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Porsche Panamera Performance

The 2015 Porsche Panamera is one of the most fun-to-drive luxury sedans available thanks to its athletic handling, composed ride and robust acceleration, especially in upper trims, according to auto writers.

  • "Words cannot do the 2015 Porsche Panamera driving experience justice. From the 310-horsepower base model right up to the 570-horsepower Turbo S, every trim offers its own variation of handling and performance that is a delight in its own unique way." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Fast, focused and exceptionally well-mannered, the 2015 Porsche Panamera continues to be the driver's choice among full-size luxury cars." -- Edmunds
  • "Here's the plus-size German rocket sled absolutely intended for your favorite canyon." -- Motor Trend (2013 GTS)

Acceleration and Power

The base Porsche Panamera comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower. According to the EPA, this model gets 18/28 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class. The Panamera S has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 420 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual (PDK) transmission is standard. The high-performance Panamera GTS is powered by a 4.8-liter V8 engine that makes 440 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The Panamera Turbo has a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 that generates 520 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The Panamera Turbo S has a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 that produces 570 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. According to Porsche, the Turbo S can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 192 mph.

Automotive journalists think the base engine has plenty of power and say the Panamera S feels quicker than the base model. According to critics, the V8-powered GTS, Turbo and Turbo S models are incredibly fast and have great exhaust notes. Reviewers appreciate the Panamera's smooth-shifting transmission.

  • "Although the base V6 engine is quite strong by the numbers, the chassis can handle so much more power that we'd be sorely tempted to upgrade. But to what? The turbo V6 is certainly a nice piece, but if you've got the bankroll, the Panamera just feels better with one of the effortlessly powerful V8s under the hood." -- Edmunds
  • "The V-6 turbo has ample low- and midrange torque, although acceleration feels perhaps a half-second slower to 60 as the otherwise responsive turbos need a moment to spool. Not that nouveau riche execs reclining in business class will notice, but the turbo V-6 lacks some of the delicious rumble, crackle, and pop of the 4.8-liter V-8, replacing them with a slightly shrill whine at higher revs that implies rented Taurus more than purchased Porsche." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "The Turbo is monstrously fast and sounds wicked in Sport or Spot Plus mode, when baffles open to let flutters, burbles, and barks erupt from the quad exhausts." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • "We drove four Panameras during a short intro program in Munich and liked the Panamera S and its all-new 420-hp 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo best. So sue us. The S is within 20 hp of the V8-powered GTS and felt just about as strong when tromped upon. You'll only notice the miniscule turbo lag if you drive it back-to-back against its eight-cylinder sibling." -- AutoWeek (2014)
  • "The V6 engine pulls strongly and the PDK transmission is wonderfully smooth." -- Consumer Guide (2011)

Alternative Fuels/Charging

The 2015 Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that produce 416 horsepower combined. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the Panamera S E-Hybrid gets 50 mpg-equivalent in combined city/highway driving while running on gasoline and electricity, and 25 mpg combined city/highway on gas. The EPA reports that the 2015 Panamera Hybrid can travel up to 15 miles on electricity, and Porsche says it has an electric-only top speed of 83 mph. According to Porsche, it takes about 2.5 hours to charge the Panamera S E-Hybrid's battery with a 240-volt connection.

The Panamera S E-Hybrid earns praise from reviewers for its strong acceleration and smooth transition between gas and electric power.

  • "Power is surprisingly good and the interaction between electric motor and combustion engine is so smooth that you almost need to keep an eye on the tachometer to know when the combustion engine is engaging." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "Step into the E-Hybrid, and your notions of 'green' will be shattered in the best possible way. The most efficient model in the Panamera lineup is thrilling in its own right, with ready power in the form of gasoline, electrons, or both." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Panamera is rear-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is available. Test drivers say the Panamera is more agile than most other performance sedans and can keep up with most sports cars on a twisting road. They write that it has sharp steering and hardly leans at all during cornering. The longer, heavier Executive models aren't quite as nimble, according to critics. Reviewers note that the Panamera's brakes are powerful, and the S E-Hybrid's regenerative brakes operate smoothly, unlike the brakes in many hybrid rivals. According to auto writers, the Panamera has a firm, but composed, ride that absorbs bumps comfortably.

  • "On a winding road, the Panamera can match just about any sports car. Most drivers will exercise restraint, but the Panamera still delights at saner speeds with its precise steering and flat cornering." -- Edmunds
  • "Sure, the nearly 2-ton Panamera isn't as fleet-of-foot as a 911 or Cayman, but this big sedan's ability to round corners and deliver direct and constant feedback to the driver is simply better than in any other high-output performance sedan of its size." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The longer wheelbase gave it a bit more of a nose-heavy feel in twisting Alpine two-lanes but all was forgiven when massive throttle-stomp on the straights roared the beast to life and shot it down the highway." -- AutoWeek (2014)
  • "We were impressed with the Hybrid's regenerative brake system, which seamlessly transitioned from regen to mechanical stopping power without the spongy, vague, or grabby feel more often than not associated with such systems." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "On all Panamera models, the ride is composed but firm in the Teutonic tradition. Most bumps are well absorbed with very good body control." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "We've never been disappointed by Porsche brakes, and the Panamera lineup continues the impressive trend." -- Autoblog (2010)
Review Last Updated: 4/21/15

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