Porsche has unveiled the official details on the seventh model in the Panamera line-up. The new Turbo S is the most powerful version and, of course, the most expensive one as well. On the US market sales will begin later this spring with an MSRP of $173,200. The car will make its first appearance at the New York Auto Show on April 20th, 2011.
With the new Panamera Turbo S, Porsche has combined ultra high performance and efficiency, sports-car-like driving dynamics, and first-class comfort in just one car. Under the hood Porsche has placed a 4.8 liter, V8 biturbo engine that delivers an impressive 550 HP, a 50 HP improvement over the previous Turbo version. This is more than enough power to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 190 mph. We get all of this while receiving a fuel economy of 23 mph (highway).
Throughout multiple Porsche lines, the Turbo S model has made an appearance and remains today as the range topping model. Some models are more inclined to find a buyer for an ultra-performance version, but other manufacturers have found success with the same formula. The Mercedes S-class has even more model variations than the Panamera, but even the ridiculously powerful S65 with a bi-turbo V12 has found plenty of takers. One of the biggest hurdles Porsche may face is the fact that the basic Panamera is less than beautiful and the Turbo S model is hard to distinguish.
UPDATE 07/20/11: Porsche has been on a trailer fix the past few days and it continues with the release of the latest video promoting the 2012 Panamera Turbo S. This comes a day after the company released the first official teaser video of the next-generation 911. Not that we mind because the new Panamera Turbo S is about as beautiful a Porsche as you can find in the market these days. Click the photo above to watch the trailer!
Hit the jump to read more about the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S.
Exterior and Interior
Customers will distinguish the new Turbo S over a standard Turbo model thanks to the addition of new 20-inch Turbo II wheels with increased rear axle track width, side skirts from the Porsche Exclusive range, and the adaptive extending four-way rear spoiler matching the exterior color. Those may be distinctions from other Panamera models, but not by much. An avid car fan should be able to make the distinction, but even then we’re not sure it looks like a $173,000 car.
On the interior, the model will get a bi-color leather finish, fitted as standard, with a black/cream offered exclusively for the new Panamera Turbo S. It is interesting that Porsche has not decided to update the seats or increase the bolstering at least slightly to help make this model stand out. When you consider the car a luxury sedan rather than a typical Porsche sports car than it makes sense to not change the one part of this car that no one has an issue with, which is the interior. On the other hand, when you try to turn your luxury sedan into an Autobahn burning beast, then maybe you should spice things up a little bit more than adding a “cream” color option.
The new model will also be equipped with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), an active roll stabilization system, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) and speed-dependent Servotronic. There is also a Sport Chrono Package Turbo, which tunes the suspension and power unit, making them even sportier by pressing the additional "Sport Plus" button. This is like the “M” sport button in the last generation BMW M5. Intially the car does not deploy all its horsepower and torque to the rear wheels and waits for the driver to push this button before letting loose.
Under the hood Porsche has placed a 4.8 liter, V8 biturbo engine producing 550 HP and a peak torque of 553 lbs-ft. In the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" mode, the peak torque goes up to an even more impressive 590 lb-ft. Those figures are not out of this world in terms of pure power, but the Porsche will not be beat by many other sedans or sports cars for that matter.
The new Turbo S will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of 190 mph. With this typw of performance, one would expect horrible fuel efficiency, but the Turbo S delivers the same fuel consumption as the Panamera Turbo - 23 mpg. That is a surprising figure and makes this Porsche easy to live with while still enjoying its high performance persona.
In order to increase the power by a total of 50 HP, Porsche is using improved turbochargers with titanium-aluminum turbine wheels and modified engine control. The use of the innovative titanium-aluminum alloy reduces the weight of the turbine and compressor wheel. This results in a lower moment of inertia and improved and more agile engine responsiveness. Both aspects are important when moving a large car. Porsche tries to make everything they produce handle and perform like one of their more traditional sports cars and has been able to do so once again. If you can get past the looks and cost of this car than it is immensely impressive and the competition will be hard pressed to beat its performance.
The new Panamera Turbo S will make its world debut at the New York Auto Show and will go on sale later this spring with an MSRP of $173,200.
The only competitors we can think of when it comes to the new Panamera Turbo S is the recently launched Mercedes CLS63 AMG. In its standard version, the Mercedes delivers "only" 519 HP, but when equipped with the Performance Package both power and peak torque will be exactly the same as the new Turbo S, more precisely 550 HP and 590 lbs-ft. However, the Mercedes model has the disadvantage of being much slower than the Porsche: the sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in 4.3 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The Mercedes may be slower, but its beauty is unmatched. If anything, the Porsche should be running away faster because it simply cannot compete on the same design level and let’s not forget that the Mercedes sales will start from about $155K. Another piece of competition comes from the way that you define what the Porsche represents. Comparisons to the CLS model make sense because they are close in size and stature, but isn’t the Panamera Porsche’s flagship model? If so, then maybe we should compare it to the Mercedes S65 AMG. For roughly $200,000 you could be getting 738 lb-ft of torque all day long without dealing with that fidgety Sport Plus button.
Most powerful Panamera ever
Looks great on both exterior and the interior
Kind of expensive
We still think it’s just too large
Not enough changes from standard turbo