Fast Luxe – Porsche Panamera Turbo

porsche-panamera-turbo

We say: sharp looks, plentiful tech, plush interior. Still fast

porsche-panamera-turbo
Forget every other improvement and relish the fact it now looks good

A facelifted Panamera?

Nope, it’s an all-new model. Every single part has changed, whatever the similar (though perter) looks suggest. This Turbo is the fastest for now. Its new 4.0-litre VU engine houses two turbos inside its vee, like a Mercedes AMG GT, while four of the cylinders deactivate at a cruise. Peak outputs are 542bhp and 568lb ft, enough on paper for a 8.6-second 0-62mph time and 190mph top speed.

What about on tarmac?

Feels even quicker, if we’re honest. Engage Launch Control and it propels itself at the horizon in an utterly rude manner, while an empty, three-lane autobahn nicely exhibited the Panamera’s effort-free lunge to (and slightly past) its claimed vmax. Given it weighs two tonnes, it’s an improbably quick car. Yet standard four-wheel drive and a smooth, eight-speed PDK gearbox (the latter new to Panameras with the Mkll) ensure it’s all very fuss-free.

Is it fun enough?

Upon first impression, it’s not as involving as its famous badge might promise. But this is not meant to be a four-door 911 R. And with the standard air suspension in its most hunkered-down mode and the (optional) four-wheel-steering system doing its thing, the speed you can take into, and then carry through, corners is simply mind-boggling. The novelty of maintaining so much speed in something so large can’t fail to make you grin. But it really is large; heavier and wider than before, it’ll feel enormous on British B-roads.

porsche-panamera-turbo-1Any good as a saloon?

Like the last Panamera, it’s actually a five-door hatch, though there are only two seats in the back. Space isn’t abundant for rear passengers, but they do get screens and displays to play with. Tech as a whole is several levels above its predecessor, with options including night vision (to make you feel like you’re in a Police Camera Action! chase) and the beginnings of self-driving systems via a satnav-orchestrated active cruise control system.

But $139k. Really?

Yep, end that’s before those fancy extras. Adding another $25k will be o doddle. But while it pegs the driver lower down in its priorities thon other Porsches, the new Panamera simultaneously takes the brand’s luxury credentials to new heights.

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