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This is the all-new Porsche Panamera
Fresh platform, bi-turbo engines, spectacular cabin, but what do you think of the looks?
Meet Porsche Panamera v2.0. There’s an awful lot to talk about here: the new platform shared with Bentley, uber-muscled engines that’ll be shared across the VW Group, and a cockpit with technology first seen in the stunning 918 Spyder. And we’ll get to it all, promise. But first we need to talk about the looks. Better, don’t you think?
There’s slimmer LED detailing where blobby lights once sat, angrier 718-style intakes, and a generally less lardy look. It’s still unmistakably a Panamera – perhaps even too subtle a change overall – but it’s more sophisticated. Or are we wrong?
Versus the old car, the new Panamera sits 35mm longer (gulp), 5mm wider and 5mm taller overall, though the rear of the roof has been dropped by 20mm for that more fastback look. Headroom’s still plenty for a six-footer in the back, and if you’re after even more cargo haulage, Porsche is going to make a five-door estate version of this car inspired by the gorgeous 2012 SportTurismo concept. Hubba. Even this car has a 495-litre boot.
A quick word for the platform: among the VW Group acronyms this one’s called MSB. Platforms aren’t glamorous pub chat, but what you need to know is this car uses the same underpinnings as Bentley’s Flying Spur and future Conti GT. It’s a bit lighter, has shorter front overhangs, and can support the latest in chassis tech, like active roll cancelling to eradicate body roll.
The cabin is critical to the new Panamera. Remember how the old car introduced us to high centre tunnels presenting many buttons, which became the blueprint for the 911, Cayman, Boxster and Macan’s cockpits? Now we know where Porsche is going next, with a physical rev counter framed by twin 7-inch LCD instrument screens, a whopping 12.3-inch main touchscreen, and touch-sensitive zones for the climate and adaptive driving controls grouped onto the transmission tunnel. Even the gear selector lever has had an Audi-ish makeover. Expect to see these 918-style gubbins in a regular Porsche sports car before long, not to mention the next Cayenne.
Since we’re working our way forward, we’ll delve under the bonnet next. The car in the pictures is the maddest, baddest version: the Turbo. The old 4.8-litre engine is dead, ousted by a 4.0-litre V8 which, like all Panamera engines, crams its turbochargers within the cylinder banks. Familiar concept? Yup, AMG did it with the GT and C63. The boons are a more compact engine and quicker throttle response, which is a faintly terrifying prospect in the AWD Turbo.
Claimed maximum power is 542bhp – nailing the output of the old Panamera Turbo S – and 30bhp more than the old boggo Turbo. Torque is monstrous at 586lb ft, and the result is 0-62mph in – ready? – 3.8 seconds, though speccing Sport Chrono will shave that to 3.6 seconds. Top speed? 190mph. Short of a Ferrari GTC4 Lusso not many four-seaters will outrun it. And on the flipside it’ll kill injection to four cylinders when you’re pootling so claimed fuel appetite is a reasonable 30.3mpg.
Below the Turbo, there’s a petrol Panamera 4S with a 434bhp bi-turbo V6 capable of 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds (options will again slash that by two tenths). But the maddest engine might be the diesel. Seriously.
It’s a bi-turbo V8, which develops an absurd 627lb ft from 1000-3250rpm. So, you get from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and up to 42mpg. Do you really need the big-boy Turbo?
Insane performance numbers – but you expect that from a Porsche, don’t you? The real question is whether or not the restyled four-door Porker is finally a bedroom wall pin-up…