Home / Home / Porsche Panamera Turbo Road Test Review – Ballistic

 

 Porsche Panamera Turbo 1 web

Weighing two tonnes, sporting 550 PS, and packing a whole bunch of electronic wonders, is the new Porsche Panamera truly a four-door 911? We look for the proof of the Porsche pudding

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

What just happened? One second I’m doing 60 km/h in traffic, a couple of blinks later, the whole bunch of autos is a distant speck in all of my rear-view mirrors and the needle’s well into triple digits. Looking at the road, there’s absolutely no way of telling how fast you’re going. The 14-way adjustable, ventilated seats have kept me and my cool in harmony, akin to strolling on grass in a park at 1.9 km/h. Glance sideways, and you get clues as to how fast you’re actually going. The trees are whizzing by and the Armco barrier is but a blur, a transmogrifying line of dull grey.

The Porsche Panamera Turbo, then, is a seriously incredible car. It will devour miles and glide over all kinds of roads with ease. The standard three-chamber air suspension and plush, ventilated, perforated leather seats, front and rear, provide for cabin comfort par excellence. So far as dynamics are concerned, there was never really anything wrong with the Panamera. Ever. What got the world on opposite sides was its design. So what’s changed?

The grille-less 911-inspired design continues, as do the big wheel-arches with equally big wheels. The roof-line, though, is new. The bulbous stretched look is gone, and a swooping new line comes in; and it’s a thing of beauty. It has dramatically changed the profile of the Panamera, giving it a sleeker, sportier, less bulky look, more in tune with the iconic 911 sports car. Another element that elevates the dynamism quotient on the Panamera Turbo by several notches is the active split rear wing. As the speed climbs over 100 km/h, a seemingly Tony Stark-designed three-piece creation on the boot-lid rises and extends, forming a spoiler that provides additional downforce. Below that, a sports exhaust system that, as always, delivers the distinct delicate-sound-of-thunder soundtrack to back up any footwork.

Porsche Panamera Turbo 3 web

Inside, all is calm and serene. There’s no telling you’re in a car that will crack 100 km/h in four seconds. The plush leather interior, piano black panels, high-quality finish, and abundance of digital displays tell you you’re in a modern grand tourer that values comfort and luxury equally for all four seats. However, while ergonomics for both front and rear passengers are absolutely brilliant, there has been a significant, and disturbing, departure from convention. Electronics are part of the safety net, the music system, the suspension and dampers, yes, but basic controls? Most of the controls for the various car functions — and there are many of them — are available only via the massive touch display. Controls for the active rear spoiler, for instance, or, worse yet, for simply turning the centre air vents — a tedious process that has you navigating through options to locate a slider on the centre touchscreen that changes the direction of the air-vents — not something you want to do on the move in a car that goes from 60 to 80 km/h in less than a second.

Porsche Panamera Turbo 4 web

Consolation comes from the fact that if you do buy the car, you would, in all probability, set up the vents once and leave them as they are. However, that’s the only solitary crib I have about it. The rest is a field of green. The Panamera is an infectious car. Once I got in, I didn’t have the heart to get out. The whole process of getting a move on and up to cruising speed is dismissed in seconds — or less.

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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