Having already leapt into the SUV space with its controversial Cayenne, Porsche decided to fill the gap between sports car and Utility Vehicle with the launch of its Panamera luxury sedan. No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, Porsche and a sedan are together in the same sentence. Superior in space to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is less than 74 inches wide, the Panamera measures 76 inches in width, 55.8 inches in height and 195.7 inches in length. This makes for a roomy interior, especially for just four passengers. The cabin is complete with 18-way adjustable front seats, and 8-way adjustable rear seats.
The Panamera adds to a quickly growing group of fast four-doors with less formal roof-lines and a pronounced emphasis on performance. Among them: the Mercedes Benz CLS, the Maserati Quattroporte, and the Aston Martin Rapide. With its new fastback-like styling, the 2011 Jaguar XJ also slots into this sleekly styled set. Its styling has been controversial, to say the least. And if you believe the rumor mill, the Panamera’s somewhat rounded rear end looks like it does, because a former 6′ 3″ chairman demanded the new car be roomy enough for his comfort in the rear seat.
The Panamera’s roomy interior is also unexpected. It delivers the usual Porsche performance despite a long body and a long wheelbase. Four adults will find plenty of room–even more in the back seat, in fact. Those seats also flip forward, opening a cargo space that delivers enough room to cart a couple of bicycles even without removing the front wheels.
The Panamera’s performance makes it a true companion to Porsche sportscars like the 911,Cayman, and the Boxster. The entry-level powerplant is Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. The ‘S’ model will deliver 400 horsepower from a 4.8-liter V8, and the Turbo variant will offer an estimated 500 horses these V-8 engines split power to the rear or to all Panamera wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission, or a 6-speed manual transmission.
Porsche also added the Panamera 4, which adds all wheel drive to the base 300 horsepower model, and the Panamera 4S, which adds all-wheel drive to the 400 horsepower V8 model.
The Panamera S will start at $89,800, while the all wheel drive 4S will cost $94,700. The Turbo will ring in at $132,600, which is slightly more than a Cayenne Turbo.
The rear-wheel drive Panamera S can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 175 mph. The Panamera 4S can hit 60 in 4.8 seconds and achieves the same top speed. The all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo sets a zero to 60 time of 4 seconds flat and a top track speed of 188 mph.
The turbocharged version comes standard with all-wheel-drive. Rear-wheel-drive will be standard otherwise with four-wheel propulsion a line-wide option.
All models are equipped with Porsche’s new PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Porsche is also planning a hybrid variant of the Panamera, though the automaker failed to disclose any further details.
This article was submitted by UsaRim Staff Writer | Brandon Thomas