The Porsche Panamera came out as a four-door GT said to fulfill the vision of Ferdinand Porsche. This vision was executed such that the Porsche could still maintain its reputation as a sport car manufacturer. How this model fares in striking a balance between these two images is a whole another matter.
The Panamera offers several engine options in its line-up: from the 3.0-litre V6 petrol that has a hybrid system, the 3.0-litre diesel V6 or the optional 4.8-litre V8 that can or cannot include a four-wheel drive. There’s also the 3.6-litre V6 that can include either the PDK double-clutch gearbox or a four-wheel drive. In terms of power, there’s 493bhp that’s added to the Turbo, while the Turbo S is a serious upgrade at 543bhp.
In terms of design, the Panamera derives most of its elements from the 911. From the high-set front wings, falling side window line, to the bonnet, familiar traits abound in the car’s overall look. But how it fares on its own is seen in how the hatchback’s lines work with the two-door coupe look. The Panamera owns such a unique combination with its roofline curves. Traditional, signature Porsche elements are included as well in the mix: there’s the power buldge of the engine up front, and hence the not flat look of the bonnet. The Turbo hatchback has a more luxurious version of the automatic pop-up spoiler, but all other vehicles in the line-up include this feature. The Turbo sets itself apart by having the spoiler rise up and showcase two winglets as it reaches outwards.
The Panamera impresses with its interior finish. Quality is witnessed all around in terms of material and design. Each element of the space transitions smoothly into the other, as a tall centre console is seen all throughout. A high-set gear level even extends all the way to the back and there’s still enough space for two individual chairs at the back. Seats are readily adjustable and the front area offers a good view. Front seats are quite comfortable and the driving position easily adjustable.
The hybrid system allows for better interaction between the electric motor and petrol engine, so we recommend anyone after the seamless transition and speed turn around. We also recommend the 4.8-litre V8 as it guarantees 62mph in just 4.8 seconds; plus it’s less noisy and brutal than the Turbo.
In terms of interior space, the Panamera has four seats as opposed to the typical five. But given such a design, a saloon boot instead of a hatchback is expected. Unfortunately veering away from convention doesn’t work too well with the Panamera’s look and function.
The downside to the driving position is its limited view. The sloping rear tailgate plus the small and high window will give the driver some difficulty looking out. Minor controls found on the audio and navigation system are too small in size and can be a bit of a hassle. Nonetheless the dash layout is practical and easy to sift through as expected from Porsche.
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