Tell me about this car
The Porsche Panamera is the most luxurious car Porsche produces. It is aimed at people who want the space of a limousine but the drive of a sports car. This new model is the second generation of a car that first arrived in 2009. While the philosophy is the same as that original car it is all new from the ground up; the body, interior, engines and gearbox are all box-fresh.
Any rivals I should also consider?
The Panamera straddles two segments, in some ways competing with large limousines such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. It also lines up against sportier four-doors such as the Aston Martin Rapide and Maserati Quattroporte. Some people may even shop it against the likes of the BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS6/RS7.
- Styling. Inside and out the new Panamera is a big step up on the previous model. Porsche has tried to integrate many Porsche 911 styling cues – the headlights, tail lights and rear wheel arches, for example – while also giving it the dimensions required for decent interior space.
- Performance. The Panamera 4S uses a new 324kW/550Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, which teams beautifully with the new eight-speed automatic transmission for great acceleration. With the optional Sport Chrono package there is a launch control function which makes for very fast take-offs. The V6 is also very flexible across its rev range, making for effortless performance at any speed. Those wanting more punch can step up to the V8-powered Turbo, which ups power another 25 per cent for 404kW/770Nm.
- Cornering. The Panamera gets large car tyres with lots of grip, something that translates to very competent cornering. Riding on air suspension the body is also very well controlled over bumps, helping build driver confidence.
- Going green. The Hybrid Panamera is more affordable than ever, now priced from $242,600. It also brings decent performance thanks to a new hybrid system and a willing V6 twin-turbocharged engine. It makes the Panamera E-Hybrid, as it is called, more appealing than ever.
- Start saving. The Panamera is priced from $210,000 for the base model V6. If you want the maximum performance from the V8-powered Turbo it’s a decent step up to $376,900 – a fair stack of cash for most.
- Glare and sun reflection from the centre console. The shiny black plastic touch pad that surrounds the gear selector looks the business but it’s prone to sun glare depending on the time of day.
- It’s not as slick or sporty as a Porsche 911, despite its sleek looks. Blame it on the weight (the Panamera weighs almost two tonnes).
- Adjusting the interior air flow. The central air vents that blow air on occupants cannot be adjusted manually. Instead you have to go into a menu within the 12.3-inch touchscreen and slide two pointers to the area you think you want the air. It’s far more complex than a traditional manual selector.