PORSCHE has cranked up the wow factor in the second generation of the Panamera.
Regardless of what your original thoughts were about a four-door Porsche following on the heels of a Porsche SUV — both seemingly alien terms — they have entrenched themselves in the brand proposition, and risen to the occasion.
Knowing that it had to package performance with luxurious presence, the Panamera had instant appeal with a class keen to rise up to the brand’s reputation. Many were too intimidated by the iconic 911’s reputation for being unpredictable, but here was a four-seater with rooms of reputation to spare.
The first version of the Panamera was an exercise in self-discovery. It was too rounded in areas and the proportions took some getting used to. But Porsche picked up on the cues for version two.
The second generation Panamera takes a huge surge forward with a sleeker, sharper look on the outside, and a dazzling interior. Sparkling wide screens, luxurious leather and gleaming buttons beckon the intrepid to put foot to pedal and explore new realms of adventure.
Beneath the hood, the new V6 and V8 biturbo engines deliver a steady flow of power that leaves you smiling.
From the base model Panamera, ( priced from S$360,388), it accelerates up to the Panamera 4S ($543,188), the 4S Diesel ($556,988), 4 E-Hybrid ($430,788) and Turbo ($711,688). The various options will add to the price.
A Sport Turismo range ups the prices of the variants, from $388,388 for the Panamera 4 Turismo to $728,288 for the Turbo Sport Turismo, and the recently launched Panamera Executive models, with the longer wheelbase, add a higher level of plushness to the experience, with prices ranging from $416,088 (Panamera 4 Executive) to $759,788 (Turbo Executive).
The Executive range features colour combinations that encourage you to linger in the car, enjoying the experience of video screens at the back with individual Bose headsets, a tray table and massage chairs that let you carry about your day-to-day activities while being chauffeured around.
The array of controls at the back allows you to have your own space as you wish it to be. With your Bose headphones on, you’ll be lost in your music, movies or electronic gadget, as the world whizzes swiftly by.
The best seat for a Porsche is usually behind the wheel, and that hasn’t changed. The driver experience is still engaging and a strong draw.
From the swiftness of its responses to the craftsmanship of the interior, it’s a faultless performance.
On the track or on the road, the Panamera adapts quickly to the conditions.
There’s an assuredness about its behaviour that settles any concerns about the power on tap. The 3-litre, V6 whips you from 0-100kmh in 4.4 seconds, so it’s no slouch given its larger dimensions. And the V8 unleashes 404kW, and shaves 0.6 seconds off the century sprint.
On the track, the Panamera Turbo is raspy and swift. It’s quick to pick up pace, fast to react when braking and takes corners with aggressive accuracy that allows the driver to consider the next options, without worrying unduly about the current situation. The handling is steady, but with enough emotion to keep the driver engaged through the process.
On the streets, the rumbling is replaced by a quieter experience. The comforts of connected systems and a concert hall sound system allowing you to shut out the external environment.