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Drive Type: RWD
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Just as they did in the Initial Quality Study, Porsche and Hyundai have taken the premium and non-premium crown, respectively, for the 2014 J.D. Power APEAL study. This is the tenth consecutive year for that Porsche has been rated the best premium make in the APEAL study, which attempts to figure out how pleased owners are with their purchases. For 2014, it asked 86,000 owners of MY2014 cars to rate their vehicles in 77 different categories 90 days after their initial purchase. The resulting figures were plugged in deliver the APEAL score, which is rated on a 1,000-point scale.
The industry average sits at 794 points for 2014, although that's a one-percent decline over last year's rating. In this year's study, premium brands averaged 840 out of 1,000, while non-premium makes average 785. For their part, Porsche netted an impressive 882 points, while Hyundai earned an 804. Interestingly, only four non-premium brands (Hyundai, Ram, Volkswagen and Mini) finished above the industry average for 2014.
It's also interesting to see the clear delineation between premium and non-premium brands, with an eight-point gap between the non-premium champ, Hyundai, and the lowest-rated premium brand, Volvo.
For many buyers in the market for a luxury sports sedan, style is as important as performance. But while the Porsche Panamera undoubtedly delivers in the latter category, it falls somewhat short in the former. Porsche went to some lengths (if not quite far enough for some tastes) to improve its four-door model's visual appeal with the facelift revealed earlier this year, but now it's time to up the performance game with the new Panamera Turbo S.
Set to be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in just a few weeks from now, the new top-tier Panamera benefits from several key upgrades over the existing Turbo and the pre-facelift Turbo S. For one, its 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 now produces 570 horsepower (up from 520 in the new Turbo and 550 in the old Turbo S and the latest Cayenne Turbo S) and 553 pound-feet of torque (up from the current Turbo's 516 but the same as the previous model). Despite the power boost, however, Porsche is quoting the same 3.6-second 0-60 time for the new Panamera Turbo S as it did for the previous one - but then that hardly required improvement in the first place. Top speed, however, is up to 192 miles per Autobahn-blurring hour, two mph faster than the previous model.
Other features include carbon-ceramic brakes (hopefully with more durable bolts than sister companies Lamborghini and Bentley have been using) packed inside the wheels from the 911 Turbo and an exclusive shade of greige called Palladium. And for the first time, customers will be able to order this top-spec model in long-wheelbase Executive trim. But don't expect it to come cheap: MSRP (before delivery and options) is quoted at $180,300 for the standard wheelbase and $200,500 for the stretched model. That's two and a half times the price of a base Panamera, and makes the new Panamera Turbo S Executive both the most expensive and most powerful Porsche your can buy this side of a 918 Spyder. Haven't passed out yet? There's more to digest in the press release, so head on down below to take it all in.
The new Macan may be getting all the attention lately, but Porsche hasn't forgotten about its larger crossover - the one that put it on the map in 2002 and on the road to profitability, with over half a million sold so far. So to keep the Cayenne at the top of its game, Porsche has announced several key upgrades for the 2015 model.
For starters, Porsche has updated the Cayenne's appearance with new front- and rear-end styling. The front bumper, fenders and hood are entirely new, with air fins flanking the nose to direct air into the intercoolers (each model now being artificially aspirated), and new bi-xenon headlamps and daytime running LEDs on every model but the Turbo, which goes all-LED. Around back there's also new taillights, tailgate handle, lower rear fascia and exhaust pipes. Meanwhile the interior has been upgraded with a 918-derived sport steering wheel and reformed rear seats with available ventilation.
The bigger news is under the engine bay, where Porsche is offering four choices. The base model is gone as the range starts with the Cayenne Diesel, followed by the Cayenne S, the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo. The Diesel model carries over the same 3.0-liter turbo diesel with 240 horsepower. The Cayenne S however packs a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that's similar to the one found in the Macan Turbo and packs the same 406 lb-ft of torque but more power at 420 hp, 20 more than either its little brother or the model it replaces to reach 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.