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Like no other Porsche before it, the Panamera aims for a traditional sedan silhouette, for better and for worse. Even the characteristically sleek Porsche front and rear fender styling can't distract from the lack of proportion; the imbalance is accentuated by the low nose, which draws attention to the awkward rear profile. The rear roofline extends upward and outward, which makes the Panamera seem out of proportion, even in darker tones. It's simply not as sleek as a Benz CLS or even four-doors like the new Jaguar XJ, nor does it pair a sports-car snout with a sedan body as well as the Maserati Quattroporte.
The 2011 Panamera models for enthusiasts and true Porschephiles and track hounds remain the Panamera S, with its 400-horsepower, direct-injection 4.8-liter 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 (better traction in the 4S shows up on the stopwatch). The Turbo charges to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds or less.
The S and 4S models top out at 175 mph, while the Turbo can run all the way up to 188 mph. Despite the brutal power and acceleration, the Panamera evades the gas guzzler tax, as the non-turbo cars rate 16/24 mpg and the Turbo gets a 15/23 mpg rating, with the stop-start feature potentially saving even more fuel.
In all-wheel-drive cars, the Panamera simply claws its way around corners with endless enthusiasm and a tenacity and security that's unparalleled. The Panamera wears massive six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, with optional carbon ceramic rotors. To match, Porsche fits 245/50-ZR18s front and 275/45s on back in non-Turbo cars; the Turbo wears 255/45-ZR19 front tires, and 285/40-ZR19 rears, for awesome traction. Panamera V6 models, since most of the chassis underpinnings are carried over unchanged from V-8 S models, can easily handle what's on tap and actually have a slightly better weight distribution, because of the V-6's slightly lighter weight and farther-rearward center of mass. And the electronic driver aids to leave a bit of fun to be had, and a bit of slip angle to play with, helping to keep the Panamera's sporty feel intact.
The Panamera has a beautiful, sumptuous interior that simultaneously has both an aggressive coupe-like feel and maintains an airy cabin. 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.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.