LA Auto Show 2011: Porsche debuts 2013 Panamera GTS

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Porsche trotted out racing drivers Romain Dumas and Patrick Long to unveil their latest variant of the brand’s first saloon car. It’s the Panamera GTS (Gran Turismo Sport, if anyone asks), trading on a name that dates back to the fabulous, lithe Type 904 of 1963, a car also known as the Carrera GTS. Which, of course, is not to be confused with the current 911 Carrera GTS or the 924 Carrera GTS of 30 years ago.

The warmed-up GTS features a naturally-aspirated 4.8L V8 that churns out 430hp and 384 lb-ft. of torque, has a 0-60 time of “under 4.3 secons” according to Porsche’s Wolfgang Hatz. Top speed? How’s 178 mph grab you? Economy? No EPA figures yet, but Hatz touts 22mpg combined on the Euro cycle.

Zuffenhausen’s ambassadors of precision also pulled the wraps off the 2012 for the third time. (Unveilings in Frankfurt and Monterey happened in September and October, respectively.) Read our review here.

But the company’s biggest announcement in LA may have been the announcement of Porsche’s new Experience Centre in Carson, California. Located at the confluence of the 405 and 110 freeways, the facility will feature a test track and a fitness center to keep track-king aspirants in peak physical fitness for motor racing, as well as a place for Southern California Porsche dealers to send prospective buyers for test drives. Ground breaks on the facility the middle of next year.