Each car retains its essential character on track, but traits are exaggerated and there’s a greater distinction between them. The Panamera feels direct and agile when you turn in aggressively, but beyond the first phase of a corner its softer chassis means it starts to feel heavy, almost cumbersome. Body roll absorbs much of your inputs, meaning it’s difficult to make fine corrections, and the front axle pushes on if you’re too eager with the throttle. Once you’ve found a flow, however, the Panamera exhibits that devastating point-topoint pace that it shows on the road.
The E63 feels more at home on track, astonishingly so for an almost- two-ton saloon. With sharp steering and the damping set to firm, it feels alert, while the bullish engine means there’s enough throttle adjustably even when it’s driving all four wheels. Its heft can’t be disguised completely, though; the exit of a corner can be tricky as you deal with a touch of weight transfer.
Activating Drift Mode and uncoupling the front driveshafts illustrates exactly why the E63 has four-wheel drive. It wants to oversteer everywhere and the transition is practically instant, though the long wheelbase means slides are easily held. Not the most effective way round a track, but hugely entertaining.