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First drive: Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.

First drive: Porsche Panamera Turbo
The new Porsche Panamera Turbo combines even greater ability with sharper looks.

 



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Porsche Panamera Turbo

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The Porsche Panamera has always been a technically impressive, crushingly competent sports saloon; now it adds good looks and more tech to the mix making it as relentlessly unstoppable as ever, and much more attractive, too.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Porsche Panamera Turbo
Price: £113,075
Engine: 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 212g/km (Band K, £290 per year)
Combined economy: 30.4mpg
Top speed: 190mph
0-62mph: 3.8 seconds (3.6 seconds with Sport Chrono)
Power: 550hp at 5,750- to 6,000rpm
Torque: 770Nm at 1,960- to 4,500rpm

What's this?

Porsche's 'G2' Panamera Turbo: the Stuttgart firm's mighty saloon is all new in everything but name. There's a new platform, new engines, a new eight-speed (seven previously) automatic transmission, all-new interior and Porsche's latest technical arsenal of info and entertainment, driver assistance and autonomous systems. Ignoring all that though, everything's been done to make it a little bit more efficient, not just at the pumps mind, but how it goes about creating and using its speed.

The quoted 190mph top speed remains the same as its predecessor, but the new Turbo feels faster across more of its performance spectrum, carrying its pace with unerring composure and ease. That makes for a quite ridiculously rapid, comfortable conveyance for up to four people and some luggage. It was always that though; its challenging looks were arguably its biggest hurdle. That's been addressed, and some, the G2 Panamera incorporating latest Porsche's design language very successfully, looking handsome and elegant rather than ungainly and uncomfortable.

How does it drive?

The Panamera has always been fast, and this all-new car, unsurprisingly, is no exception. The engine might be 0.8 litres smaller in capacity, but output's up to 550hp, torque increasing too, to a 770Nm maximum. That's enough to get the (now heavier) Panamera Turbo to 62mph in 3.8 seconds in standard guise, or 3.6 seconds if you've ticked the option box for Sport Chrono. You'll be unlikely not to do so, not just for the 'crucial' 0.2-second advantage it brings, but for the addition of the mode switch (actually a dial) that comes with it on the steering wheel. It allows you to choose between the usual pre-sets that all the drive systems offer, or configure your own individual mode.

The suspension, like everything else, is all new, the bigger three-chamber air set-up offering 30 per cent greater capacity, allowing a more accomplished ride, even on the optional 21-inch alloy wheels. The air suspension comes as standard for the Turbo, adding a degree of roll-control even if you've not optioned the trick chassis system with its active roll bars. There are a few choice options possible too, including rear-wheel steering and PCCB brakes. Indeed, if you want your Panamera Turbo to be able to match the Carrera GT's Nürburgring lap time then you'll need to be busy with the option ticking.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol engine is unerring in its force, delivering its mighty pace with immediacy and a rousing soundtrack. It's best heard via the optional sports exhaust, though, as a few high speed runs along the Autobahn underlined it's as happy cruising at 175mph as most cars are without the 1 in front, the stability and relentless acceleration on offer quite staggering. So too is its ability to trickle through town afterwards, the Panamera's breadth of performance spectacular indeed. That it's able to shrink its greater dimensions and feel genuinely agile and sports car like on a winding road underlines that, the Panamera Turbo's agility remarkable given its size and weight.

The steering is well weighted, its accuracy and turn-in immediate, thanks in part to the inclusion here of the optional rear-wheel steering system. Traction is mighty, grip similarly impressive, so the Panamera is resolute in its trajectory, at least at sane road speeds. There's a 'push to pass' button via that mode switch, but if you really find occasion to require it for an overtake you shouldn't perhaps be doing it in the first place.

With its wicked pace comes a new sophistication, as the Turbo's a refined machine, comfort levels up as a result, yet it achieves that without detachment. The transmission, for the most part, helps here, the eight-speed automatic normally seamless in its shifts, though the odd jolted downshift does upset its otherwise smooth operation.

The interior is a huge step forward in looks and operation, though the touch-screen operation of the vents is a step too far, feeling gimmicky and needlessly fussy in reality. The rest of the cabin gains in space, thanks to a small stretch in the wheelbase. It'll never be as commodious as an S-Class or the likes, but it's now far more comfortable in the back than it ever was. That's been achieved despite the lowered rear roofline.

Verdict

The previous Panamera Turbo's performance was never in question, though Porsche has built on those foundations and delivered more, with the addition of refinement, comfort and good looks. It's at the very top of the performance saloon marketplace, with more pace than you'll ever reasonably need, making the Panamera Turbo a fitting flagship for a wholly revised line-up.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 22 Aug 2016









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2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo. Image by Porsche.








 

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