And so it finally happened the big cheeses at Porsche gave the directive to finally enter the 4 seater exec market. The car they wanted, one large enough to take on the BMW 7-Series, while as agile and balanced and quick off the mark as a Porsche 911, as per usual the engineers through everything at the task.
Inside the car is completely luxurious (with exception to the tacky looking plastic steering wheel) and can comfortably seat 4 fully grown adults. The centre console is eminently swish, however due to Porches insistence on complete driver control of every element the Porsche seems to have more buttons than a haberdashery shop.
Practicality of a car designed by Porsche could be a potential stumbling block however a fairly decent sized boot at 445 litres is quite roomy. There are problems with it, in that it is rather shallow and quite oddly shaped , however one can fold the rear seats down giving the Porsche Panamera 1263 litres.
Once outside the cabin one does struggle with the looks of the beast. Don’t get me wrong from the front the car looks good, however like a giant wart on a pretty face it’s difficult to get away from the side profile of the car which doesn’t seem to give the rest of the car justice.
Whoever buys this car will not be disappointed in terms of performance. Both the 4.8 V8 S and 4.8 V8 4S are indecently fast, however are smooth in uptake. For all out explosive speed the Turbo model will have your friends grinning ear to ear as their heads bang off the quality leather head rests.
For such a big car (at almost 5 meters long) the Porsche Panamera is unfathomably sticky through corners, with almost no body role due to the high tech suspension management system in Sport or Sport Plus mode.
Of course there is a comfort mode in the management system for those times when a gentleman wishes to relax. In this setting the car will gently carry you along on your journey with complete smoothness and quite of a library quiet engine. Better still the Porsche Panamera Turbo’s air suspension gives an even better ride, exactly what a grand tourer is made to be.
Cost wise I guess the old mantra of if you have to ask you can’t afford it applies. With prices starting at a whopping £72,266 for the S model, £77,269 for the 4S and a jaw dropping £95,298 for the turbo model a large bank balance is a must.
And for running costs? I think it would be fair to say that economic drivers need not apply, with the least thirst engine giving only 25.4mpg, and all models in the highest tax band the Porsche Panamera is a long term commitment.
All in the Porsche Panamera is the best in its class leaving the likes of the Mercedes s63 AMG and Maserati Quattroporte feeling a bit inadequate. However with the huge initial and running costs, one must have their heart well and truly set on a Porsche to justify the spend.