Porsche has revealed a few more key design elements that it claims will put its new Panamera sedan in a class by itself when the sporty four-passenger four-door goes on sale this October 17th. Among its myriad of highlights, the Panamera will be the first vehicle to offer fuel-saving start-stop technology in conjunction with an automated dual-clutch transmission -- in this case Porsche's slick paddle-shifted PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) seven-speed unit.
Beyond the extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel to help minimize its overall weight, handling on this high-performance grand touring sedan will be augmented by a new adaptive air suspension system that incorporates an industry-first extra-air volume-on-demand feature. Standard on the Turbo and optional on all other Panamera models, it's integrated with the Porsche Active Suspension Management system and effectively broadens the spread between "comfort" and "sport" modes to heretofore unachievable levels. The Turbo will also boast one more slick standard: a computer-controlled active four-way rear spoiler that has the ability to modify its aero profile in real time and optimize downforce in response to varying vehicle speed.
Porsche will offer its new super sedan in three different U.S. trims for openers. The base rear-drive Panamera S will be fitted with a 400-horsepower V8 and start at 89,000 while the all-wheel-drive 4S model, powered by a the same 4.8-liter engine, will being at $93,800. The range-topping AWD Turbo that packs a 500-horse twin T-charged version of the V8 is set to command $132,600 -- although all of those figures will rise when destination fees are finalized and added. Porsche also has confirmed that it plans to produce an eco-friendly Hybrid version of the new Panamera as well as an "entry level" V6 model with about 300 horsepower. No word yet on exactly when either will arrive here or how much they'll cost.