How do you comfortably accommodate four adults and their luggage without compromising driving dynamics? You find yourself a 2012 Porsche Panamera S, which delivers driving enjoyment for enthusiasts and legroom for their passengers. The powerful V8 will make all of you smile as it rockets the entire car full toward the horizon without being gluttonous; the Panamera S returns up to 24 mpg on the highway.
In designing a four-door four-seat performance car without compromise, Porsche has created a distinctive vehicle that follows its own road to arrive at its goal of lofty performance. The Panamera S starts at an MSRP of $90,300. For that price, you get a 114.9-inch wheelbase and 4.8-liter V8 engine, rendered in lightweight aluminum, that features VarioCam Plus valve timing and lift control. Porsche gives the V8 a dry sump lubrication system to allow lower mounting of the engine in the chassis, which in turn keeps the center of gravity closer to the pavement and aids handling.
The 400 hp and 369 lb/ft of torque are sent through a seven-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) transmission that shifts with racecar precision and sends power to the rear wheels with dual driveshafts. The uniquely Porsche bodywork is created out of steel, aluminum and magnesium. To this rigid Porsche is attached a fully-independent suspension system. The front suspension is a double-wishbone arrangement, and a multi-link design controls the rear axle. Damping is actively adjusted by the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system to deliver an optimized balance of control and comfort.
There are two Pre-Configurations of the Panamera S available – Touring and Sport. Each adds select options and packages to create a vehicle with a distinct character. The Panamera S Touring comes equipped with a two-tone interior leather package, 19-inch wheels, Bose® audio, the Premium Package (14-way power seat and heated steering wheel), front and rear Park Assist, ventilated power seats with memory and embossed Porsche crests in the headrests, among the highlights.
A Panamera S Sport wears 20-inch wheels cribbed from the 911 Turbo II and carries the Premium Package Plus (rearview camera, heated rear seats and side and rear sunscreens) and the Bose Audio Package. Specially painted front and rear diffusers set the Panamera S Sport off, and the Sport Exhaust system, Adaptive Air Suspension with PASM and Sport Chrono Package Plus are functional performance enhancements that make the Panamera S sharper and faster. Adaptive Sport Seats keep you in place and also feature memory to store your settings. The Anthracite Birchwood interior package finishes off the cabin in the Panamera S Sport configuration with handsome distinction.
Aside from the standard Black and Carrera White are metallic colors – including Crystal Green Metallic, Aqua Blue Metallic, Cognac Metallic, GT Silver Metallic and Amethyst Metallic – which can grace the graceful flanks of the Panamera S. Being a Porsche, the Panamera S offers a world of bespoke customization to buyers who want something truly unique. Custom exterior paint, metallic and non-metallic, can be mixed up for you to ensure you'll never see another Panamera like yours.
The standard level of performance from the Panamera S will pin you to the seat and hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Top speed is 175 mph, and adding the Sport Chrono Package drops the zero-to-60 time to five seconds flat. You'll spot a Sport Chrono Package-equipped Panamera S by looking for the analog and digital stop watches in the interior, and the Sport Plus button used to sharpen the edge of the engine and chassis responses. Sport Chrono also includes Launch Control and is paired with Porsche Communication Management and Navigation. Other performance options – like Adaptive Air Suspension with PASM, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) – further bend the laws of physics to the whim of the Panamera. When it's time to bring it to a halt, the standard brakes on the Panamera S deliver safe, true stops that are easily modulated time after time, and the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) Package further reduces stopping distances.
Lest you think the exceptionally deep well of options available on the 2012 Porsche Panamera S is limited to performance enhancements, check out what you can do to the interior. The standard seats are partially upholstered in leather and feature eight-way power adjustment; 14-way power-adjustable seats are the next step. Drivers who enjoy wringing their cars out will appreciate the way the Adaptive Sport Seats keep them in place. A full leather interior with hides gracing the seats, dashboard, instrument cluster, pillars, door panels and myriad other cabin surfaces is available in a range of standard and optional two-tone and natural/special leather grades.
The Panamera has audio and communications options that befit its role as a four-passenger ultra-premium express. Two different audio upgrades are available, a Bose® surround system or a Burmester® High-End Surround-Sound system. Voice control, satellite radio and the Porsche Rear-Seat Entertainment System can be added to the standard Panamera S to make travel as enjoyable for the passengers as it is for the lucky driver of the Panamera.
Porsche brings its reputation and engineering skill to every vehicle niche it enters. While the Panamera represents a new space for a vehicle wearing the Porsche crest, it makes the inherent Porsche greatness available to buyers who want all that comes with the storied nameplate and its cars, but need more passenger capacity than can be found in a Boxster or 911.