Building a Porsche Panamera we actually want to own
  • Image Credit: Porsche

Building a Porsche Panamera we actually want to own

The redesigned 2017 Porsche Panamera is lovely, and naturally, we're all very eager to drive it. But while we're going to be stuck waiting a little while to get behind the wheel, Porsche has launched a configurator to tide us over.

The layout is the same as past Porsche builders, but in a few important ways it's different. There are a lot of silly features, but most of the stuff that made Porsche's options catalog so easily mockable is gone on the 2017 Panamera – no leather-lined HVAC vent slats here. That doesn't mean the Panamera has magically gotten affordable – the most expensive example we configured is nearly $194,000, and that's not the limit. For now, you have your choice of the 4S (starting price $100,950) and the Turbo (from $147,950). Check out Autoblog's Panameras in the gallery.
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Jeremy Korzeniewski
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Jeremy Korzeniewski

Nobody pays base sticker price for a brand-new Porsche. There are just too many tempting options. So, instead of trying to save a buck here and there in order to get the most powerful engine option, I decided to start with a 2017 Porsche Panamera 4S instead of the top-rung Turbo model... and then I piled on $49,075 worth of options to make my perfect Panamera. Yes, I could get a Turbo at my final price point, but not one with all the bells and whistles that I want, including the Sport Chrono Package, ceramic composite brakes, and 21-inch wheels. I guess I'll have to learn to be content with just 440 horsepower, a 0-60 time of four seconds flat, and a 180-mph top speed. How ever will I cope?

Inside, I'll treat myself and three passengers to heated, cooled, and massaging seats. We'll be supremely comfortable in a two-tone leather interior, and the thermal- and noise-insulated glass will keep things quiet. Unless we roll down the windows to hear the engine, which will sound sweet thanks to the Sport Exhaust System. Basically, my Panamera is fully loaded. I opted for Mahogany Metallic paint, which I can confirm is beautiful in person. Total price: $150,025.
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David Gluckman
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David Gluckman

I tried not to go options crazy, but it's tough. Okay, impossible. Blue because it's pretty and an actual color, 20-inch Panamera Turbo wheels because the standard ones don't look right, and I chose the no-cost badge delete because there are too many huge letters on the back of Porsches these days. It's bad enough they all say PORSCHE now, as if it weren't obvious. Fun fact: Choosing the "no-cost" badge delete forces you to select the powered rear sunshade, which costs $390. So that's weird.

With a couple big packages – Sport and Premium Plus – and a few other items, this Panamera 4S comes to $128,470. Which, yeah, is a lot. But at least I didn't pay extra for the lack of a badge.
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Brandon Turkus
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Brandon Turkus

I like a stripper car as much as the next car nerd, but with Porsche, I'm completely unable to control myself. That's why my Panamera Turbo costs $193,585. Oh yes, it has just about everything.

Night Blue Metallic might be the best color offered on the Panamera, and when paired with the bright yellow calipers on the carbon-ceramic brakes and the big, 21-inch Sport Design wheels, my Porsche is just shouty enough. There's not enough contrast on Porsche's two-color interiors, so I chose a simple Saddle Brown finish with carbon-fiber accents on the dash and the steering wheel. The carbon is a bit cheesy, but it's my cabin.

Despite Porsche's reputation, I found the Panamera's options sheet remarkably restrained. There aren't a lot of frivolous options, like leather-covered HVAC vents. Still, I managed to spend $45,635 – nearly a quarter of my Panamera Turbo's price – on options, but it's all pretty useful stuff. The Premium and Sport Packages are good values and Porsche's carbon-ceramic brakes are typically excellent. I'm a geek, so I grabbed the night vision assist and Burmester 3D stereo, but also selected some practical items – adaptive cruise control and four-zone climate control, for example. But I'm not immune to Porsche's sillier options, like the colored wheel caps, a $185 selection. I also deleted the rear "Turbo" badge, because the small folk don't need to know I have 550 horsepower until I want them to.

Finally, I'll take delivery of my hypothetical Porsche in Zuffenhausen, because Germany has autobahns.

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Joel Patel
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Joel Patel

Is there anything better than a four-door sedan with 550 hp? Yes, actually, there is. But that list doesn’t have a lot of things on it. And there’s no way I’m getting tired of that kind of power, so choosing the Panamera Turbo was the easiest choice I made this week. To highlight the sedan’s now-pretty exterior, and because there are too many bland German colors, I went with Sapphire Blue Metallic. I kept the stock 20-inch wheels on, because they look okay and don’t cost extra, which is the most important part.

On the inside, I opted for the 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats with Memory Package in Saddle Brown leather. Not only will the seats give me a mini-hug every time I get in, but I also think it’s near-impossible to beat the blue exterior and brown interior color combo. As with the majority of Porsches, things can get extremely expensive very quickly, so I didn’t tack on a lot of options. I ticked the Sport Package box, because I’m more interested in the performance of the car. Getting a Porsche with only one package seems wrong. But what can I say? I’m frugal. Total Price: $155,070.
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Reese Counts
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Reese Counts

My perfect Panamera would be optioned to the gills. If I'm prepared to spend $150,000 for the Turbo, what's another $40,000 in options on top? First and foremost comes the Carmine Red paint. I've seen too many silver, gray, or black Porsches to buy something that blends right in. Black trim around the windows, black trim inside, and red leather covering the heated, ventilated, and massaging seats. Pair that with the Burmester stereo and I might be able to live inside of this thing.

Performance options are a must, obviously. It’s a Porsche, so I must get the requisite Sport Chrono pack. Then tack on the carbon-ceramic brakes. Not because I’ll ever push the thing hard enough to need them. I just want to show off the yellow calipers to my friends at the country club. I’ll get the 21-inch wheels because I like paying more for tires and the massaging seats will offset the increased ride stiffness. Then it’s just little stuff, like a rear-window wiper and insulated glass. Finally, European delivery. Why would I pick up my $187,945 Porsche from the dealer like the common folk?
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Noah Joseph
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Noah Joseph

You've gotta go for the Turbo, right? Well, here's the thing: Porsche charges nearly 50 percent more for the new Panamera Turbo than it does for the 4S. That's like jumping from a base BMW 4 Series and going straight for the M4.

For the extra scratch, you get two more cylinders, more than a hundred more horsepower, and the better part of a second off the 0-60 time. If price were no object, sure. But for my hard-earned cash (as if I'd ever put together $100k on a freelance writer's take-home), I'd be plenty happy with the 4S, its 440 horsepower, and 0-60 in the low fours.

Either way, I'd go medium gray, 21-inch multi-spoke alloys, two-tone black and red leather, and brushed aluminum trim. It'd be all too easy to ratchet up the options, but I'd have to get the Sport Chrono pack – the entire Sport Package with active suspension, four-wheel steering and sport exhaust if I could – and fully adjustable seats for my finicky spine. Carbon-ceramic brakes would be tempting, but not for $9k (and not with those yellow calipers).
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