Powered by a bi-turbocharged 2,9-litre engine the plush Panamera brings a sense of occasion, even when you simply pop out to Woolies.
by RUBIN VAN NIEKERK
Ideally suited to autobahns the Panamera just never seems to stop accelerating when you release your inner devil. The slick new eight-speed PDK transmission is unobtrusive and keeps you in power no matter what. The Panamera is slightly longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model. Next generation cars are rarely built brand new from the ground up, but the Panamera breaks new ground in every respect. Its sporty silhouette is emphasised by large 21-inch wheels and short overhangs, which appears more athletic than its predecessor without gaining in weight.
This heady cocktail of a sports car and a luxury limousine, with re-engineered engines, transmission and chassis, clings to the road with all-wheel drive. Pragmatism abounds when you drop the rear seats, and it has huge luggage space.
Like all Porsches, the Panamera has a stylistic link to the 911 design icon, but it just happens to be a four-door sports car. This Gran Turismo presents technical highlights such as rear axle steering, electromechanical roll stabilisation, a three-chamber air suspension and more powerful new engines with reduced emissions.
At the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit the Panamera set a new lap record for four-door cars at 7 minutes, 38 seconds. An incredible feat when you consider its size. More intelligent assistance systems and much faster on-board electronics have opened a gateway to new levels of comfort and safety.
A futuristic cockpit reveals black panel surfaces and interactive displays that illustrates clear visibility and intuitiveness. Touch-sensitive panels and individually configurable displays have replaced many hard keys and conventional instruments. Assistance systems include Night Vision Assist which uses a thermal imaging camera to detect people and large animals. A new Porsche InnoDrive utilises three-dimensional, high resolution navigation data to compute optimal acceleration rates, gear selection and coasting for the next three kilometres. The electronic co-pilot considers bends, inclines, slow moving vehicles and speed limits before incorporating the data into the control algorithms.
Personalising your Panamera requires some creativity, as the possibilities are endless. If the large range of colours and leather schemes be deemed insuffient, you may go even further with Porsche Exclusive which ensures every conceivable colour and ambient lighting in seven colour light designs for the interior.