It came as no huge surprise to Porsche enthusiasts that the luxury brand decided to extend its Panamera sedan range by adding a Turbo S trim to its 2012 model lineup. The Turbo S adds 50 horsepower to the already impressive 500 horsepower of the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo, which is produced by its 4.8-liter, twin-turbo, V8 engine. The standard Porsche Panamera is known for seamlessly combines power and luxury into one amazing package and was first introduced in 2009 at the Shanghai International Automobile Show in Shanghai, China as Porsche's first sedan model. The 4-door Panamera sedan features rear-wheel-drive and a front-engine design, with a four-wheel-drive variant also available. The Panamera derives its name from the Carrera Panamericana race (as does Porsche's Carrera model). The Carrera Panamericana road race is generally regarded as one of the most dangerous races of all time; it took place in Mexico from 1950-1964. The sporty sedan also traces its lineage to the Porsche 989 concept car from the late '80s.
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The Porsche Panamera truly widens the Porsche lineup to appeal a unique set of consumers- or at least unique to Porsche. The luxury brand is usually known for its sporty coupes, the luxury brand began to enlarge its model offerings when it introduced the Porsche Cayenne SUV. So, although some Porsche enthusiasts may consider the Panamera sedan to be a blemish on the "purity" of the Porsche line, but to others, it creates a completely fresh image for Porsche- a family-friendly image that they can feel comfortable supporting.
This review will focus on the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S sedan. The Turbo S is the most powerful (and most pricey) model in the Panamera lineup this year. It has as starting price of $173,200. It is, however, much faster than the standard Panamera sedan. It achieves zero-to-sixty in only 3.6 seconds (.4 faster than the standard Panamera Turbo) and boasts a top track speed of 190 mph due to its 550 horsepower engine and 7-speed PDK transmission. Despite its powerful specs, this sedan also comes with fairly impressive fuel economy ratings- at 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway.
What's possibly more impressive, however, is the Panamera Turbo S' standard features. Safety features for this sporty sedan include an electric parking brake, an anti-lock braking system, several airbags (including knee airbags), side impact protection, a rollover detection system, and ParkAssist. Technology features include a premium BOSE Surround Sound system with 14 speakers, Porsche Communication Management, and MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility.