Porsche Panamera Turbo
- Base price: $133,550
- 500 hp, 516 lb-ft of torque
- The ultimate in luxury performance
Referred to by Porsche as its first sports car for four, the Panamera is nothing short of a four-door race car. Available in several trim levels -- base, 4, S, S4, and Turbo -- a Panamera can be had for a starting price of $90,750 (including a $950 destination charge). Since the big Porsche is the last car on this list, though, we're pulling out all the stops and opting for the Turbo model, which retails for a steep base price of $133,550.
The Panamera Turbo is awakened by a powerful 4.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 that spins all four wheels. Power numbers are listed at 500 hp and 516 lb-ft. If you're looking for even more power, add the $2280 Sport Chrono package for a 52 lb-ft bump in torque. Porsche says the Turbo will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds, but the Sport Chrono package will reportedly chop that number by an additional 0.2 second. Top speed for the Turbo is 188 mph. With all that power to get the Panamera going, equally impressive brakes are needed to reel it back in. Six-piston calipers hug 15.35-inch rotors in the front, and four-piston calipers squeeze the 13.78-inch rear discs. The Turbo's air suspension offers three modes: High Level, primarily used for parking-lot maneuvering, adds 0.78 inch in ride height; Normal is for everyday driving; and Sport Plus lowers the suspension by 0.98 inch. Nineteen-inch wheels come standard on the Turbo, but twenty-inch wheels can be substituted.
With bucket seats all around, the Panamera unfortunately has seating for only four occupants. Still, all travelers are treated to plenty of room, whereas optional four-zone climate control improves comfort levels even more. Eight air bags are standard equipment and include instrument-panel-mounted knee air bags. For an extra $2990, a pair of seven-inch, leather-wrapped rear-seat entertainment screens can be added. A fourteen-speaker, 585-watt Bose sound system comes standard in the Turbo. Compatible music devices can be neatly tucked away in the center console and controlled through the stereo's head unit. The Panamera has room for four Porsche Design suitcases in its trunk, and, if additional space is needed, the rear seats can be folded flat. Fuel economy figures for the Turbo are 15 mpg city and 23 mph highway.
There are several other high-end luxury sedans in this segment, of course, such as the Maserati Quattroporte and AMG editions of the Mercedes-Benz S-class, but the Panamera tops our list specifically because of its heritage, driving characteristics, and overall appeal. The Panamera may just be the ultimate choice in family friendly sports cars. After all, what kid wouldn't want to be dropped off at soccer practice in a Porsche?