The Porsche Panamera may have its critics but the four-door sports car, as many have nicknamed it, is a good option for buyers who prefer to own just one car or for those buyers who may already own a supercar but want something almost as fast for daily driving.
That’s because the Panamera is a great all-rounder, offering performance that would put many dedicated sports cars to shame while also being able to carrying three of your friends in comfort--plus all their gear.
For the 2012 model year Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with two new models that deliver scintillating performance through very different means. Before we get to those new models, let’s take a look at the entry to the range.
Starting at a very reasonable $75,200 is the base Panamera, which comes powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine rated at 300 horsepower. It offers you all the style of the much more expensive variants, and is still blistering quick when you consider that it’ll reach 60 mph from rest in around 6.0 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus and PDK dual-clutch transmission.
At the other end of the spectrum you have one of 2012’s newcomers, the Panamera Turbo S. This bad boy comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V-8 that develops 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to an updated Launch Control function, the 0-60 mph dash is completed in just 3.6 seconds!
Also new for 2012 is the Panamera S Hybrid, which despite touting green technology will still go like the clappers. The 0-60 mph time for this eco ride is just 6.0 seconds.
All models in the Panamera range come standard with Porsche’s excellent seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, which clicks through shifts in automatic mode or with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual mode when equipped with the Sport Chrono package. It’s a brilliant piece of technology, able to shift gears much faster than any human could with a conventional manual.
Despite all the performance, the Panamera is very easy to live with. Inside, the cabin is elegant and sports car-like up front yet limo-like in the rear, with ample room. Cargo space is impressive, too, with the rear seats laid flat and the hatchback-like rear profile opened up. The cabin itself is plush, with a dual character dividing the sport-centric front from the comfier rear.
For an in-depth review of the 2012 Porsche Panamera range, including details on its styling, performance, quality, and safety, check out the full review over on our sister site The Car Connection.