2018 PORSCHE PANAM­ERA 4S

Automobile - - All - Stars 2018 -

When your $100,950 car has $25,755 in op­tions, you can bet you’re in a Porsche. When that Porsche is a Panam­era 4S, you don’t care about the cost. You’re just glad you could af­ford it.

Well-known for its com­fort and style, the Panam­era none­the­less never fails to amaze us each time we slide be­hind the wheel. How a ve­hi­cle this large and lux­u­ri­ous has such lively steer­ing, such exquisitely com­mu­ni­cated bal­ance, and the un­de­ni­able soul of the 911s it is bred from re­mains as­ton­ish­ing.

In Panam­era 4S guise, it gets a 440-horse­power, 405-lb-ft 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 en­gine pow­er­ing all four wheels. When op­tioned like our $126,705 ex­am­ple, it’ll also give you car­bon-ce­ramic brakes, Porsche Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol, 21inch SPORTDESIGN wheels, the Sport Chrono pack­age, adap­tive air sus­pen­sion, a sport ex­haust system, and some vis­ual bits and bobs. As Nel­son ex­plained, “The Panam­era con­tin­ues to be an ex­em­plary sport sedan. Han­dling and chas­sis bal­ance are damn near peer­less, and power de­liv­ery is smooth and am­ple, though it’s not overwhelming in this S model. The all-wheel drive works with you, not against you, and im­proves the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence even in the dry.”

Front and cen­ter for the driver ex­pe­ri­ence of the new Panam­era, how­ever, is the up­dated cabin. Pil­grim liked it, say­ing, “The re­designed in­te­rior looks good, and ev­ery­thing is easy to use.” On the other hand, there’s a point to Wasef’s crit­i­cism: “There’s some great stuff here, par­tic­u­larly the lithe road man­ners, but the over­re­liance on touch­screens to the point of menu scrolling to ad­just the HVAC vent po­si­tion is down­right silly. At least Porsche kept the tachome­ter ana­log. We want our su­per sedan back, Hal.”

All in all, the Panam­era 4S con­tin­ues to be a bench­mark for large sedan han­dling and per­for­mance. — Nel­son Ireson

Al­ways Im­pres­sive Per­for­mance, Now Com­plete With Bet­ter Looks

PRICE: $100,950/$126,705 (base/as tested)

EN­GINE:

2.9L DOHC 24-valve twin-turbo V-6/440 hp @ 5,650-6,600 rpm, 405 lb-ft @ 1,750-5,500 rpm TRANS­MIS­SION:

8-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic

LAY­OUT:

4-door, 5-pas­sen­ger, front-en­gine, AWD sedan EPA MILEAGE:

21/28 mpg (city/hwy)

L x W x H:

198.8 x 76.3 x 56.0 in WHEEL­BASE:

116.1 in

WEIGHT:

4,123 lb

0-60 MPH:

4.2 sec (est)

TOP SPEED:

179 mph

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