2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Porsche is bringing more power to its four-door sedan with the 2012 Panamera Turbo S, which will be revealed at the New York International Auto Show on April 20.

One may ask– why does a four-door sedan need to jet from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds (with the help of the hair-raising Launch Control) with a top speed of 190 mph? Then again, why not?

Here’s the bottom line. In the Panamera Turbo S, Porsche has increased horsepower from the 4.8-liter V8 engine (shared with the Panamera Turbo) 10 percent, raising it from 500 to 550. Torque has also been amped up, going from 516 lb-ft in the Turbo to 553 lb-ft in the Turbo S. Select the Sport or Sport Plus mode in the Turbo S, and torque gets boosted even more, up to 590 lb.-ft.

All this extra power is a result of improvements to the twin turbocharger (lighter titanium-aluminum turbines in the Turbo S provide a quicker response) and an improved engine control system.

Fortunately with gas prices continuing to climb, fuel economy remains the same as the Panamera Turbo, at 15 miles per gallon in the city, and 23 mpg on the highway.

Beyond the visceral thrills, the Turbo S also adds visual thrills. Styling enhancements include 20-inch Turbo II wheels with increased rear axle track width, side skirts from the Porsche Exclusive range and an adaptive four-way extending rear spoiler. On the inside, standard bi-color leather finishes come in black/cream and agate grey/cream. Agate gray metallic will be an exclusive exterior color.

The Porsche Panamera Turbo S will carry a price tag of $173,200, excluding $975 for delivery and destination. It will go on sale in the USlater this spring.

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Holly Reich writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on uptownlife.net.

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