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Porsche pretties up its potent Panamera sedan

The second-generation Panamera cockpit bids bye-bye to button overload in favor of simpler touch-sensitive surfaces. Though a traditional tachometer remains, fans of Porsche's traditional analog instruments will have to make peace with the company's interior “digitalization.”

Well, it’s taken seven years but Porsche has finally done it – and by it I mean answered one of our motoring prayers and made the Panamera sedan handsome.

Then all the people said, “Amen!”

That’s because Porsche’s first-ever production sedan always drove like the closest thing to a stretched 911 sports car. But somehow, the 911’s iconic visual profile got lost in translation and ended up more hunchback than fastback. The all-new 2017 Panamera rights that wrong with a sleek new stance and profile – along with myriad other upgrades, inside and out.

Let’s start with the most obvious knock against the first-generation Panamera: the proverbial junk in its trunk. The Panamera’s once-bulbous backside has been smoothed into a lower, wider rear accentuated by the slimmer taillights and connecting light strip seen throughout the Porsche lineup. Although the rear roofline is only a scant eighth of an inch lower, the overall effect is striking; in fact, although the new Panamera is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, it actually appears leaner from every angle.

Never one to skimp on performance, Porsche has also overhauled the Panamera engine lineup. The first two models, the 4S and Turbo, will be powered by 440-hp twin-turbo V6 and 550-hp twin-turbo V8, respectively. Both will feature standard all-wheel drive and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The Turbo will also be equipped with a cylinder deactivation function that will shut down four of the engine’s eight cylinders to improve fuel economy under less aggressive driving conditions. That said, at full throttle, the Turbo will reportedly rocket from zero to 60 in a staggering 3.6 seconds.

The 2017 Porsche Panamera is expected to hit U.S. showrooms in January. The price of admission to this wild ride will be $101,040 for the 4S and $147,950 for the Turbo – and that’s before adding any of Porsche’s notoriously costly options ($4,000 leather upgrade and $7,000 brakes, anyone?).

Porsche also confirmed it will offer a station wagon version of its four-door. Automakers have been notorious for offering wagon variants only in Europe and other markets, thereby depriving U.S. drivers of luxury and high-performance grocery-getters. But, in yet another answer to our motoring prayers, Porsche has promised a Panamera wagon for the States in 2018. Amen!

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