Porsche bounds ahead
and Mercedes E-Class Coupe – and unfortunately highlight a rounded rump.
In the flesh, the shape appears more gentle and hides a substantial boot that can be extended by flipping down the split rear seats.
The Panamera seats only four and the rear seats are, subjectively, more comfortable and have more room than those in the front. Rear seat heating and cooling is standard on the Turbo, as is four-zone airconditioning, stop-go (automatically stops and restarts the engine in traffic), air suspension with sports modes and allwheel drive. All models have eight airbags, leather, electric rear hatch, automatic range bi-xenon headlights, 14-speaker 585-watt sound (a 1000W system is optional) and sunroof.
Engines start with the Cayennederived 294kW/500Nm 4.8-litre V8 and move into the bi-turbo version with 368kW and 700Nm of torque.
Both mate to seven-speed PDK transmissions.
Porsche Cars Australia product manager John Murray says the accent is on rear-seat comfort and features.
‘‘Not many Australians, however, will sit in the back,’’ he says.
‘‘We’re focused more on the owner and the driver.
‘‘So Australia gets chassis control (Porsche Active Suspension Management) as standard.
‘‘Other countries have a big option list tailored for the rear occupants, including laptop tables and fridges.’’
Sitting in the back will deprive the owner of some remarkable engineering trickery that translates into a stunning road car that is silently as adept at city commuting as it is tracing the outline of a continent.