I’ll be blunt, for years the Porsche Panamera has been a hideous family saloon that wasn’t just mercilessly expensive it was ugly too! It had this “fat” hunchbacked targa 911 look to it I always thought. However I’m happy to report the latest incarnation seems to be a much more handsome brute, with modern styling and refreshed appeal. I found myself spending a lot of time with the Panamera, the oxblood interior really grew on me over the day, I loved the glass display for the heated seats and climate controls. In a typical German way the glass delivered a satisfying click when you pressed it, enabling you to toast your backside with the heated seats in lavish comfort. I feel this Panamera was interestingly specced at first,however once I was reminded that the lime green accents on the exterior and around the interior dials were due to its hybrid drivetrain and not a sales mangers unusual taste during speccing, I really felt the red and green worked well together. Like a massive German watermelon but with a V8 and a couple of turbos for good measure.
The Panamera Turbo S comes as standard with some frankly gargantuan 390mm carbon ceramic brakes up front and 350mm ceramics to the rear, more than enough stopping power despite it coming in at 2.4tonnes! The Turbo has a forced induction V8 boosted by a hybrid drivetrain, very similar to the 918 where it fills torque troughs and gaps in power to never leave you wanting, this truly is a mile-munching family supercar. Here comes the but and it’s quite a big but I’m afraid…. The Turbo S comes in at £140,000 with a couple of options it can be raised even further! A well specced 2020 Audi RS6 will cost you £110,000 and Audi has ruled this sector of the market with its RS models for some time now.
The Panamera has a few unusual features I admit , such as a “fake” key just to the right of the wheel, you turn this to start the car whilst your “real” key remains tucked into your trouser pocket. I always found myself reaching for it when I got out despite having the proper key on me already. I love the dial on the steering wheel where you can switch between drive modes like sport and eco with a satisfying click to one side, the way the rear wing raises in sport plus makes you grin like a schoolboy seeing his first supercar at a set of lights , it’s the little things right? Add massive brakes a lavish interior and bundles of leg room and it’s an impressive proposition for the family rocket ship. The Turbo S hides its size very well I thought , Audi’s super-aggressive styling has the RS6/7 getting wider and taller every time it’s face-lifted, but the Porsche delivers comparative space inside yet looks much smaller and less dramatic. I can’t believe I’m saying this but for your subtle family barnstormer it has to be the Porsche in this class, the beautiful metallic blue/silver paint adds a crisp business vibe to the package, really a phenomenal all rounder for the money.
The Turbo S delivers 677hp from a bi-turbo charged V8 which is good for a 0-60 sprint of 3.2 seconds and will carry you all the way to 192mph, not bad for 2.4 tonnes right? I love the subtlety to the design and how broad modern Porsche’s have gotten. Gone are the days of the narrow body 996’s the modern era of Porsches are mean and purposeful I’m a big fan! It’s not over egged it’s just right subtle aggression well packaged typical Germans really.