Porsche Panamera D: Capital D

To prove that the Panamera is the most versatile, practical and easy-to-live-with sportscar, we’re driving it through half the country’s length – wading through six-hour traffic jams and a flooded highway.

And so, the Panamera D. Its 3.0 TDI mill is the same V6 that’s found under the hood of some Audis and VWs. Here, it puts out 250 horses and 550Nm. It’s an engine that doesn’t produce a particularly sweet exhaust note like the V10s and V12s and you might not lower the windows to hear this one, but the V6 does make its presence felt once you cross 3500rpm. It delivers enough pulling power quite low in the rev band and despite not having twin turbos, the power delivery stays linear until the transmission shifts up at the redline.

All the power is transferred to the rear wheels through an eight-speed tiptronic S gearbox. Unfortunately, the diesel doesn’t get the famous seven-speed PDK transmission found in the Turbo and the S. But the tranny is brisk shifting and always in a hurry to get to the highest cog. If you’ve not buried the throttle, it’ll even skip ratios, to get to the economy end of the band. In Sport mode, it holds the gears for longer and shifts only when the needle has passed the redline marker, if you’ve had your right foot planted clean into the floor. Downshifts too are quicker in Sport, no complaints there.