Bespoke Barroom Brawler

Behind the Wheel: 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S and S Hybrid

Reviews : Behind the Wheel By Photo by Gear Patrol

Let’s start with the near absurdity of a four-door Porsche, on the heels of the ridiculously successful Cayenne, which no Porsche enthusiast thought should be built. The Panamera was never meant to compete with the BMW 7-Series, the Mercedes S-Class or the Audi A8, though comparos almost always include the four in a heated battle and buyers certainly do compare the four. But the Panamera has more spirited driving in mind, along the lines of the Maserati Quattroporte and especially the Aston Martin Rapide. Success from absurdity seems to be Porsche’s new battle cry.

Continues after the jump.

The Panamera has been unbelievably successful in its segment, though it’s hard to say if the success can be attributed to driving dynamics/power or the fact that rich guys who need four doors just love being seen in a Porsche. Admittedly, it’s a tad unseemly with the bulbous greenhouse, but it’s frightful like Posh Spice. You like to look, but you’re not sure why.

Also, choosing between the Panamera S and the S Hybrid is not unlike the difference between wearing a $5,000 wool and cashmere bespoke suit and wearing the same suit with sustainable hemp underpants on. The performance is still pretty astounding for a 4,000+ pound car and practically no-one looking will be able to tell the difference, but you’ll be a tad more environmentally conscious. That should push you in the right direction, eh?

The Panamera Turbo S is clearly the nuttier of the two, though the S Hybrid certainly does not disappoint. For a near anti-matter weight sport luxury sedan to rocket to 60 in barely more than 3 seconds is astounding. It’s the anti-Porsche Porsche, frankly. Four doors, heavy as stink and antithetical to the traditional Porsche mentality, the Panamera is bulbous and frankly not attractive in any apparent way. But the crazy thing is, it works and it works marvelously. It’s so beastly good, it makes you thrilled to offend and the offense is glorious.

Photo essay below.

Buy Now: Turbo S: $173,000+ | S Hybrid: $95,000+

Additional contribution by Amos Kwon