2014 Porsche Panamera Performance

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Performance
There are many variants of the Porsche Panamera: the Panamera, Panamera S, Panamera GTS, Panamera Turbo, and Panamera S E-Hybrid form the core lines. For the Panamera and Panamera S, all-wheel drive can be added in 4 and 4S models. The GTS and Turbo come standard with all-wheel drive; the E-Hybrid is rear-drive only. New for 2014, Panamera 4S and Turbo models can also be had in long-wheelbase Executive form.

Under the hood, the V-8 engine previously used in S and 4S models is replaced with a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that's more powerful and more efficient. Rated at 420 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, it's ample for any sort of street driving, including hitting the Autobahn at full tilt.

The other new drivetrain is the Panamera S E-Hybrid, sporting a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine paired with an electric motor with plug-in charging capabilities. Though it's rated at 416 combined horsepower, including the output of the 95 horsepower electric motor, it doesn't feel as spry as the twin-turbo V-6 non-hybrid S models do--likely due to a gain of about 550 pounds for the hybrid system and 9.4-kWh battery pack. Nevertheless, it's quite quick for a hybrid, and despite the added weight, Porsche's suspension tuning brilliance shines through. The S E-hybrid is also capable of 22 miles (claimed) of all-electric range at speeds of up to 83 mph, and recharges from a 240-volt outlet with the provided charger in about two and a half hours. The E-Charge system can charge the batteries while driving, using power from the gasoline engine, as well.

The 2014 Porsche Panamera offers most of the fun of the brand's two-door sports cars, with the utility of a five-door hatch.

For the drivers out there, the Panamera GTS is the pick of Porsche's four-door range, retaining its potent and throaty 4.8-liter V-8 engine (good for 440 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque for 2014), all-wheel drive, and the best steering of the Panamera range--the last of which is immediately noticeable when switching between models, with the GTS losing any sense of over-boosted floatiness for a solid, connected, if not overly communicative, feel.

Turbo models get a 520-horsepower twin-turbo version of the 4.8-liter V-8, and while it's more powerful and undeniably quicker than the GTS in a straight line, it's a more relaxed driving experience.

The base Panamera keeps its 3.6-liter V-6 engine, rated at 310 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It's the slowest Panamera, clocking 6.0-second 0-60 mph times with rear drive (5.7 seconds with Sport Chrono) or 5.8 seconds with all-wheel drive in the Panamera 4 (5.5 seconds with Sport Chrono). The Panamera S cuts acceleration times to 4.9 seconds (4.6 with Sport Chrono) and the 4S manages 4.6 seconds (4.3 with Sport Chrono). Adding the 5.9-inch wheelbase (and attendant weight) of the Executive to the 4S adds two tenths of a second back to the 0-60 mph time. The GTS is the second-quickest of the Panamera range, hitting 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, 0.3 seconds behind the Panamera Turbo, which Porsche lists at 3.9 seconds (or 3.7 seconds with Sport Chrono). The S E-Hybrid slots right about in the middle of the range, hitting 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

Whichever model you choose, the Panamera's chassis remains an able basis, delivering better handling than you'd expect from its 4,000-pound-plus curb weight. The strong basis is aided by Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), and, if equipped, the Sport Chrono package, which add electronic enhancement that improves handling as well as safety.

In addition to improving efficiency at the root with the engines themselves, Porsche offers automatic stop-start and a new coasting function. PDK seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions are standard on all models except the S E-Hybrid, which uses an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission.

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