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Top Gear Challenge: Porsche Panamera vs Postal Service

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How good is the UK postal service? Well here’s a chance to see how it stacks up with Porsche’s fast and fugly luxury sport sedan, the Panamera.

The Panamera has no shortage of luxury or high-tech features, and the official starting price of $89,000 is certainly better than what was rumored a few months ago. The exterior styling is controversial to say the least, yet it looks at home in the Porsche lineup. The interior is less daring, but should help raise the bar in the grand touring luxury segment.

Porsche says that the Panamera is 76 inches in width, making it an especially wide sedan. A Mercedes-Benz S-Class, by comparison, is less than 74 inches wide. The Panamera measures 55.8 inches in height and 195.7 inches in length. This makes for a roomy interior, especially for just four passengers. The cabin is complete with 18-way adjustable front seats, and 8-way adjustable rear seats.

The entry-level powerplant will be Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. The ‘S’ model will deliver 400 hp from a 4.8-liter V8, and the Turbo variant will offer an estimated 500 horses. The Panamera S will start at $89,000, while the all-wheel-drive 4S will cost $93,800. The Turbo will ring in at $132,600, which is slightly more than a Cayenne Turbo. U.S. sales are to begin in October.

The rear-wheel drive Panamera S has can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 175 mph. The Panamera 4S can hit 60 in 4.8 seconds and achieves the same top speed. The all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo sets a zero to 60 time of 4 seconds flat and a top track speed of 188 mph.

All models are equipped with Porsche’s new PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Porsche is also planning a hybrid variant of the Panamera, though the automaker failed to disclose any further details. The turbocharged version will come standard with all-wheel-drive. Rear wheel drive will be standard otherwise with four-wheel propulsion a line-wide option. A hybrid version is expected to debut later this year.


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