2012 Porsche Panamera – Delivers Near-Supercar Performance

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Car Reviews, Porsche



Advantages

Beautiful interior quality; impressive cornering ability; comfortable ride; engine choices from willing to thrilling; high fuel economy of Hybrid variant.

Disadvantages

Pricey options; only four seats; unattractive.

Introduction

2012 Porsche Panamera brings sportscar performance and non-conventional styling to the large premium luxury sedan segment. From ultra performance to ultra luxury, it is everything to everybody sedan. It is equipped as standard with sport exhaust system featuring tailpipes painted in matte black. The exhaust system is constructed from long-life stainless-steel alloys. The powerful main and primary catalytic converters heat up rapidly and help for delivering effective emissions control. When separate control button is pressed or SPORT PLUS or SPORT mode is activated, the sports exhaust system switches to characteristic motorsport sound, eclipsing even that of other Panameras. The Auto Start Stop function is standard on Panamera GTS. For instance, you stop at traffic lights and keep your foot on the brake pedal; the system will automatically switch the engine off and restarts the engine as soon as you release the brakes.

The Porsche Panamera is basically a front-engined 4-door coupe with four-wheel drive versions and rear-wheel drive available. The production model was revealed at 13th Auto Shanghai International Automobile Show in Shanghai, China, in the month of April 2009. In the year 2011, diesel and hybrid versions were introduced. The Panamera is sold as one of the higher performing and more exciting alternative to the conventional executive sedans, which include the Audi A8, the Mercedes Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. It also competes more directly with models like the Mercedes Benz CLS-Class, Maserati Quattroporte, Aston Martin Rapide and BMW 5 Series GranTurismo.

2012 Porsche Panamera

With its top model in GranTurismo lineup, the company is raising the bar for sporty 4-door vehicles in the luxury segment by yet another notch. The all new 2012 Porsche Panamera is a unique combination of driving dynamics and comfort and efficiency and performance. In spite of higher torque and increased power, fuel consumption values remain at a moderate level of Turbo, yet another example of Porsche Intelligent Performance. Its sporty character is apparent not just in its performance, but is also reflected on the outside. The Turbo II wheels with side skirts from Porsche Exclusive range, the adaptive extending four-way rear spoiler in the exterior color and increased rear axle track width ensure particularly sporty look and performance. The fusion of sportiness and exclusivity is conveyed in inside by a bi-color leather finish. The new combination of black/cream is available solely for Turbo S model with agate grey/cream also being added as exclusive combination from 2011.

The 20-inch 911 Turbo II wheels of 2012 Porsche Panamera with colored wheel hub covers, fused with increased rear axle track width gained by 5 millimeter thick wheel spacers, ensure particularly sporty looks and performance. The side skirts from Porsche Exclusive range lend the new model additional visual width. The additional distinctive selling point of Panamera family is the adaptive extending 4-way rear spoiler painted in exterior color, however is also offered in black if desired. From 2011 onwards, it will be offered at no extra cost in agate grey metallic paint, reserved exclusively for this model.

The 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S model features a highly sophisticated Porsche adaptive light system consisting of dynamic and static cornering lights, Bi-Xenon headlights, speed-dependent driving light control, adverse weather light and auxiliary headlights. The dynamic cornering lights are activated at a speed of 6.2 miles per hour and above. The light control system swivels main headlamps by up to 15° into the corner. The static cornering lamp activates additional halogen lamp source with beam angle of around 30 degrees to the direction of travel.

2012 Porsche Panamera interior

The 2012 Porsche Panamera GTS is a highly powerful vehicle, that’s why it comes equipped with 19-inch Panamera Turbo wheels with classic sporty design. Tire sizes 285/40 ZR 19 and 255/45 ZR 19 are fitted to the rear and front respectively. For wider track, wheel spacers come fitted to the rear as standard. An array of 19 or 20-inch wheels is offered in the company’s range of options. On the other hand, you can select a set of 19-inch all-season tires. The low-rolling resistance version of these tires is offered as an option, which offer improved durability and reduce fuel consumption. TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) is fitted as standard and sends warnings to onboard computer’s display screen in the event of excessive pressure loss.

With most other vehicles, performance and luxury are either mutually exclusive or need compromises on each end of the range. Not so with 2012 Porsche Panamera. For 2012, it gets a new Panamera Turbo S variant, which churns out 550 horsepower, while the Hybrid model promises V8 performance with the fuel economy of V6. Drawbacks are few. It can only accommodate four occupants, though these can be full-sized adults and will find a high level of comfort in any seat. The unconventional styling of Panamera will likely be the main issue for many buyers. Competition-wise, the Jaguar XJ, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes Benz S-Class and Maserati Quattroporte are all worthy of consideration. Among this lofty group of luxury cars, there really isn’t a loser in the bunch.

2012 Porsche Panamera

Variants, Body Types and Features

The 2012 Porsche Panamera is a four-door four-passenger sedan with hatchback-style trunk available in seven trims: 4, base, S, S Hybrid, Turbo, Turbo S and 4S.

Standard on base rear-wheel-drive Panamera include 18-inch wheels, a V6 engine, LED daytime running lights, automatic xenon headlights, adaptive suspension dampers, a pop-up rear spoiler, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors and a power rear hatch. Standard features within the interior include a tilt and telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver memory functions, eight-way power front seats, heated front seats, a cooled glovebox, a 60/40-split rear seatback, rear bucket seats and leather upholstery. Also standard are an 11-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface and a hard-drive-based navigation system. The Panamera 4 differs only in that it has four-wheel drive.

Opting for Panamera S Hybrid will get you some of the features listed above, notably the parking sensors and xenon headlights. The automatic climate control is replaced by traditional air-conditioning, but Bluetooth is added. The all-wheel-drive 4S and V8 powered Panamera S include all of the features found in non-hybrid V6 models, and add additional interior lighting, adaptive headlights, shift paddles and driver-seat memory.

The 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S and Turbo add 19-inch wheels, a turbocharged V8, an adaptive air suspension with load-leveling and adjustable ride height, additional rear spoiler articulation, a keyless ignition/entry, front parking sensors, expanded driver memory functions, 14-way power front seats and adjustable lumbar support, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable steering column, a microfiber suede headliner, a 14-speaker Bose surround sound audio system and a full leather interior.

In usual Porsche tradition, a very expensive and lengthy list of options allows shoppers to easily tailor the cars. For instance, other than their powerplant, all of the Turbo models’ extra features are offered on 4S and S. Other options include variable assist power steering, ceramic-composite brakes, 20-inch wheels, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (adaptive antiroll bars and a limited-slip rear differential), ventilated front and rear seats, a rear windshield wiper, adaptive sport front seats that include adjustable side bolsters, eight-way power rear seats (switches seat-folding to 40/20/40), a heated steering wheel, “ruffled” leather upholstery, rear sunshades, four-zone climate control, a rear-seat refrigerator, rear ambient lighting, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a rearseat entertainment system, voice control, a six-disc CD/DVD changer, a 16-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system and satellite radio.

The Sport Chrono Package Plus gets adjustable engine and suspension settings and analog and digital stopwatches, while the Sport Design package dresses up the exterior of Panamera with side skirts and a special front fascia with wider intake grilles. You will also find countless ways for customizing practically every interior surface with different shades of wood, leather, carbon fiber, paint and metal.

2012 Porsche Panamera engine

What’s Underneath the Hood of 2012 Porsche Panamera?

Motivation for the base and 4 trims of 2012 Porsche Panamera comes from a 3.6 liter front mounted V6 engine, which is good for pulsating 300 horsepower with 295 pound feet of torque. In performance testing, it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 5.8 seconds. One of the notable features on Panamera is the auto start/stop feature, which reduced fuel consumption by shutting off the engine, whenever the vehicle comes to a stop. The rated fuel economy for this engine model is 27 mpg highway, 18 mpg city and 21 mpg in combined driving.

Powering the 4S and S trims of 2012 Porsche Panamera is a 4.8 liter V8 engine with maximum output of 400 horsepower with 369 pound feet of torque. This engine model went from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and offered the fuel economy of 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. The Turbo is powered by a same twin turbocharged version of V8 and pumps out 500 horsepower with 516 pound feet of torque. Opting for optional Sport Chrono package temporarily increases the torque to 568 pound feet with turbo overboost.

The 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S dials output up to 550 horsepower with 553 pound feet of torque. In performance testing, the Turbo S and Turbo accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, providing the fuel economy of 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. The gasoline Panamera comes equipped with dual clutch seven-speed automated manual transmission, while the S and base provide rear wheel drive. The 4, Turbo and 4S come with four-wheel drive system.

The 2012 Porsche Panamera Hybrid gets a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 engine mated to 35kW electric generator for maximum output of 380 horsepower with 428 pound feet of torque. It is teamed up with eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, which sends power to the rear wheel. It accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, delivering the fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.

Safety & Reliability

Standard safety features on 2012 Porsche Panamera include stability and traction control, antilock brakes, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and front and rear side airbags. A rearview camera and ceramic-composite brakes are optional. With standard brakes, both Panamera Turbo and 4S came to a stop in incredibly short distances from 60 mph: 112 feet and 109 feet respectively.

Special Features and Cockpit Design

The 4-door 2012 Porsche Panamera may have the most appealing interior in any Porsche so far. The cabin inside Panamera is uncluttered, ergonomic and sporty, while the layout is functional and ingeniously designed, which belongs in a sports car. What strikes you immediately is an elevated center console with controls arranged into logical groups for direct and fast access by the driver. The steering wheel adjusts for both reach and height.

The 5 circular instruments with ‘GTS’ logo on central rev counter and on incorporated 4.8-inch color screen are clear, easy to read and quick and gives access to the onboard computer or tire pressure information and, in conjunction with PCM, it displays navigation system map. In Panamera GTS, it displays lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces presently acting on the vehicle. Adaptive sports seats come fitted as standard with high side bolsters and firm padding on the backrest and squab, they provide a sporty posture and good lateral support. Featuring 18-way electric adjustment, the seats can be optimally adapted to meet your needs in terms of squab and backrest angle, seat height, fore/aft adjustment, four-way lumbar support and squab length.

2012 Porsche Panamera trunk

Bluetooth connection for those smartphones which only support Handsfree Profile comes standard. With HFP, the PCM acts as a handsfree system and mobile phone can remain tucked away. It can be used for controlling functions of handsfree phone interface. Otherwise, the built-in optional quad-band GSM telephone module offers exceptional sound quality and better reception, using external vehicle antenna for handsets with Bluetooth Hands-Free Profile (HFP) or Bluetooth SIM Access Profile (SAP).

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Porsche Panamera is a luxurious accomplished grand touring vehicle as well as a highly capable engaging performance oriented car. It has a faster revving engine with a maximum engine speed which has been increased by 400 rpm to 7,100 rpm. The result is maximum power output of 430 horsepower with maximum torque of 383 pound feet. This power update was gained through a series of measures, including a new air induction system with two additional air filter modules each situated in left- and right-hand sides of front apron and modified intake camshafts with extended valve lift respectively.

Fitted as standard in Panamera, PTM (Porsche Traction Management) consists of active all-wheel drive with electronic and mapcontrolled multiplate clutch with antislip regulation (ASR) and automatic brake differential (ABD). The electronically controlled multiplate clutch regulates fully variable distribution of drive force between the permanently driven front axle and rear axle. It is equipped as standard with adaptive air suspension including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that enhances both dynamic comfort and performance. It also features ride-height adjustment, a leveling system, electronic adjustment of damping forces and spring rate adjustment. In short order, the 4-door Panamera has become an in-demand addition to the company’s lineup.

2012 Porsche Panamera

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