Oct 06 2011
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Striking the right note
The Porsche Panamera combines the features of a luxurious grand touring sedan with an engaging, high-performance car.
The Panamera has yet again strayed well outside Porsche's well-trodden sports car heritage to become one of the world's best sports sedans. The 2011 Porsche Panamera is no four-door coupe but a true 'gran turismo,' with tremendous power, great handling, and ample room for four real-old adults. Our adoration of the Panamera's begins with its broad appeal, because this four-door Porsche truly can be everything to everybody. First, the Panamera can accommodate four full-sized adults with exceptional comfort, as its interior space, materials and design give passengers the feeling that they're travelling in a private jet rather than driving on the expressway.
Second, the Panamera delivers astounding levels of performance for driving enthusiasts. Acceleration from the V8-powered Panamera is impressive, while the performance of the Turbo model is rocking. The car's handling limits are also surprising, as it corners like a much smaller sports car. Even the ride quality doesn't suffer, as this athletic sedan can insulate its occupants from the travails of the outside world just like a fine luxury car. The front and rear fender styling are sleek. The interior, on the other hand, is a stylish upgrade compared to the dull, drab Porsche interiors of the past. And while the Panamera feels intimate and sports-car-like in front, the back seat is positively limo-like, with excellent space to sprawl out, as well as good ride comfort.
The 2011 Panamera models for enthusiasts and true Porschephiles and track hounds remain the Panamera S, with its 400-horsepower, direct-injection 4.8-litre V-8 engine, making a peak 369 pound-feet, and the Panamera Turbo, which makes a stout 500 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. There's scalding performance at hand; the base engine in the Panamera S and 4S vaults the sedan to 60 mph in either 5.2 or 4.8 seconds. The Turbo charges to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds or less.
Power in this front-engine car is sent to either the rear wheels or all four wheels through a seven-speed, dual clutch PDK automatic transmission that uses Porsche's push-pull shift levers. Equip the Sport Chrono package and you'll be able to change gears in manual mode, running the car right up against its 6,700-rpm redline. Open the Panamera up on a road course at 140 mph and you'll find the 911's flat-six ripple replaced with a more industrial-sounding whir that's still distinctly Porsche.
In addition to the seating room in back, the Panamera has the benefits of a hatchback, as the backseats also flip down to expose 44.6 cubic feet of cargo space, enough for two bicycles with front wheels still attached. If you're the passenger in front, looking back, the Panamera can also feel like two cars in one. From the front seats forward it doesn't take much imagination to think that you're in an exceptionally plush Porsche 911. Though the engine sound obviously isn't quite the same, the view out ahead is remarkably similar.
The Panamera can also be had with nearly every option ever imagined for a production luxury sedan, cruise control; dual-zone climate control; leather seating; a panoramic sunroof; a navigation system also used in the Cayenne that has crisp displays and customisable maps; and Bluetooth control for hands-free phone operation. As always, Porsche has again set new trends and benchmarks with the Panamera.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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