Porsche Cars North America has officially expanded its market. Porsche is rolling out a new sports car, the Porsche Panamera, but it's unlike any other Porsche we've seen before. The Porsche Panamera will be just as much a sports car as any other in the lineup, but will seat four people. This will be the world's first four-seat sports car from Porsche.
And sports car it is. Designed and engineered as a true sports car, the four seats are the addition, not the power or performance. The main competitors for the Porsche Panamera will be the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series. These cars fall into the premium luxury sedan category more than a sports car category, so the Panamera will stand out from the crowd as a sports car with luxury accommodations. Porsche hopes this will lead to drivers who have never considered driving a Porsche in the past to try the Panamera.
The marketing campaign for the Porsche Panamera states that the Panamera is 'simply the newest branch on the family tree.' The campaign is to show the Panamera as a true Porsche sports car and at the same time show it as a beautiful performance car, not a status symbol.
The Panamera shows design features similar to the Porsche 911 Carrera and the Porsche Cayenne sport-utility vehicle. The 4,000 pound car is available in three trim levels: S, 4S and Turbo. The S and 4S models are equipped with 4.8-liter V-8 engines with 400 horsepower. The Turbo model is actually twin turbocharged and puts down around 500 horsepower. All models use a seven-speed PDK German transmission. The Turbo model does 0-60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds and 0-99 miles per hour in 8.8 seconds. The Audi R8 5.2 V-10 also does 0-60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, but the Audi weighs 242 pounds less than the Panamera and is a two-seater. Couple this power with the fact that the Porsche Panamera gets 15 miles per gallon city and 23 miles per gallon highway and the Audi R8 gets pushed to second place in more than one category.
For a true sports car, the Porsche Panamera has enough headroom in the stylish interior for tall passengers and enough room in the trunk for four average sized luggage bags. All four seats are separate cockpits with a center console flowing from the front to the rear of the car.
The Porsche Panamera starts at $89,800 and can cost over $150,000 with all the options.