Porsche will use this year's New York auto show to unveil the 2012 Panamera Turbo S, the most powerful factory version yet of the company's luxury sedan. Building on the 500-horsepower Panamera Turbo, the new car trumps its non-S stablemate with an infusion of 50 more horsepower and 37 extra pound-feet of torque.
While the engine is the same 4.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 currently found in the Panamera Turbo, new turbochargers and a reprogrammed engine computer give the Turbo S outputs of 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. When "Sport" or "Sport Plus" modes are engaged, an engine overboost function can briefly provide up to 590 pound-feet of torque.
Porsche says the Turbo S can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, 0.3 second quicker than the regular Panamera Turbo, and reach a top speed of 190 mph - a two-mph improvement over the stock Turbo.
The power upgrades resemble those provided by a Porsche-issued Turbo Powerkit, which can be fitted on the Panamera Turbo to raise output to 540 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That kit costs $21,730.
All Panameras received minor updates last year to improve fuel economy, and Porsche predicts that even the 550-horsepower Turbo S will match the regular Panamera Turbo's EPA ratings of 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
The Panamera Turbo S comes standard with several other performance packages that are optional on other trim levels, including Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDDC), which reduces body roll when cornering; Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), which can vary the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel; Sport Chrono Package Turbo, which alters engine and suspension response; Servotronic speed-sensitive steering; and a sport exhaust system.
Not wanting it to be confused with the lesser non-S model, Porsche endowed the Turbo S with 20-inch Turbo II wheels that widen the rear track (which are an $1820 option on the standard Turbo), Porsche Exclusive side skirts, and an active rear spoiler. Exclusive color options for the Panamera S consist of a new Agate Grey Metallic exterior paint, along with new black-and-cream or gray-and-cream leather interior combinations.
The Panamera Turbo S goes on sale this spring for $174,175 including destination and delivery, a premium of $37,900 over a base Panamera Turbo.