BERLIN -- Porsche unveiled the second-generation Panamera sedan here last week, hoping to enhance its reputation for speed with a grand tourer that can lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife racetrack as fast as the previous-generation 911 GT3.
CEO Oliver Blume said the car completed the legendary course in 7 minutes, 38 seconds -- as fast as the older GT3 version of the 911.
Blume said that by offering a sedan with four executive-style seats it was able to target a new customer group and diversify its business.
The car -- which will arrive in Europe in November -- is Porsche's first to be based on the Volkswagen Group's lighter-weight, more fuel-efficient MSB platform.
When the model line launches in the U.S. in January, Porsche will start by offering the Panamera 4S at a price beginning at $99,900, for which drivers get permanent all-wheel drive and a V-6 gasoline engine capable of 434 hp.
Porsche also plans a so-called shooting brake derivative that swaps the sharp sloping roofline of a coupe for a more wagonlike silhouette, while adding more luggage space.
The shooting brake's increased functionality is expected to lure mainly European consumers, who remain the world's top buyers of wagons. The wagon will also be sold in the U.S.
Porsche gave an impression of the new model when it showed the Panamera Sport Turismo concept during the Paris auto show in 2012. A five-seat Panamera is also under consideration for the U.S. That configuration has been sought by U.S. dealers, who say they lose Panamera shoppers to other brands because of its lack of a fifth seat.
Reuters and Amy Wilson contributed to this report.