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 - - Contents -

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.

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