The all-new Panamera wins more fans with added style and clever technology
IN the lexicon of German road signs, three diagonal lines on a circular sign-board mean one thing: unrestricted autobahn. With a fast-forward command from the driver, the Panamera 4S’ new 2,9-litre turbopetrol V6 clears its throat and the eight-speed PDK (dual-clutch) transmission swiftly selects the appropriate gear. The thrust and rate of speed accumulation are impressive, only slowing marginally after an indicated 230 km/h. When traf c conditions eventually curtail the storming run, the needle nudges the 260 km/h mark. That’s impressive given the fact that the occupants are cocooned in the serene cabin and largely oblivious to the tarmac streaking past beneath them.
The performance potential of the old Panamera was never in question, but the same could not be said about the odd-ball styling. The latter, therefore, was one of the main focus areas on the new vehicle. Built on the brand-new Modular Standard Drivetrain Platform, the Porsche is 34 mm longer, 6 mm wider, and 5 mm taller than the model it replaces. The dimensional change that impacts the proportions most, however, is the 30 mm longer wheelbase. The front axle is now noticeably closer to the nose, minimising the overhang. The silhouette is clearly still Panamera, but now altogether more “sportscar”.
Up front, the clean design is highlighted by the LED headlamps that each feature 109 separate elements, and the four- point daytime-running lamps are reminiscent of the WEC Porsche 919 racer. The rear is clearly modelled on that of the current 911, with horizontal elements running between the slim tail units; the end result is a vehicle that is far more aesthetically pleasing than its predecessor.
In the Panamera, Porsche has launched its new Advanced Cockpit and the result is a leap in technology and design, with centre stage occupied by a vast 12,3-inch touchscreen display connected to the new infotainment system. With similar operation to a smartphone, it features two- nger zooming and scrolling via swipe motions. The instrument cluster still has a central, analogue rev counter in true Porsche tradition, but it is anked by two seven-inch screens that are fully customisable via the control buttons on