Purple Panamera. The business jet for the road.
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Sadly, for reasons that we don't agree with, the Panamera has always been the ugly duckling of Porsches. It was very controversial when it first came out in 2009! The overall design of today's Panamera is 12 years old. There have been several facelifts, but the general shape and idea of the Panamera have stayed the same. We think the Panamera that came out in 2009 looked fantastic and today it looks even better. The design is certainly different from any other sedan, but you just know it's a Porsche. You see the front fenders from the drivers' seat, just like in a 911, and the steering wheel is also tiny. The Panamera is a practical sedan for people that want to drive it like a Porsche. Let's elaborate.
The name Panamera comes from Porsche's Carrera lineage, more specifically the Carrera Panamericana and it was a long-anticipated car. Porsche had a concept called the 989, which was unveiled in the 80s. Over the year the Panamera received facelifts and we got to drive the second generation, a facelifted model for 2021. We received the 4S which gets a 2.9l twin-turbo V6 producing a healthy 440 horsepower and 550nm of Torque. While the Panamera is pretty heavy, the 4S still goes from 0 - 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. Very healthy. Even though the 4S is one of the lower-spec cars, it's still a blast to drive. We would've preferred the GTS. The Cayenne GTS we drove in February 2021 had the perfect mix between comfort, driving dynamics and good looks. And the GTS would get the 4.0 twin-turbo V8! It's also a bummer that we couldn't try the Sport-Tourismo, a wagon version of the Panamera that is exclusive to this generation of Panamera. The one thing that was absolutely perfect about the car we received was the amethyst-metallic paint. A deep purple paint job that lights up beautifully in the sun. One of the best colors you can put on any Porsche. It doesn't need any blacked-out trim in our opinion, it looks absolutely fine with the silver bits on it. Matched very well with the amethyst-metallic paint.
The interior is classic Porsche. Five dials in the front, a small steering wheel and comfortable seats. We love that the driving-mode button is on the steering wheel. Every performance-orientated car should lay out it's sports-mode like that. Just turn the dial and you're good. The launch-control is also so easy to use, unlike in some other german performance cars, we're looking at you BMW. You just rotate the dial to Sport+, left foot on the brake, right foot on the gas and you're gone! Even though the 4S "only" goes from 0 - 100km/h in 4.3 seconds, the launch is intoxicating and ferocious. This might just be a Porsche thing but they have nailed the launch control on the newer models. We like the look of the interior, but it's all a bit too complicated. The physical buttons are fine, but the infotainment is very hard to get used to. And thank you Porsche for keeping physical buttons!
So what about driving it? As mentioned, the launch is insane. It's hard to imagine how fast the Turbo S e-Hybrid is. Any car with 440 horsepower can accelerate fast, so this car focuses on the thing that most people aren't really looking for, at least not car people. Despite being a big car, this thing handles close to a 911. The 911 is the benchmark for any luxury sportscar and the Panamera is nothing else. Yes, it's a sedan, but you still want to drive it like a sports car and you can! The rear wing extends at high speed to aid stability and you have active dampers to adapt to your driving needs. Along with that 2.9l V6 and the blisteringly fast PDK-gearbox, the Panamera shifts and sounds amazing. The PDK-Gearbox is the best in the business, no doubt about that.
Now let's get to the price tag. The car we tested was a whopping 182'000 CHF. Quite a lot for the "entry-level" Panamera. If you'd be spending any money on a Porsche, you would be well aware of the price tag. A lot of people are buying them in Switzerland, they're very popular. We'd still take this over a Mercedes-Benz AMG-GT Four-door any day though. That's probably the closest competitor to the Panamera. And why? Because it's a Porsche!