Since the introduction of the Porsche Panamera just two years ago, Porsche has already expanded the model line-up to include a V-6 model and a hybrid, but the 2012 model year has even more to offer the four-door Porsche with the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S. Porsche will unveil the Porsche Panamera Turbo S at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, and the car will go on sale in the United States this spring with a starting price of $174,175 including the required destination charge.
The big news for the Turbo S is the added output from the twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V-8. Producing 550 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, the Panamera Turbo S puts out 50 more hp and 47 more lb-ft of torque but thanks to the standard Sport Chrono Package Turbo, the engine is capable of temporarily producing up to 590 lb-ft using the overboost function. With numbers like these, Porsche says the Panamera Turbo S will be able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds - about the same as a 911 Turbo - with a top speed of 190 mph.
This power is sent to all-four wheels through Porsche's seven-speed PDK gearbox that not only delivers lightning fast shifts but also helps optimize the engine's efficiency with expected fuel economy estimates of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Weighing it at 4,343 pounds, the 2012 Panamera Turbo S is almost 600 pounds heavier than the base Panamera, the new model should still be a more agile sport sedan thanks to a wider rear track.
As far as styling changes are concerned, Porsche kept the upgrades minimal with the most notable being new 20-inch, five split-spoke wheels and sportier side skirts. Just like the Panamera Turbo, the Turbo S will feature a four-way extendable rear spoiler that retracts into the hatch when not in use. The Panamera Turbo S will have some exclusive coloring options with a new two-tone black and cream leather interior available at launch and an Agate gray and cream interior color combination will be available as an option later in the year. On the outside, Agate Gray Metallic will be offered only on the Turbo S adding to the 16-color palate currently offered on all Panamera models.
Although the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S now stands as the most expensive model in the Panamera line-up with a price closer to the Aston Martin Rapide, the V-6 model is still quite competitive among large luxury sedans such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a starting price of $74,400.
Even though the Panamera was very controversial when it launched, it is quickly becoming one of Porsche's most popular models. So far this year, Porsche has sold 1,700 Panameras compared to 1,484 sold last year, and it only trails the Porsche Cayenne (albeit considerably) for the top-selling spot in the line-up. With both the Cayenne and Panamera seeing significant sales increases over last year, it is no wonder that Porsche's overall sales figures have improved by 34 percent and last month was the best March tally for Porsche since 2007.