2012 Porsche Panamera: Video Road Test & Review

The Porsche Panamera is the only sedan built by the sports car-oriented company, a four-door interpretation of the classic Porsche DNA that has informed the design of both the Porsche 911 coupe and the Porsche Cayenne crossover.  The Porsche Panamera comes in an extensive number of highly luxurious editions, and it goes up against vehicles like the BMW M5 as well as more high end options such as the Aston Martin Rapide.  The Panamera's list of safety gear includes front knee airbags, forward airbags, front and rear side airbags and side curtain airbags that extend along the entire length of the passenger compartment.  Electronic stability control and traction control are also offered with the sedan.

Seven different editions of the Porsche Panamera are available from the German automaker.  The base Panamera (MSRP $75,200) comes with HID headlights, an adaptive suspension system, a sunroof, and parking assistance, as well as dual automatic climate control, heated leather seats with power adjustment, a navigation system, and an iPod interface for the vehicle's sound system.  The Panamera 4 (MSRP $79,800) maintains the same equipment level but adds all-wheel drive, while the Panamera S (MSRP $90,300) and the all-wheel drive Panamera 4S (MSRP $95,200) introduce shift paddles for the vehicle's transmission, adaptive HID headlights and different interior trim.

The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid (MSRP $95,000) comes with a battery-assisted drivetrain but loses automatic climate control, HID headlights and parking assistance.  The Panamera Turbo (MSRP $136,700) and Turbo S (MSRP $173,200) offer a different adaptive air suspension system, enhanced park assist, heated rear seats, extended leather trim, a surround sound audio system, a host of performance tweaks and keyless entry and ignition.

The most intriguing options package available with the Porsche sedan is the Sport Chrono Package Plus, which introduces additional driver control over a variety of powertrain and suspension parameters.

The Porsche Panamera and Panamera 4 share the same 300 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 that also offers up 295 lb-ft of torque and fuel mileage of 18-mpg city and 27-mpg highway thanks to the automatic engine start/stop feature that is found on all versions of the sedan.  The S Hybrid trim level features a 3.0-liter V-6 paired with a battery-powered electric motor to deliver 380 horses and 428 lb-ft of torque, while returning fuel economy figures of 22-mpg in city driving and 30-mpg highway.

The Panamera S and 4S make use of a 4.8-liter V-8 that is rated at 400 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, with fuel economy checking in at 16-mpg city and 24-mpg highway.  The Panamera Turbo slaps a turbocharger onto this particular mill in order to squeeze out 500 ponies and 516 lb-ft of twist, and the Turbo S brings 550 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of overboosted torque to the table.  Fuel mileage for either turbocharged Panamera (which both feature standard all-wheel drive) comes in at 15-mpg around town and 30-mpg highway.  A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is the only available gearbox for each and every Panamera model except the hybrid, which comes with an eight-speed automatic.

A list of cars similar to the Panamera include the 2012 Mercedes Benz CLS550, 2012 BMW 7 Series and 2013 Audi A8.

See more details about the 2012 Porsche Panamera.