The Porsche Panamera sedan is certainly all things to all people. It seamlessly combines power and luxury into one amazing package. Porsche first introduced the Panamera in 2009 at the Shanghai International Automobile Show in Shanghai, China as its first sedan model. The 4-door Panamera sedan features rear-wheel-drive and a front-engine design. Four-wheel-drive versions of the Panamera are also available. The Panamera derives its name from the Carrera Panamericana race (as does the Porsche Carrera). 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 Panamera is also considered to be the fruit of the Porsche 989 concept car from the late '80s.
Though Porsche is usually known for its sporty coupes, the luxury brand began to expand its product portfolio 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 truly support. In short, the Panamera opens up the Porsche lineup to a completely different set of consumers.
This review will focus on the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo sedan. The Turbo is one of the most powerful (and most pricey) models this year. It has as starting price of $136,700 and is eclipsed only by the sportier 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S, which has a starting price of $173,200. The Panamera Turbo is certainly faster than the standard Panamera sedan. It achieves zero-to-sixty in only 4.0 seconds (3.8 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Turbo Package) and boasts a top track speed of 188 mph due to its 4.8-liter V8 engine that produces 500 horsepower. Despite its powerful nature, 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, which include a premium BOSE Surround Sound audio system with AutoPilot and a subwoofer, along with 14 speakers, Porsche Communication Management with TFT 7-inch color display, a particle/pollen filter, tinted heat-insulating glass, a Sports steering wheel, smooth finished leather seats with leather accents throughout the cabin, and heated seats. Standard safety features include an electric parking brake, ParkAssist, knee airbags, and side impact protection. Overall, in review, the Panamera is quite luxurious.