Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Porsche Panamera (971)

Much to the purists' disdain, the addition of Porsche's first-ever four-door saloon, called the Panamera is a clear sign that even though Porsche makes the best sportscars since the iconic 911, anything is possible to cater specific customers with different kinds of cars and even though this is a four-door Porsche that disgusts most purists, this four-door saloon has the authority to put luxury saloons to shame with its quickness, despite its weight that upsets the driver apart. With the arrival of the second-generation model, how does the all-new Panamera stand out the rest as a four-door supercar?

2017 Porsche Panamera
First, let's take a look at a rather questionable new design. At first glance, nothing's change from its gorilla-looking exterior. The hints that will tell you that this Panamera is new is the front that looks similar to the 718 while the back looks vaguely similar to the current 911 and the side looks very much unchanged from the previous generation. Underneath to its questionable exterior is a new platform that will be mentioned later but for now, let's look inside.

2017 Porsche Panamera interior
2017 Porsche Panamera interior

The new interior is pretty much NASA stuff meets a robotic vision of the late 21st century. On the driver's side, there are no buttons on it and instead replace with the touch panels on the dashboard, which is great as long as your fingers aren't covered with cheese or garlic or whatever messy you went through. Best to pack up a handkerchief and a hand sanitizer handy because the next time your hands are messy after grabbing some snacks with your hands, touching the new Panamera's dashboard can be very messy.

With the addition of the brand new long-wheelbase Executive variant, the new Panamera is now on the S-Class level of luxuriousness as a premium sedan and with the added rear legroom, there is a fearful regret that you might hire a driver to drive one for you, which is very sad for a Porsche that is meant to drive, not to be driven by a chauffeur of some sorts.

2017 Porsche Panamera
2017 Porsche Panamera
So, the exterior design is still like last time, the interior is not welcomed for those with dirty hands, what to expect on the new Panamera? Oh yeah, time to talk about that new platform underneath it. This new platform, couple it with its new aluminum side body, combines the riding comfort of a luxury car and the performance of a sportscar, giving the new Panamera a new kind of driving experience for a car that is meant to be driven by anyone without compromise. Take it for a drive and you will see how serious the new Panamera can be. It can be mild and grippy but drivers need to stay focused on this because when the fun is on, there's no time to be numb while driving the new Panamera because it maybe a luxury saloon made to cater even wealthiest industrialists but it is a serious sportscar underneath it. Does this car made for the driver who demands more? It maybe new but who knows, it can put its chief rivals, the Aston Martin Rapide S and the Maserati Quattroporte to shame.

Now, we get to see under the hood of the new Panamera. First, there's a 3.0L V6 (single or twin turbo), 4.0L V8 Twin Turbo, 4.0L V8 Diesel, and the E-Hybrid variant with the combination of a 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo engine and an electric motor. All models are mated with an 8-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (Double Clutch Gearbox). The most powerful version, the Panamera Turbo, armed with the Sport Chrono package, produces 550PS of power and 770Nm. of torque. It can go 0-100kph in 3.6 seconds and onwards to 306kph. The E-Hybrid variant, meanwhile, features similar bits and bobs inspired from the Porsche 918 Hybrid, delivering a striking balance of performance and ecology. With 278kph of top speed, 462PS of combined power, and 700Nm of torque, its combined fuel economy promises 40km/L (2.5L/100km). Sounds scientific but it can be flattering if you ask how it works.

2017 Porsche Panamera

And then we get to the safety tech, which is unheard for a Porsche but works well on city streets. One of the coolest features on the new Panamera is the night vision assistant, which uses thermal imaging to detect people and large animals. Not as military grade as those NVGs used by troops but it can be useful while driving on darkest nights. There are other kinds of safety tech offered on the new Panamera but listing most of it can be a total waste when mentioning luxury sports cars that focused solely for driving purposes for the car enthusiasts.

Should you buy one? The new Panamera starts from 88,989 to 166,458 Euros, which sounds like a lot for a luxury saloon of that size. Sounds expensive for a luxury saloon that remains a blasphemy for purists everywhere but when it comes to rubbing the fronts of its rivals like the Rapide and the Quattroporte, the all new Porsche Panamera still wants its authoritarian trait as a Porsche remain and when it comes to making anyone jealous to test drive one, it's anyone's loss because...sigh...it's hard to describe when will we have the chance to drive one and that's way too specific for teary-eyed ones wanted to drive a Porsche someday.

Photo: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

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