A few weeks back, on a crisp early morning, a Saphire Blue Metallic Porsche Panamera Turbo’s fresh blue colour gave my minty blue toothpaste a run for its money as I hurriedly dressed, unable to contain my excitement, and dashed downstairs to see the second-generation Panamera in all its swashbuckling blue glory.
Built at Porsche’s Leipzig plant in Germany, the four-door Panamera Turbo, is a high-performance sports car, a hot favourite with people who are desirous of something more than what conventional two-door sports cars offer, with the added luxury of a saloon. I have to confess it did look a tad out of place on Thane’s roads but then Porsche knows that its fans – Auto Aficionados, mostly – buy their cars primarily for their sporty handling and going by the car’s specs and performance figures on paper, I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel.
But before that, a walk around the car revealed that the car’s exteriors now have longer and more dynamic proportions, especially the bonnet which has been slightly lowered. The car’s flared shoulders, and its famous “flyline” make the Panamera look every bit like a spectacular sportscar. The 6mm width increase, was slight but only added to the car’s road presence, I felt. However, the four-point LED daytime running lights and its trapezoidal tailpipes only added to the car’s sporty looks.
I almost gasped as I opened the door to its plush, Bordeaux Red leather upholstery!
Inside, besides a beautiful panoramic sunroof, was a beautiful “Advanced Cockpit” with “faster and powerful on-board electronics” and “state-of-the-art connectivity.” The Porsche Communication Management (PCM), Porsche Connect Plus, which connects to the World Wide Web, online navigation and an elegant 12.3-inch touch display made the inside of the Panamera an ultra-luxurious place to be in. Not to mention the total acoustic power of 710 watts coming through a brilliant Bose sound system! The Bordeaux Red upholstery was a beautiful and deeply rich colour, and it looked stunningly beautiful in the way in which it had been crafted for the Panamera’s seats. Besides, the car’s front and rear seats got heating as well as a massage function! There was also ambient lighting in the car.
Porsche claims that it has re-engineered and re-designed several aspects of the car in order to make the second generation Panamera, the best. For instance, the car’s new eight-cylinder engines and redesigned body, which is an aluminium/steel hybrid construction, have resulted in the car being lighter by 9.5 kg.
I drove the Panamera Turbo 4.0 litre V8 Petrol, however, two other engines are also on offer, the Panamera 4S, 2.9litre V6 Petrol and the Panamera 4S, 4.0 litre V8 diesel. Driving this eight-speed, AWD, with the new Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK), that delivered 550hp at 5,750 and 6,000 rpm, was loads of fun and because it is such a fantastically engineered car and thanks to its racing pedigree, at no point in time did it feel scary or out-of-control. Everything about this car was perfect and it seemed as if the car was sort of intuitive and knew exactly what command the driver was going to give next, as it always seemed prepared for absolutely anything, be it sharp turns or sudden braking or full throttle pedal to metal driving responses, this sportscar delivered only the goods.
Of course, I couldn’t go anywhere close to its top speed of 306 km per hour on our roads, but the car is so quick off the line and just as you cross the 3000rpm mark, you realize the burst of full power which is at your disposal and this is when you’ve got to be really careful, because we all know what power can do. And, this of course, was none other than the Porsche Panamera, a 3.8 second car! (0-100 in 3.8 seconds). The brakes had great bite, and the 20-inch wheels, you can also opt for 21 inches, felt firmly planted on the road at all times, even at insane speeds. The ride and handling of the Panamera was frankly like nothing else, I’ve driven of late. Best way to say that driving this car was indeed a marvelous experience!
The Porsche Panamera is available in an extensive range of 12 body colours! Besides the regular black and white colours on offer, two extraordinary colours, Carmine Red and GT Silver Metallic, are also available. There are eight other options to choose from, such as Mahogany, Agate Grey, Carrara White, Deep Black, Vulcan Grey, Sapphire Blue, Night Blue and Rhodium Silver. That’s not all, you even get to match your car’s body colours with the interior leather upholstery and personalize it according to your taste.
At an ex-showroom price of Rs 2,03,44,000, even if you can’t afford to buy it, merely getting up close and personal or merely gawking at it, should give you bragging rights! As for me, let’s just say, I managed some decent three-digit figures behind the wheel.