS Sport Turismo felt just as good. We made our way to the mid-way point, switched seats, and made our way back to the Porsche head office, where our day concluded.
All in all, it was a great day and a fantastic opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Porsche for the first time, a truly unforgettable experience.