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Power to Porsche
MORE power, more comfort, and best of all, more aesthetic appeal. In fact, the second-generation Porsche Panamera is so new that the German sports carmaker says only its gran turismo concept and badge have been carried over.
The new Panamera remains a luxurious four-seater sedan with the abilities of a high-performance sports car. But unlike its predecessor, it looks more stylish with a sleeker profile that retains a visual link to the iconic 911 coupe, including a window line that now curves smoothly into the rear pillar with a new side window.
In front, a chiselled powerdome and distinctive four-point LED daytime running lights stand out. But it is the rear end that is particularly attractive, with its slim LED rear light band integrated seamlessly into the tailgate.
The new Panamera is bigger. It is 5,049 mm long, gaining 34 mm, 1,937 mm wide (up six mm) and 1,423 mm high (up five mm), with the wheelbase extended by 30 mm to 2,950 mm. The interior is roomy enough to seat four adults who are up to 1.93 metres tall. But on the outside, the huge fastback is so well-proportioned that it hides its size well.
Underneath the aluminium-intensive body, the Panamera also boasts new technology: Night Vision Assist; InnoDrive electronic co-pilot for optimal acceleration and braking for the next three kilometres, including automatic adaptive cruise control; lane-change assistant upgraded for turning manoeuvres in the city; and lane departure warning assistant incorporating road sign recognition.
But all these driver aids cannot compare with the eye-popping performance of the new Panamera. It debuts with three twin-turbo engines: the Panamera Turbo with a 4.0-litre petrol V8, the Panamera 4S with a 2.9-litre petrol V6, and the Panamera 4S Diesel with a 4.0-litre V8 turbodiesel.
The last one is the most powerful diesel model in series production, with 422 hp and a whopping 850 Nm, and which sprints from zero to 100 kmh in 4.3 seconds.
But it is the Panamera Turbo's sheer muscularity which will cause jaws to drop.
Zero to 100 kmh for this two-tonner (1,995 kg to be exact) is close to supercar territory at 3.6 seconds.
It brims with torque for effortless performance, yet delivers exceptional ride comfort and a hushed cabin ambience.
The V8 drives all four wheels through a new eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, with rear-axle steering and a new three-chamber adaptive air suspension system for agility and control.
The new electronic 4D Chassis Control chassis management system is another breakthrough. While previous chassis systems worked independently, 4DCC integrates longitudinal, transverse and vertical acceleration for a combined response to each driving situation.
The biggest impression about the new Panamera, however, has to be the brand new cabin. The instrument cluster has a central analogue rev counter, but is flanked by two digital displays. In the middle is a wide 12.3-inch touchscreen, and a lower centre console with touch-sensitive switches. The buttonless surfaces are not just free of clutter; they are radically refreshing too.
But even as each feature of the new Panamera is visually or technologically novel, not one aspect defines it as much as the sum of its parts - it's what makes it special.
Porsche Panamera Turbo
Engine 3,996cc V8 turbocharged
Gearbox 8-speed dual-clutch transmission
Max power 550 hp@5,750-6,000 rpm
Max torque 770 Nm@1,960-4,500 rpm
0-100 kmh 3.6 secs
0-200 kmh 12.7 secs
Top speed 306 kmh
CO2 emissions 214 g/km
Price from S$711,688 (without COE)
Distributor Stuttgart Auto