The Porsche Panamera – A True Performance Sedan
Introduced in 2012, the Porsche Panamera aims to provide an option for those seeking sportscar performance alongside the convenience of a traditional sedan. This is a perfect option for anyone with a family to drive around who still craves the raw power Porsche is legendary for delivering.
Contrary to traditional Porsche design, the Panamera uses a front engine format, using a standard axel system to deliver the power to the rear wheels. Optionally available is an all wheel drive model, creating a sports sedan that can still function in inclement conditions.
Environmentally conscious consumers may be interested in either the plug-in electric hybrid Panamera, or the clean burning V6 diesel version. With this availability, you’re no longer limited to cars like the Toyota Prius in order to keep your conscience clean.
In traditional Porsche fashion, the Panamera offers numerous sub-models with various engines. The base 3.6 liter V6 engine puts out a relatively tame 300 horsepower, topping out the sedan at 162 miles per hour.
Engine options gradually step up power output, eventually reaching the Panamera Turbo S, packing a larger 4.8 liter V8 boosted by a twin turbo forced induction system. Power is increased to 550 horsepower, jumping the top speed to 190 miles per hour. Funneling this power to the tires is a 7 speed gearbox, featuring dual clutches to handle the power output without component failure.
The other performance statistics of the Turbo S are nothing to laugh at, either. From a standstill, 60 miles per hour comes in just 3.2 seconds, and 100 is reached in 7.2 mph, with a standing quarter mile time of 11.5 seconds at 127 MPH.
As a true luxury sports sedan, power is just the start when it comes to the Porsche Panamera. The interior features plush luxury that easily rivals the lesser-performing Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes models. Customization of the interior is vast, with luxury wood grain trim available, or sleeker options such as brushed aluminum or real carbon fiber.
Instead of using traditional gauges, the dash consists of a 7” LCD screen with touch screen interaction. This screen ties into the car’s computer system, and links with the navigation and stereo systems. Interacting with this system is easy, due to the ergonomically placed dials, buttons, and knobs. For those who value safety above all else, you can also interact with the system purely through voice recognition.
One of the settings controlled by the computer system is the vehicle’s ride mode. For daily driving, most opt for the “Comfort” setting. This softens the shock absorbers, and creates a smooth ride that rivals most non-sport sedans. If you’re itching to open it up a bit on the road, the “Sport” setting stiffens the shocks, improving handling, braking performance, and power delivery to the ground, while still maintaining some level of comfort. If you really want to lay down some rubber, the “Sport Plus” setting allows the Panamera to forget entirely about comfort, creating the most optimal conditions for sport sedan performance.
Since this is a car designed for a family, safety was a big focus for the engineering team. Eight airbags are standard, including front, side-impact, and an entire curtain bag that drops down to help ensure safety no matter what you encounter. Other safety options include a fully integrated fire extinguishing system, which can put out flames should things get really out of hand.
Overall, the Porsche Panamera succeeds in offering pure performance coupled with creature comforts that are not usually expected of such a high-performance vehicle. All of this can be yours for just under $80,000 for the base model V6.