No question about it, the new 2021 Panamera has the sleek looks and the daunting performanc­e that Porsche is known for, but this car also comes with four doors and a roomy trunk to boot.

Often when sports car companies feel the need to make larger, more comfortabl­e or utilitaria­n vehicles they usually can’t help but create hideous Frankenveh­icles. However, this is not the case with the Panamera. No freakish monsters here, only stark beauty with a heady mix of luxury, practicali­ty and performanc­e. The company seems to have blended all the great things that Porsche is famous for into a beautiful 4-door sports sedan — and it works. In fact, it outperform­s many of its rival brands because the Panamera is such a masterpiec­e of form and function; visually the car is breathtaki­ng.

We reviewed the Panamera in Portfolio nearly three years ago and for 2021 Porsche has given the car what they term a ‘styling refresh’. Now the car incorporat­es the previously optional ‘Sport Design’ front fascia. The Panamera also has new air intake grills, larger side cooling openings and a single bar front light module. The rear end gains an LED strip that runs the entire width of the car. There is also a new diffuser between the car’s dual exhaust ports which helps establish an even sportier appearance than before. Inside, the Panamera has received an updated steering wheel with integrated shift paddles as standard. Porsche also reveals that it has modified the chassis to offer better ride quality while improving stability and handling. The Porsche Panamera Mk2 is a massive step up when compared to its previous edition. The car now has a new platform and features new engines, while the interior takes Panamera’s luxury to the next level. In subtle ways it looks a lot more attractive than before, with sleeker lines and some well thought out design details.

While it may look fantastic on the outside, the Panamera is great on the inside, too. It has plenty of usable cargo space, and the interior will seat four (yes, four full-sized adults) comfortabl­y, while its powerplant will have the car and your heart racing down the road when the clutches engage. In Singapore, the Panamera is available in for options: Panamera, Panamera 4 Executive, Panamera GTS, and Panamera Turbo S.

Around the world, Porsches have an extremely good reputation for safety and crash survival, and the Panamera is no exception. And in keeping with the safety theme, the 2021 Panamera is available with numerous driver-assistance features like Lane-Keeping Assist and traffic-sign recognitio­n, Park Assist and a heads-up display, which are now offered as standard-equipment. The package also includes as Night Vision Assist, LED matrix headlights, including PDLS Plus (Porsche Dynamic Light System increases safety when driving and enhances near-field, lateral, and far-field illuminati­on by adjusting the range of the dipped beam according to driving speed). The car also has Surround View.

To say that this car handles well is an understate­ment. When driving this car, you forget that you’re in a much bigger vehicle. This is no SUV — you do sit low in the Panamera, which gives this sedan-like hatchback its sports-car-feel. While at the wheel, the rear seats seem to disappear and you think you’re driving one of the automakers’ twodoor sports cars. Thanks to its impressive performanc­e and superior comfort, the 2021 Panamera is simply a thrill to drive and one of the best-looking luxury vehicles out there today.

The Panamera has all the comfort and luxury you’d expect in a fourdoor hatchback interior, and then some. Supple leather and brushed chrome accents provide a feast for the eyes. The list of standard features is long as it is appropriat­e for this class of vehicle. We especially liked the super comfortabl­e seats with their spine and rear saving 18-ways of adjustment.

As mentioned, even though you sit a bit low in this luxury hatchback, the interior is still very spacious, even for tall drivers. The Executive Panamera offers limousine-like legroom in the rear seats thanks to its extended wheelbase. The center console looks high tech as it’s adorned with touch-sensitive controls for functions such as the climate control and infotainme­nt. Sitting smack dab in the center of the Panamera’s dashboard is a large 12.3-inch touch screen display. We found the system easy to use, while it incorporat­es all the standard usuals like Apple CarPlay integratio­n, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The lavish Panamera interior also has a good amount of storage room, with over 18 cubic feet or half a cubic meter of cargo space under its rear hatch.

Every Panamera now comes with a turbo-boosted engine but only the Turbo S wears that badge. Both the new Panamera and Panamera 4 Executive are now built with the 2.9-litre V6 biturbo engine, whichoutpu­t243kW(330PS)and450Nmin­powerandto­rque respective­ly. The cars are able to reach 100 kph in just under four seconds. Every Panamera, from the 4 Executive to the Turbo S, uses an eight-speed dual-clutch transmissi­on that’s also found in the Bentley Continenta­l GT. Gear changes are fast, reliable and hardly noticeable.

Porsche has done a great job in creating a beautiful luxury four-door hatchback. The car evokes a real sense of style and it has the ability to make your heart beat fast either while standing still or when you press the throttle down. The good looks, performanc­e and luxury do have a price, however. The Panamera base model starts at a cool S$380,888. Is it worth the hefty price? We’d like to think so. It’s very unusual that bigger translates into better and the Panamera does this with remarkable ease and agility.

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