Porsche Panamera Performance
Test drivers write that the 2014 Porsche Panamera is a nimble sport sedan with superb handling, a firm, but comfortable, ride and a range of powerful engines, from its strong base V6 to the twin-turbo V8-powered Turbo S with incredible power and speed. The new S E-Hybrid model draws praise for its quick acceleration and smooth transition between its electric motor and supercharged V6 gas engine. Reviewers also like the quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that is standard on all but the hybrid model.
- "The 2014 Porsche Panamera is one of the most engaging four-door cars we've ever driven, and that's especially high praise given that the Panamera is as wide as a Mercedes S-Class." -- Edmunds
- "Describing the 2014 Porsche Panamera driving experience pales in comparison the actual event. Even the base model with its mere 310 horsepower V6 will take up residence in your sports car registry." -- Kelley Blue Book
Acceleration and Power
The base Panamera is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower. The Panamera S has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that produces 420 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard. Rear-wheel drive is standard and Panamera 4 and 4S trims have all-wheel drive. The base Panamera is rated at an EPA-estimated 18/28 mpg city/highway, which is on par with the fuel economy of its competitors.
The high-performance Panamera GTS is powered by a 4.8-liter V8 that produces 440 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Porsche estimates that the GTS has a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 179 mph. The Panamera Turbo has a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 that produces 520 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 189 mph. The Panamera Turbo S has a more powerful twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 that produces 570 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The Turbo S accelerates to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and tops out at 192 mph. All high-performance Panamera variants have Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.
Test drivers say that all Panamera trims have ample power and fast acceleration. They're especially impressed with the added power of the Panamera S' new twin-turbo V6, saying it pulls with authority and is more fuel-efficient than the V8 it replaces. The high-performance trims are praised for their incredible power and rapid acceleration, and reviewers like the smooth and quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission.
- "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. The Turbo Executive will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, just 0.1 second slower than the regular wheelbase version, and it pulls with a seemingly endless supply of torque. But the 4S Executive hardly wants for more power and is just as cosseting as the Turbo, yet is considerably more fuel efficient." -- Automobile Magazine
- "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. Otherwise, the V6 twin-turbo feels light and responsive from the driver's seat and pretty much equal in power and torque to the V8." -- AutoWeek
- "While some might grumble that engine downsizing is spoiling the fun quotient of some of the world's better cars, it's hard to argue with a quick-spooling V-6 that makes 5 percent more power than the outgoing V-8 while also revving higher and achieving 18 percent better fuel economy. With 420 hp and 384 lb-ft on tap (just 20 hp shy of the GTS' V-8), there's simply nothing un-fun about the new engine, save for the split second of turbo lag that we felt moving from a stop." -- Motor Trend
- "The PDK transmission fires off gearchanges with urgency when you're pedaling the accelerator hard, or with seamless and fluid transitions when cruising down the highway." -- Edmunds (2013)
- "Even the base GT model, with the 300-horsepower V6, delivers impressive performance, and the increasingly more-powerful versions go all the way to incredibly awesome." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
The Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid that is new for 2014. It has a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that together produce 416 horsepower, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission. The EPA rates the S E-Hybrid at 50 mpg-equivalent combined city/highway running on both gasoline and electricity and reports that the Panamera can travel up to 15 miles using only electricity with a fully charged battery. Porsche says it takes about 2.5 hours to charge the battery with a 240-volt connection.
According to reviewers, the Panamera S E-Hybrid has strong acceleration and generally feels smooth and sporty for a hybrid. Test drivers note that the E-Charge mode works to completely charge the battery while driving, which they appreciate, though they say that this mode makes the Panamera S E-Hybrid feel a bit more sluggish.
- "Pushing the E-Charge button diverts some of the engine's power to rejuvenate the battery, although it somewhat numbs throttle response and impacts overall economy. But it's designed so that you could, for instance, recharge on a long highway journey in order to drive electrically on the urban streets at your destination." -- Automobile Magazine
- "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. Especially gratifying is the way the E-Hybrid's V6 roars to life when extra muscle is needed." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "But how does the S E-hybrid work as a Porsche? The 2014 model's 95-hp electric motor is roughly twice the size of the previous hybrid's, and 0-to-60 sprints feel a bit stronger-Porsche estimates 5.2 seconds, which would be midway between the performance of a base Panamera and new twin-turbo V-6 S model. But more important, the Panamera S E-hybrid retains the dynamic characteristics you'd expect in a Porsche. True, the hybrid isn't going to viscerally excite, but its steering and braking don't have the numb, disconnected, or two-step feel of many other hybrids." -- Car and Driver
- "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. When the hybrid is driven in electric mode, the throttle pedal feels a bit like pressing against a fixed piece of wood -- there's little pedal travel when you press harder for more speed. Get past a certain detent in the system and the combustion engine fires and pedal travel increases. It's a good system for those who want to optimize their electric driving. We easily reached more than 60 mph on electric power alone, and true to Porsche's claims, stayed in electric mode for the vast majority of a 30-mile road loop." -- Motor Trend
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say the Panamera has nimble handling, with lots of grip through corners and great body control, with very little body lean in turns, especially in the GTS trim. Test drivers also report that although the suspension is firm, the Panamera still rides comfortably. Auto journalists praise the Panamera's precise steering and strong brakes. Some critics note that the added weight of long-wheelbase Executive models makes them feel less nimble than standard-wheelbase models on curvy roads. The S E-Hybrid model also has responsive steering, reviewers write, and its regenerative brakes are not overly sensitive as they are in other hybrids.
- "At around two tons, the Panamera doesn't display the agile handling of a 911, but its spot-on steering response and overall stability are still inspiring. The Panamera's sophisticated suspension easily dispatches anything the pavement serves up, the brakes set the standard for stopping performance, and the sum is an ease of use that makes ordinary drivers feel like heroes." -- 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
- "Unlike the standard Panamera, the Hybrid's steering system is electric, though we didn't feel that was a particular penalty. 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
- "Let the record state, however, that there is certainly no penalty in the handling department -- the GTS attacks corners with sports car reflexes and grip. Body roll is freakishly absent, and this Panamera's overall body control is absolutely second to none." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
- "Steering is always precise and handling is comparable to that of much, much smaller sports cars." -- Edmunds (2013)