Porsche has made not compromising a central tenet of its new four-door Panamera. That's certainly apparent when examining the astounding performance data, or from behind the wheel. It's a given that a Porsche is going to be a driver's car without peer, no matter how many seats it carries.
The Panamera is a vehicle full of technology, and Porsche threw every faculty at making that a no-compromise proposition, as well. Drivetrains use direct fuel injection, turbocharging and VarioCam Plus variable cam timing, either separately or all together, for impressive power outputs from any of the available engines – be it the 3.6-liter V6, the naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V8, or the immensely powerful turbocharged V8.
Power exits the engine and makes its way to the rear axle by way of the seven-speed PDK gearbox, which has a stop/start function to conserve fuel. PDK is a dual-clutch gearbox that changes gears faster than humanly possible without interrupting the flow of power. The optional Sport Chrono Package increases driving dynamics at the push of a button and teams perfectly with the PDK. Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) uses Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) to effectively put the power to the road and enhance vehicle dynamics and stability. PDCC with PTV is optional on all Panamera models. The system gets the power going to the wheels where it will be the most effective, and it also helps the Panamera rotate during cornering, all of which adds up to sporty steering and chassis response.
All-wheel drive is available on the Panamera 4, and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) is an integral part of the AWD system. PTM works with the automatic brake differential and anti-slip control to avoid any wheel slippage during lateral maneuvers. Porsche Stability Management is standard on the Panamera, and it maximizes traction for stability, performance and safety. Also for safety, Porsche Dynamic Light System is available with Bi-Xenon headlights to put light where it's most helpful for the driver, at any speed.
Adaptive cruise control is also standard on all Panameras. When you've built the ultimate Grand Touring car, making it easy to bite off full-days of driving is key. Automatically regulating speed by keeping the distance from the car in front of you constant makes long-distance drives a breeze. The Panamera's adaptive cruise control can even stop the car.
Inside the Panamera, there's even more technology than is packed into the versatile chassis. A seven-inch LCD is standard with the CDR-31 audio system. Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with navigation is available, as is a Bose surround-sound audio system or a Burmester high-end surround-sound system. The LCD touch-screen sits at the top of a center console that is uniquely designed to put all controls right at hand. An auxiliary input and USB port are standard with PCM, which can also control an iPod via USB.
XM Satellite Radio is available to open up even more entertainment and information options, as are XM NavTraffic and XM NavWeather; both helpful in avoiding snarls and snotty conditions. Bluetooth is standard on the Panamera and Panamera 4, allowing hands-free calling after interfacing with your phone.
Even the seats are high-tech in the Panamera. The standard seats are electrically adjustable and supremely comfortable, offering support under all conditions, even high-performance driving. Adaptive sport seats with memory are available on all Panamera models, and are padded more firmly with higher side bolsters to enhance support.
As you might expect, since the Panamera is a Porsche, a vast array of personalization options are available to suit your every whim. There's more technology in even the most basic Panamera (which is, let's face it, far from basic) than on an Apollo space mission, and the powerful engines and high performance level could almost convince you that the Panamera is a road-going Saturn V missile.
MSRP for the 2010 Porsche Panamera starts at $74,400.