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CAR OF THE MONTH November 2009

2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo

A Grand Moment

A three-quarter front view of a black 2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo on a beach

In short: A true four-passenger sports sedan with über performance.

Porsche Panamera Turbo Review

As the first all-new model from Porsche in seven years, the Panamera has undoubtedly high expectations to meet. Thankfully, Porsche is never one to disappoint, with its latest creation blazing some fresh trails for the German automaker. For one, the car is a four-door luxury sedan with a front-mounted engine and a curb weight of more than 4,000 pounds, a marked departure from the manufacturer’s usual array of lightweight rear-engined sports coupes. Then there’s the unusually wide, low and long monocoque body, eliciting a two-door's appearance but with the sloping rear of a hatchback. While not everyone may like its striking looks, it’s still a Porsche at heart and that translates to performance.

On the pavement, our Panamera Turbo test car offered superb handling at high speeds thanks to its low center of gravity and Porsche Active Suspension Management electronic damper control system. When you want to put the Panamera through its paces, the equipped Sport button on the center console will automatically configure the vehicle’s performance to be more aggressive and spontaneous. Swift like a hot blade slicing through butter, this sedan is powered by a 500-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 engine that is capable of revving the machine from 0-60 mph in just 4 seconds.

An interior view of the 2010 Porsche Panamera

True to its racing aspirations, the car’s standard Porsche Doppelkupplung twin-clutch transmission—with both manual and automatic shifting modes—is very smooth, good for fast gear changes. Speed, however, isn’t the Panamera’s sole concern. To boost fuel economy, the automobile offers an engine start/stop feature that, when activated, will automatically shut off the engine when it idles at a red light. Once the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal, the system restarts the engine. Features like heating, cooling and music continue to run the whole time.

Inside the Panamera is a wonderfully posh cabin with four leather-appointed and heated seats and assorted premium accessories. While a 14-speaker Bose sound system is standard on the Turbo trim, we enjoyed an available 1,000-watt audio setup from Burmester, featuring 16 speakers and a subwoofer. Optional accouterments on our tester included a universal audio interface, a heated steering wheel, and a rearview camera with our standard park assist.

A three-quarter rear view of a black 2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo on the beach

Passengers may sit lower than they do in other vehicles, but there’s plenty of room, even in the back. The trunk itself will hold up to four suitcases. With the rear seats folded there is up to 44.6 cubic feet of space, an essential and practical consideration for any daily driver. Three trims are offered, the S ($89,800), the 4S ($93,800) and Turbo ($132,600). Look out for a V6 Panamera and a hybrid-drive Panamera in the future. At any level, though, the Panamera is ideal for getting away for the weekend in style within a real sports car, and now with room for four passengers, you can double the fun at the same time.

Check out our Top 10 Four-Door Sports Cars

Read our Porsche Panamera blog post

See the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Visit the Porsche Panamera website

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty; 10-year rust perforation warranty.

Base Price: $132,600 / As tested: $152,590

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, all-wheel drive, 4-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 4.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8
Horsepower: 500 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2,250-4,500 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung double-clutch

Curb weight:
4,343 lbs
Wheelbase: 115 in
Length/Width/Height: 195.6/76/55.8 in
Turning circle: 39.3 ft

ventilated disc in front and rear with ABS; brake assistant; twin-circuit system with front/rear axle split
Suspension: double-wishbone in front; multi-link with stabilizer bar in rear; Porsche Active Suspension Management

Traction: Porsche Stability Management

0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds
Top Speed: 188 mph

EPA City:
15 mpg
EPA Highway: 23 mpg

Safety: dual advanced front airbags; side and knee airbags for driver and front passenger; head airbags for both rows; rear side airbags; rollover detection system; LED daytime running lamps; tire pressure monitoring system

Likes: performance; quality; style
Dislikes: only four passengers

Check out other Porsche models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Porsche website

Under-the-body views of the 2010 Porsche Panamera

Porsche took a perfectly good, fully-loaded top-end Panamera Turbo model and cut it away to showcase its craftsmanship and engineering details. You might also notice that despite the low profile of the car, passengers — both front and rear — enjoy decent headroom.

Photography: AlphaMedia

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