Road Tests

Forecourt: Porsche Panamera Turbo

Time 10:27 am, September 28, 2016

Simon Davis takes a shine to the extendable rear wing as he takes this new, luxurious four-door grand tourer for a spin.

What is it?

The Panamera Turbo is Porsche’s second attempt at making an incredibly fast and luxurious four-door grand tourer. While the first-generation Panamera was a bit of an eyesore, this second-generation car is a dramatic improvement looks-wise.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Panamera Turbo’s new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 may be slightly smaller than that of its predecessor, but this certainly doesn’t mean the car has lost any of its potency. porsche-turboPower has been increased to 543bhp – 30bhp more than the older Panamera Turbo – while torque has also received a healthy boost, with the car now producing 770Nm.

What’s the spec like?

One of the more eye-catching features on the big Porsche is its new extendable rear wing. We wager that you’ll never tire of watching it emerge from the Panamera’s tailgate, splitting into three parts as it does so. Interior-wise, the cabin is certainly a nice place to sit. Classy-looking black panel surfaces featuring touch-sensitive controls have replaced the buttons of old, and a crystal-clear 12.3-inch touchscreen houses the new infotainment system. Here, you will find features such as satellite navigation – which comes as standard – and controls for the air conditioning and chassis set-up, to name but a few. While this new layout looks the part, in reality traditional buttons are far easier to locate and use while you’re on the go.

What’s it like to drive?

The Panamera’s driving experience is dominated by the explosive power of the new 4.0-litre V8 engine. Even the slightest prod on the pedal will send you forward at a significant rate of knots, and with a soundtrack to boot. Standard four-wheel drive means the Panamera feels planted through the twisty stuff, and grip is abundant. Even though this car lapped the Nürburgring in a staggering 7 minutes 38 seconds, the motorway is where it is most at home. Even at 125mph on a German autobahn, wind and tyre noise still don’t become all that irritating.

What do the press think?

Auto Express said: ‘The Panamera is quantifiably better in almost every way – that it looks so much sharper only adds to its appeal.’

What do we think?

The Panamera Turbo is certainly an addictive car. The tower of power that is the engine will never get old, and the luxury and comfort afforded by the cabin only add to the car’s list of strengths. Usually a split personality can be a car’s undoing, but the manner in which the Panamera handles both sporty driving and leisurely cruising is genuinely impressive.

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