Whether you're a fan of its styling or not, the 2011 Porsche Panamera is one serious piece of machinery, and refined, too. And for the latest model year the entire lineup has been made more fuel efficient--and more accessible. What do we mean by that? Well, a new V-6 variant
has brought the price of entry to $74,400, which is very reasonable for a sedan with sports car handling, German engineering and avant-garde styling.
While it’s easy to throw the Panamera into the burgeoning four-door coupe segment alongside the likes of the Aston Martin Rapide and Mercedes-Benz CLS, the Porsche is a four-door coupe, but a true ‘gran turismo’ complete with prodigious power and plenty of space for four full-size adults.
Yes, even the V-6 model offers strong performance. With 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque on board, the V-6 Panamera will rocket to 60 mph from rest in 6.0 seconds flat. Opt for the extra traction of the all-wheel drive Panamera 4 and you’ll see that figure drop to 5.8 seconds.
The story doesn’t end there as you can shave another 0.2 seconds off each time with the addition of the Sport Chrono Package Plus option, which fits the PDK dual clutch gearbox among other upgrades. Top speeds are 160 mph for the base Panamera and 159 mph for the Panamera 4.
However, if the budget allows for it we suggest going with one of the V-8 models, preferably the Turbo. The 2011 Porsche Panamera models for enthusiasts and true Porschephiles and track hounds remain the Panamera S, with its 4.8-liter V-8 engine and 400 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque output, or the Turbo, which gets a twin-turbocharged version of this engine and an output of 500 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
The Panamera S and 4S vaults the sedan to 60 mph in either 5.2 or 4.8 seconds (better traction in the 4S shows up on the stopwatch), while the Turbo charges to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds or less. Note, if this is still not enough a new Panamera Turbo S
with a mammoth 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque is being introduced for the 2012 model year.
A wide range of options and upgrades are available on the Panamera lineup, though standard equipment includes an electric moonroof, Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, and iPod/USB audio interface to the standard Porsche
Communication Management infotainment/navigation system.
For a full review of the 2011 Porsche Panamera’s styling, performance, comfort and quality, safety and features, check out TheCarConnection's
more detailed report.