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Auto Show:  2011 New York Auto Show

2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S and S Hybrid - New York Auto Show

April 2011 author photo


April 27, 2011

The Porsche Panamera has just celebrated its second birthday. This premium four-seater – from one of the most celebrated sports car makers – hit the 2011 New York auto show in two guises: as the world’s quickest sedan and the most fuel-efficient car Porsche has ever produced.

The newest, super-fast flagship model is the 2012 Panamera Turbo S. a 4.8-liter V8 rumbling in the engine bay, there are two turbochargers featuring lightweight titanium/aluminum turbines (by being lighter, the turbines can get to work quicker). This explosive combination results in 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. When the standard-issue Sport Chrono Package is deployed, the engine has a temporary overboost function that pushes torque up to 590 lb-ft.

Add one right foot and sprinting from a stationary position to 60 mph only requires 3.6 seconds. That is only two-tenths (or the blink of an eye) slower than the fastest production Corvette, the ZR1. But the ZR1 is a fiberglass-bodied two-seater out-and-out sports machine while the Panamera Turbo S is a family car weighing about 4,350 pounds. The ‘Vette has the edge in terms of top speed – by 15 mph – but most people should find the Porsche’s 190-mph maximum to be sufficiently spry.

One other area where this Panamera hits a higher number is in the checkbook: $174,175 (including destination) to the ZR1’s $109,800. Even so, the German car comes with all sorts of clever electronic suspension controls, all-wheel drive, plus several exclusive cosmetic options such as color combinations and wheels. It becomes available this spring.

Porsche and New Yorkers go back a long way. The marque’s first-ever showroom in the United States was on Manhattan’s swish Park Avenue, established in 1950. Now the city has witnessed the next step in the company’s evolution with the North American debut of the 2012 Panamera S Hybrid.

It uses a 333-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V6, a 47-hp electric motor and nickel metal hydride batteries. There are no official EPA consumption ratings yet, but a ballpark figure of 34 mpg on the highway is not outside the realm of possibility when it rolls onto American streets later this year. The price of $95,975 (including destination) covers a long list of standard equipment such as adaptive air suspension, navigation and Bluetooth.

Both variants should help consolidate the Panamera as one of America’s favorite Porsche models, second only to the Cayenne SUV.

COLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S and S Hybrid - New York Auto Show - Autotrader