Panam­era gets mad

Turbo S could be world’s fastest sedan

Motor (Australia) - - THE NEWS -

A SU­PER­CAR-SLAY­ING 441kW Turbo S could be the fastest petrolpow­ered four-door sedan in the world when Porsche un­leashes its new Panam­era in Oc­to­ber.

The 4.0-litre V8-pow­ered all-paw Turbo S will head­line Porsche’s brand new four-door and knock off the 100km/h sprint in a blis­ter­ing 3.5sec.

Set to de­but at the Paris Mo­tor Show in Oc­to­ber, the new Panam­era will de­but new en­gines and prom­ises a mas­sive lift in han­dling abil­ity and tech­nol­ogy.

Of most in­ter­est to MO­TOR-folk will be the Turbo and 4S per­for­mance mod­els, in both petrol and diesel form. Not tra­di­tion­ally a per­for­mance choice, the new diesel Panam­era mounts a strong case thanks to a 310kW/850Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

Its 4S petrol sib­ling utilises a 327kW/570Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 adopted from Audi, while the big daddy Turbo de­buts Porsche’s new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that thumps out 405kW/769Nm and al­lows this near-two-tonne be­he­moth to hit 100km/h in just 3.7sec. Too slow? There’s the S be­yond that.

All mod­els use a newly-de­vel­oped eight-speed ver­sion of Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK gear­box, fu­ture-proofed to han­dle 1000Nm, while the new boosted V8 uses up to 20 per cent less fuel than the cur­rent 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8.

Thanks to the brand new MSB plat­form, Porsche is also promis­ing a level of dy­namic abil­ity that will take the Panam­era far be­yond its Mercedes-AMG S63 and Audi S8 Plus op­po­si­tion into the realm of Fer­rari’s GTC4Lusso.

Air sus­pen­sion is stan­dard on the Turbo (steel springs for lesser mod­els), as are ac­tive dampers, and sus­pen­sion trick­ery first seen on 911 in­clud­ing rear-wheel steer­ing and elec­tron­i­cally-con­trolled anti-roll bars. En­gine, gear­box and chas­sis set­tings can all be con­trolled via the steer­ing­wheel mounted drive mode se­lec­tor, too.

All the usual giz­mos will be present: lane as­sist, blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing, ac­tive cruise con­trol, and emer­gency brak­ing. But Panam­era G2 also in­tro­duces Porsche’s In­noDrive sys­tem, which can mon­i­tor traf­fic in ev­ery di­rec­tion, recog­nise pedes­tri­ans and drive semi-au­tonomously.

The cur­rent Panam­era’s air­craft-style but­ton-fest cen­tre con­sole is re­placed by a 12-inch in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen, with fre­quently-used sec­ondary con­trols ac­cessed via an­other touch­screen sur­round­ing the gear se­lec­tor. Two more digital dis­plays are present on either side of the cen­tral tachome­ter, the left dis­play­ing all ve­hi­clere­lated in­for­ma­tion and the right ded­i­cated to con­nec­tiv­ity.

Heav­ily in­flu­enced by the Panam­era Sport Turismo Con­cept from the 2012 Paris Mo­tor Show, the G2 Panam­era is more sleek coupe/sedan and less hump­back whale-on-wheels. A wagon vari­ant, slated for 2019, may look even bet­ter.

Prices will be re­leased closer to the Oc­to­ber re­veal but ex­pect over $300,000 for the 4S and run­ning to $400,000 for the Turbo. A late-2017 ar­rival looks a pretty safe bet.

MO­TOR got to play with a cam­ou­flaged pro­to­type re­cently, but the real thing won’t be re­vealed un­til Oc­to­ber

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