THE MISUNDERSTOOD CAR
Rishabh Agarwal presents a review of the Porsche Panamera, the luxury car brand’s latest offering, which he finds akin to a four-seater sports car!
MARWAR presents a review of the Porsche Panamera, the luxury car brand’s latest offering.
THE ALL-NEW PORSCHE PANAMERA is not just a luxury saloon; it is a sports car which seats four instead of the usual two. After all, this car is often compared to the likes of the Aston Martin Rapide and the Maserati Quattroporte! We are lucky that in some markets including India, this car is offered with an Audi sourced 3-litre diesel engine—a blessing for those who desire to entertain the entire family, all at once! This car follows the true Porsche 911 (the flagship of the auto giant’s current line-up) design language, which has brought Porsche much success so far, but it is stretched to add two extra seats in the rear. Getting into the driver’s seat is easy, as is getting comfortable, thanks to the large number of seat adjustments. The steering, which is small in size and wrapped in leather, comes with the right thickness and fits well in your hand with its large paddle shifts at easy reach. The instrument binnacle has five dials, typical of Porsche, with seven different read-outs, which may seem unnecessary— but remember you are driving a sports car. Sitting smack in your face is the tachometer; the speedometer is relegated to the side, highlighting its un-importance. The interior of my test car was covered in cream-coloured leather and suede. A thick brushed aluminum band that runs across the dashboard overflows on to the doors. Wood inserts are an option. The
touchscreen, which displays a host of information along with about 10 different exterior camera angles, takes centre stage on the dashboard. The central console, which runs across the front and rear seats, is placed higher than usual and contains all the controls including the driving modes along with those for the four-zone AC, music and the gear lever. In the rear, the seats seem narrow, but once seated, you realise that they are quite comfortable. The leg room is surprisingly good and you get your own screen with AUX inputs and individual headphones. Sorry, there is no massage function in the standard version! As expected, the car comes with LED lights in the front and rear, a BOSE audio system and an automatic power-lift boot lid. Further, the car can be customised with a range of options based on your tastes and preferences, making your ride truly exclusive. The Panamera diesel houses a watercooled V6 engine with common rail direct injection and a turbo charger with variable turbine geometry. The engine develops 250 hp between 3,800 and 4,400 rpm. The maximum torque of 550 Nm is developed between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. Driving in the city, the car is easy to manoeuvre—with potholes and broken roads sounding merely like distant thuds. The steering is light and easy to manage and the car feels smaller than its fivemetre length. The 18-inch wheels with 50 profile tyres in the front (45 profile in the rear) further help cushion the occupants. Additionally, there is absolutely no noise from the motor in the cabin. On the highway, the car has an uncanny ability to mask speed; it seems to glide over the road rather than cruise on it. With the speedometer placed to the side, speed is that much more at the back of your mind. You only look for the needle to touch the red line on the tachometer as the gear shifts. Shift into Sports mode and you will feel the steering harden and the suspension tighten as you now begin to feel some of the undulations on the road. The steering becomes more direct and this is the best setting to enjoy twisty highway roads. The car responds immediately even to the slight steering inputs. In Sport + mode, the suspension becomes firmer and now you feel every flaw on the road. Faux pas include a design fault which prevents one from climbing into the backseat easily due to lack of space. There are also no run-flat tyres, no full-size spare tyre and not even a space saver; you are provided with just a puncture repair kit for rescue in case of a flat. But as expected, it looks, moves, handles, rides, turns, corners and behaves very much like a two-door Porsche. Unfortunately, in India, it is compared to the R1-crore-andabove luxury cars from Germany and, more recently, from England. Compare it to its intended rivals and it proves to be superior, while it costs less than the 911 (comparable due to its petrol engine options) and comes with two extra seats … What more could you ask for?
The Porsche Panamera
Top: The cream-coloured leather and suede interiors of the Porsche Panamera Above: With an uncanny ability to mask speed, the Porsche Panamera seems to glide over the road rather than cruise on it.