Porsche sexes up Panam­era

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - JESSE ADAMS

Pearl Jumeirah, Dubai LOWER the roofline by 20mm, add some slimmer tail­lights with a 718-es­que con­nect­ing re­flec­tor strip, re­work the hind quar­ters to look more sportscar and less squat­ting dog, and voila! The once fugly Panam­era is sud­denly the sexy four-door fast­back it was de­signed to be … but wasn’t.

For this sec­ond gen­er­a­tion ver­sion Porsche briefed sculp­tors to shape a clean-slate ex­te­rior that’s not only in­stantly recog­nis­able as a Panam­era, but also in­stantly recog­nis­able as a NEW Panam­era. Nailed it. And while they were at it, some more pow­er­ful en­gines, a new eight-speed gear­box and a whole lotta fancy new gad­gets were thrown in too.

It’s cer­tainly pret­tier this time around, but trust us, the real beauty’s un­der the skin. This Panam­era’s new from the ground up, and we mean that very lit­er­ally. The only items shared be­tween the new ver­sion and old are the name and the shield-shaped Porsche crest.

There’s a com­pletely new de­sign di­rec­tion hap­pen­ing for Porsche in­side too, where the pre­vi­ous ver­sion’s but­ton-lit­tered flight deck makes way for a far sim­pler, slicker lay­out. Hard but­tons in the cen­tre con­sole have been re­placed with a one-piece piano black panel which in­cor­po­rates touch sen­si­tive keys with hap­tic clicks much like an iPhone 7, while front and cen­tre is a 12.3-inch touch­screen which houses menu upon menu of com­plex sys­tems set­tings and in­fo­tain­ment dis­plays.

The home­screen can be cus­tomised to an owner’s lik­ing with pro­grammed short­cuts and wid­gets, and it’s all rea­son­ably easy to un­der­stand, but elec­tron­i­cally-chal­lenged cus­tomers could be over­whelmed by its elab­o­rate func­tion­al­ity. Sim­ple ad­just­ments, such as point­ing the cen­tre vent in a cer­tain di­rec­tion, now re­quire touch­screen fin­ger swipes and prods. This par­tic­u­lar gim­mick is un­nec­es­sary, but I must ad­mit, still very cool to play with.

Then there are two 7-inch colour screens ei­ther side of a revcounter with an ac­tual nee­dle (so old fash­ioned!) which can be con­fig­ured with var­i­ous in­for­ma­tion read­outs, in­clud­ing full colour nav maps. And, the back seats also get a colour touch­screen of their own for seat, cli­mate and me­dia ad­just­ments. Con­tin­ued on page 3

Fresh hind quar­ters are much eas­ier to look at. Note the 718-es­que con­nect­ing strip be­tween the tail­lights.

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