by Jake Lingeman
The 2022 Porsche Panamera Turbo S sits at the top of the Panamera range, along with the slightly more expensive Turbo S Executive. It was part of Porsche's expansion after the Cayenne saved the company in the 2000s and is meant to be a sedan that feels like a 911 Turbo. This second-gen model looks way better than the first, and it's faster too.
The 2022 model has a total of 14 trims, but we're only concerned with the Turbo S, which now delivers a whopping 620 hp and 604 lb-ft from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. It comes standard with racy options like ceramic composite brakes, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+), rear axle steering, and the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport roll-stabilization system.
The fastback Porsche Turbo S sedan goes up against the Mercedes-AMG GT63 4-Door and the BMW M8 Gran Coupe, both of which are expensive and quick. One could throw the Tesla Model S in that group as well. As a driver's car, the Panamera might be the best of the bunch.
For the 2022 model year, the Panamera Turbo S joins lesser Panameras in finally getting Android Auto, joining the previously standard Apple CarPlay. Other than this, the Turbo S is largely unchanged from last year's model.
See trim levels and configurations:
Our test drive brought to light the many talents of the Panamera. Drive modes include Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual and Wet. As is often the case, Normal is a little low-strung, Sport Plus is very racy, and Sport is the perfect balance. Those modes affect the shift points, throttle sensitivity, suspension and steering, as well as the Porsche Torque Vectoring system and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. The Sport Response button in the middle of the drive mode dial, which we're calling push-to-pass, sets everything in its most aggressive mode for 20 seconds and features a timer counting you down. Like us, you can either pretend it's the turbo button in a video game or the DRS button in Formula One.
The Panamera handles like a big 911, which means there is some road feel from the steering wheel, and it takes effort to hold it around an expressway ramp as it always wants to go back to straight. On center, its ratio is 14.2:1, but as you add input it quickens to 9.3:1. If you want to put your right tire halfway over the outside line, you can do that. If you want to pick up nickels on the track a la Sylvester Stallone in Driven, you can do that too.
Porsche did a fantastic job here with the comfort/handling balance. Like many new cars, any pothole blows are absorbed before they hit your rear end. But on some cars, you can still hear the bang. This Panamera must have molasses in its shocks because every imperfection was not only muted physically but also audibly.
One could certainly make a case for an all-Porsche three-car lineup in their garage. The only thing the brand doesn't do is a Suburban-style full-sizer, and we hope it never does.
The 2022 Porsche Panamera Turbo S is a fantastic vehicle. The power is reminiscent of true sports cars, yet it manages the balance of comfort and handling perfectly. You can sneak under the radar too, with a restrained color. The Turbo S starts at about $179,000, but there are a couple trims even more expensive than that. But for our money, the 4S E-Hybrid - reviewed as part of the standard Panamera range - is the one to get. It comes in at over $60,000 cheaper and is still extremely quick. If you keep it charged up, you can get brilliant gas mileage.
As for the competition, we like the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S. It actually has a higher output than the gas-only Panamera Turbo S at 630 hp, but the driving experience isn't as good as the Panamera, especially over rough roads. It starts at over $160,000. The BMW M8 Gran Coupe costs way less at $130,000 and makes 617 hp in Competition specification.
Again, it's hard to go wrong at this price, and although you can get the horsepower cheaper elsewhere, it's the refinement that you pay for from Porsche. And in the Panamera it comes in spades.
It's interesting to see what different manufacturers come up with using the same ingredients. The Audi RS7 is a prime example. It uses the same basic twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 as the Porsche but with mild-hybrid assistance. The result is 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, which is not quite good enough to trump the Porsche's 620 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque. The RS7 gets to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, while the Turbo S takes just 2.9 seconds.
From there on, the Audi fights back hard. It has more standard features, including four-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and a surround-view camera. The Audi is also more practical. It has a 24.9-cube trunk, trumping the Porsche's already impressive 17.6-cube trunk. The Porsche has a more alluring badge, but it's hard to ignore the Audi's $114,500 sticker price. That's a massive $65,300 price difference, or to put it otherwise, a whole Audi RS3 more. You could kit out the Audi with all of the driver assistance systems, luxury seats, and carbon ceramic brakes without breaching $140,000. We'd much rather spend our money at Audi, despite the Porsche's badge prestige.
For many years the BMW M5 has been considered the gold standard in the performance saloon segment. The latest version is as close as you'll get to a four-door supercar. The standard M5 produces 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. On paper, it's slower than the Turbo S. Zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds trumps the BMW's 3.2 seconds. BMW's claimed performance figures are on the safe side, however. The M5 has been clocked sprinting to 60 mph in under three seconds several times. The BMW is more practical with more space at the back if you need to carry five occupants. It also has that crazy drift mode, in case you feel like ending up in a fail video.
The M5 retails for $103,500, which is a whole M3 Competition Sedan cheaper than the Porsche.
Or you could go for the M5 CS at just over $140,000, which is a lighter, more powerful version of the M5. It gets to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and comes with a top speed of 190 mph, just six down on the Porsche. Plus, you'll have that limited edition, one-model-year-only vibe going on.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Porsche Panamera Turbo: