Photos courtesy of Audi and Porsche

Audi A7 & Porsche Panamera

Germans have always made remarkably solid, technologically-advanced vehicles that may have left style at the bottom of the to-do list. Not any more. The Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera are sleek, sexy and all-wheel-driven. German capability wrapped in sultry sheetmetal. As sedans with the stormy-weather chops of world’s the best SUVs, they’ll make you fall in love with driving a car to the mountain again.

Audi A7     

Possibly the sexiest Audi ever, the A7 is a sleek ‘n smooth missile that coddles its four riders in luscious leather. Its open grain wood trim looks like fine furniture. The A7’s mechanical excellence is never intrusive.

Audi has always crafted fantastic interiors, but the A7 raises the bar. While the rear seat holds only two passengers, those passengers are held sweetly. A luggage area passthrough allows you to carry your skis to the mountain in safety. The A7’s sexy, coupe-like profile leads to a sleek hatch that will cradle your Louis Vuitton.

Meanwhile, Audi’s ultra-competent Quattro AWD system puts the 310 hp from the supercharged V6 through an 8-speed transmission down to the ground for sports car performance and SUV-like foul weather traction. Smooth, sexy, luscious, fun to drive… Audi A7 is what stylish skiers wear to the hill.

Porsche Panamera

Porsche has produced the iconic 911 sports car seemingly forever. When it branched into SUVs and sedans, purists screamed. But the Panamera gives you near 911-level performance with an adult-sized backseat AND luggage capacity.

Hugely capable, swathed in as much leather as your wallet can stand, and able to carry three of your closest friends and their skis to the mountain faster than anything else, the Panamera is truly special. It treats you to something rare:  a Porsche driving experience shared with three other adults.

Six of the nine Panamera models are AWD, including the top-of-the-line Turbo models. They range from moderately crazy performance to certifiably insane. The Panamera is just what you need to get to the mountain when fresh tracks beckon.

Peter Gilbert is a skier, a writer, and an auto enthusiast.

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