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    Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    ROAD TEST: PORSCHE PANAMERA TURBO & PANAMERA 4S

     

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    First of all let me thank Centro Porsche Vigo for always giving me the opportunity to test the latest cars of the marque and the great work they do.

     

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    In this occasion I tested the Turbo and the AWD atmospheric versions of the Panamera. Please excuse the quality of some pictures since I forgot the memory stick of my camera at home and had to take many of the pictures with my phone.

     

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    EXTERIOR VIEW

    Yes, its true, pictures don’t do this car justice, and it looks better proportioned in real life than in photographs. Still, the rear 1/3 of this car is not something I would call exactly beautiful, it’s still in my view awkward and too humpy, not as bad as in pictures but still the ugliest part lf this car.

     

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    The front however very looks good, very muscular with the humped shape of the hood, wide and low front fascia, and wheel arches. The car looks bigger that what it actually is because of its very wide and has a low stance, but it’s still a long car though, almost 5m long.

     

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    Both the 4S and the Turbo had the 20” wheels, which really benefits the looks of the Panamera’s, on a car this long and wide, the other wheels do look small and not very sporty.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    INSIDE DE PANAMERA

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    Here is the Panamera’s key, in photos it looked very big but actually its not, it’s very nice and original.

     

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    Immediately when you sit inside the car in the driver's seat, its seating position tells you this is a sporty car at heart, its has a lower and sportier seating than your regular sedan, and the seats have great lateral support. Then next you notice the big center console rising up to the dash next to you with a large of buttons. I have to say I loved the interior design of the Panamera; it’s sporty, but roomy and functional.

     

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    The buttons are at the reach of a finger easily accessing functions without having to fiddle with joysticks and endless menus while trying to concentrate on driving. Also the buttons themselves have a good feel and look very elegant and detailed. You can tell a lot of thinking went into this car, from the buttons arrangement to the information displays, it’s all meant to be very functional.

     

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    Another thing that stands out about the Panamera’s interior aside form the functionality is the quality build and materials of the interior, better than any other model in Porsche’s line-up in my opinion, and higher than many luxury brands.

     

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    Unlike the 996 era, it can now sport all the creature comforts you may need, a new graphical park assist, large touch screen, heated steering wheel, bluetooth, USB, etc (some for a heavy price though). I plugged a USB Memory Stick with my music into the USB port in the center console’s pocket and listened to the Bose sound system that both the Turbo and 4S had. Image, stage and bass were decent enough, IMO valid for most people’s needs, so I take it only a few will pay more than three times for the Burmester Sound System option.

    The trunk is deep and wide but it’s very shallow, however being a hatchback that it is, you still have room above at expense of rear visibility. Rear visibility is one thing I found poor in the Panamera, the rear window being so far away in these types of long vehicles, and so slanted, and with such a high rear fascia, it creates a tunnel effect on the rear window. Something you don’t notice as much on a car of the type of the Cayenne, and the mirrors are logically smaller than in SUVs, so that did not help either.

     

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    Rear seats are very roomy, and since it seats only two, the seats are “like front seats” very comfortable and with great lateral support. Much better than the Cayenne’s rear seats, but this carries a drawback, the Cayenne sits 3 people in the rear, something I think very important in cars of this size. This for me this is the weak spot of this car regarding the interior. But for those that do not want a third seat in the rear they will love the rear room and seats of the Panamera.

    There is one thing I don’t understand, why would the Panamera have the analogue lap timer on the dash with the Sport Chrono option? What is the point? If it were a clock or something maybe, but a lap timer like on the 911’s?

    The 4S had the interior bushed aluminum option which looked very good, sporty but elegant which IMO fits the car’s concept better than carbon fiber or the wood. In fact the Turbo came with blue interior and dark wood combo that personally I did not like at all.

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    THE ENGINES

    The Panamera4S comes with the atmospheric 4.8 liter V8 of the el Cayenne S but it outputs 15HV more, reaching 400HP and 500Nm.

     

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    The V8 atmospheric engine, does clearly feel faster in the Panamera than the Cayenne S, obviously the Panamera is 400kg lighter and produces a little bit more HP but I think the PDK transmission has a lot to do with it as well, since it’s more efficient and quick than the Tiptronic torque converter of the Cayenne. In the 997 Mk-II with PDK for example it seems like the car has more horsepower than it actually has.

    The Panamera Turbo in turn develops 500HP and 700Nm from the V8.

     

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    The Turbo's greater torque was evident especially in its elasticity at lower revs were the Turbo pulls with much ease, and more power, its acceleration at wide open throttle through the gears was sensational. Launch control system of the PDK on both cars was impressive for such big and heavy cars, though more fun on the more agile 911.

    I think the normal atmospheric V8 delivers just enough performance for most drivers, IMO this would be my choice if I had to choose, for me the performance increase of the Turbo does not justify the 1/3 price increase over the 4S.

    Call me old fashioned but the automatic engine turn off function really bothered me, sitting at a stop light with engine going off on you and then having to wait an instant for it to turn back on when you want to go just does jive with me. In stop and go traffic, when you press the throttle its annoying to have a delay before it gets moving... fortunately it can be deactivated with a simple push of button on the center console, as most of the other functions, they can be accessed on the Panamera that I already mentioned previously.

    The 4S I tested had the Sport Exhaust option, when activated via the button on the centre console, the exhaust note turns more throaty and the V8 makes a very sporty sound at higher revs, not even close to as loud as my 911’s sport exhaust system, nor I would want it to be in this type of car, the sport exhaust sound change vs. stock is more discrete in the Panamera. I suppose the Panamera's cabin also has more sound dampening than the 911 so maybe from the outside it is louder than it appears inside, like is the case with the Cayenne's sport exhaust system. It’s worth nothing that the car had 2000km so the exhaust is still not run-in properly and will likely get louder after 5k or so if it’s like the 911’s Sport Exhaust.

     

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    The exhaust tips of the Sport Exhaust system look good and give it a nice touch. But while the sport exhaust is a must have on the 911, I’m not sure this extra would be on top of my option list for such a car.

     

     

     

     

     

     



    THE CHASSIS

    Along with the interior I think the other best thing about the Panamera is its handling. It has a beautifully balanced chassis and steering, the car is heavy though, and you can't cheat physics but for a car of this size and weight, its handles superbly, I definitely does have the Porsche DNA.

    The Sport Chrono Plus option in the Panamera offers you a third level of PASM, an even stiffer setting than the normal Sport-PASM setting, Sport-PASM II. It’s automatically activated when you select the SportPlus button, or directly via the PASM button, were you can select the PASM 1 or PASM 2 dampening setting independently of the Sport Chrono settings if you wish.

     

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    Even though it was my first contact with the car, the Panamera's was very confidence inspiring,  while cruising; its handling, the smoothness of the PDK, the design of the interior, the good steering feedback, the great brakes, etc... I often find myself cruising at higher speeds than I thought when I happened to gaze at the speedometer.

    PTM works great though not as rear happy as a 911 Turbo's PTM. The Panamera when pushed tends to understeer a bit so it’s easier to control at the limit but it’s very progressive, other sedans this size tend to plow at the first chance they get. And it showed great traction while crawling on slippery slopes and surfaces. It was raining part of the day and the roads were wet, yet the Panamera’s reactions were very composed in the tighter bends.

    I personally prefer RDW on the 911 because of the type of car it is and its use, but with the Panamera I see the AWD very appropriate for this car, so if I were opting for the atmospheric Panamera, I would choose the 4S.

     

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    In European city driving the Panamera, save its obvious size, is also easy and agile to drive, like I said, except for its size. The only drawback here is that the PDK is not as smooth as a torque converter automatic transmission when resuming motion in stop and go traffic, but were are splitting hairs here, its not an issue. And the automatic engine turn off doesn’t help in city driving either as I mentioned before.

    The Turbo I tested had the optional Porsche Dinamic Chasis Control (PDCC) and it was clearly noticeable immediately, in fact I did not know it had that extra until I got in a drove it and noticed very soon the difference in body roll compared to the 4S. In the Cayenne the suspension buttons on the centre console are aluminum colored when the car had the PDCC option but in the Panamera there is no clue in the interior that points to it, however it was immediately obvious that it was present and acting significantly to reduce the body roll during the weight transfers in the beds or even city driving. To me it was even more evident than the PDCC in the Cayenne, maybe due to the fact that the Panamera’s seats connect you more with the car or because it had more direct steering and suspensions. It’s a pricey option but you can definitely feel the difference.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    THE PDK DOUBLE-CLUTCH SECUENTIAL

    PDK is very smooth as expected, the upshifts are seamingless in normal driving but also very fast, great for this type of car in which you want to be comfortable but also be able to tap into some sportiness from time to time.

     

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    Sport Chrono Plus unleashes a new personality through its more aggressive throttle response setting, gear shifting and gear retention, and suspension dampening setup, though it’s not as extreme a transformation as the SportPlus in the 911. Even though the Panamera is not a sportcar, the Sport Chrono option is definitely worth it because it gives the Panamera a sportier character that you may want to enjoy from time to time that is not present in normal PDK mode.

    And as with the 911's PDK, "D" mode always has the right gear selected coming into and out of the bend, leaving little need for manual mode in terms of performance really, most of the time you will find yourself leaving it in “D” mode because Porsche was able to make it work so well with the driver, even in sporty driving. Interestingly, the "upshift kick" that is programmed into SportPlus mode to give it a bit more sportiness feeling is not as strong and noticeable as in 911.

    The PDK buttons on the steering wheel, while I don’t like them at all in the 911, they are OK in this car because of the type of driving this car is intended for compared to its sportier smaller brother, they don’t get in the way so much in normal driving and are comfortable to use. The foward-upshift/back-downshift activation take a bit to get used to but shouldn't be a problem, at least I didn't find it to be.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    THE BRAKES

    This is one of the things that surprised me the most based on my expectations on this car, I had heard the interior was very good, I knew it was going to handle well being a Porsche, but I did expect to like the brakes so much, the Cayenne’s brakes are OK for example (which doesn’t benefit from the much higher mass and softer suspensions either), but I found the Panamera’s to be more than OK. Not in that they had good stopping power when pressed hard, they did and most cars now do (at least in the first hard brakings), so big deal, but what impressed me is how the brakes on the 4S were very progressive to the touch and had great feel which allowed you to apply just the amount of force you wanted to and vary that force, and this helped in the overall driveability and confidence inspiring of a car so large as well. I wasn’t able to test fading resistance but the brakes on the Panamera get a 10 out of 10 from me.

     

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    The Turbo had the optional ceramic brakes but the 4S brakes were already so good in terms of feel and progressiveness that to tell you the truth there wasn’t so much difference, not in street driving anyway, maybe at the track because fading starts to come into play but that is not the place for this car either. In the 911 there is a bigger difference from the steel brakes to the ceramic brakes, not in stopping power, but in terms of feel, yet in the Panamera I did not feel that. In my opinion, they made the standard steel brakes so good that in the Panamera, the upgrade to ceramics is not worth it.

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    BOTTOM LINE

    If a 911 and a Cayenne could have children, they would be like a Panamera in handling, practicality & comfort…. but not looks Smiley




    And look were I happened to encounter a Panamera just this week after my road test in Spain Smiley
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    I hoped you all enjoyed the road test,

    - CarlosSmiley


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Hi, carlos,
    thank you so much for your awsome writeup and the great detailed photos.
    As I'm in the market for the Panamera, your report was very, very helpful.SmileySmileySmiley

    By my opinion, this is the best report i ever read even in the media.
    Thanks againSmiley


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    Kind regards, Conny 
    More pics:
    http://www.dayboox.com/group/Connys%20Galerie
     

    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Thank you for your kind words conny!

    I'm very glad you liked it. Thouygh I'm not, if I were looking for a car of these characteristics, the Panamera would be at the top of the list as you can see, its better than I though, the only problem in the equation is its pricetag , a bit exagerated in my opinion don't you think?


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    jeah, thats right. The price tag could be for instance 30.000,- € lower.
    But with which other car in the segment of the luxury sedans the Panamera turbo is comparably?
    The S63 AMG is at 170.000,- € (with extras) and the S65 even at 230.000,- €.Smiley
    And both are not that sporty and with the huge acceleration from 0-100 oder 0-200 kph.


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    Kind regards, Conny 
    More pics:
    http://www.dayboox.com/group/Connys%20Galerie
     

    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Thanks very much for the balanced and objective report Carlos - very informative  


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997.1 Carrera S Coupe GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Thank you very much Carlos for your report, incidentally I was wondering today when you would post it since you said last week it would be this week as you return, and here it is! 

    As ususal it is very informative and the car does look good on the picture, maybe it is due to their low quality   .

    Thanks again!


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    amazing report...the lack of trunk space and 5th seat can be a deal breaker for some families.


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    Tim

    2008 Cayenne Turbo

    2006 911 Club Coupe #13

    2006 BMW 530xi


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Very nice report, thank you!Smiley 


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

     Gracias Carlos! Very detailed and interesting report.


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    997 GT3 RS


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos from Spain:

    ROAD TEST: PORSCHE PANAMERA TURBO & PANAMERA 4S
    And look were I happened to encounter a Panamera just this week after my road test in Spain Smiley
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    I hoped you all enjoyed the road test,

    - CarlosSmiley

    Great report. Certainly did enjoy it. Smiley

    Are we supposed to draw any conclusions from the fact that you went to the Casino in Monte Carlo right after testing the Panamera?  Smiley

    Any luck?  Smiley


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    fritz


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    thank you guys, glad you enjoyed it


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    fritz:

    Great report. Certainly did enjoy it. Smiley

    Are we supposed to draw any conclusions from the fact that you went to the Casino in Monte Carlo right after testing the Panamera?  Smiley

    Any luck?  Smiley

    thanks fritz!

    just happened to be on vacation this last week and saw the Panamera there and in between a Gallardo Spyder and a F430 Spyder


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Gracias!

    I enjoy all members' reviews, much more than those in magazines.

    Carlos' impressions must be taken seriously because he is always a strict judge of cars.


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    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts

    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Thank you reginos, I know I have critised some aspects of the Panamera hard like its rear looks, and its not my particular tipe of car, but credit must be given when its due and Porsche has done their homework with the Panamera in the overall IMO.


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Amazing review Carlos,grazie!


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    Dedi La vita è troppo corta per non guidare italiano.....

    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Great review~very helpful~

    Still waiting for my BLACK P4S.........


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos from Spain:

    There is one thing I don’t understand, why would the Panamera have the analogue lap timer on the dash with the Sport Chrono option? What is the point? If it were a clock or something maybe, but a lap timer like on the 911’s?


    That's rather easy to answer: they have to get rid to the plenty warts they still got in stock for the 997. Smiley

    Thanks for the great report, Carlos, informative, objective and fair as we are used from all your driving impressions. Smiley


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    The secret of life is to admire without desiring.


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

     Thank you so much Carlos 


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos, thanks for your objective review and the framing of the photos . It seems that more and more people agree that the 4S could be the best option, even if it lacks some power.

    I followed a 4S for about one our in a van and , from behind and above, it looks very very good in the flesh. I will try one as soon as I manage to get some time for it.


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     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos, this is great stuff to read/look at SmileySmileySmiley

    One summary question: would you say the Panamera turbo is closer to a 997 or closer to a sporty limousine in terms of driving excitment/feel? 


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Thanks you all for your commnents, I'm very happey you enjoyed it


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    MKSGR:

    One summary question: would you say the Panamera turbo is closer to a 997 or closer to a sporty limousine in terms of driving excitment/feel? 

    For me, without a doubt closer to a sporty-limousine. It has little to do with a 997 because there is no way getting around its weight and size no matter how good it handles for its size, it coveys a very different feeling, but for a sporty-limo its as close to a sportscar you are going to get from a limo in terms of driving enjoyment, and I dare say rivaling some GT'ish sportcars out there. I remember for example the last Maserati I tested was a Maserati Coupe a while back with even the sportier Grand Sport package, and the heavy Panamera handles better and was also more fun in the bends.

    What I could not compare is the difference in handling and feel in mountain curves - roads between the Panamera Turbo and the Panarema 4S because the Turbo I only had a chance to test in city and in highway and also had the PDCC option so was not comparable.


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos,

    great review. Drove Pana over last weekend and my own conclusion is similar to yours. Just, IMHO PDK is still not as smooth as good torque converter at low city speed and it could be a deal braker for some poeple.

    Pana is very color dependant design IMO and in white is looks totally awfull IMHO. Darker shades are the best for this car(and its size). Price is big problem also since Pana Turbo cost more then similary equiped 760i for example. I know it is a Porsche-still prices are bigger then I expected.

    Overall-question is would I buy Pana if I needed a car in this class? NO. Simple and honest. Why? Because Pana Turbo is not fusion of 997.2 Turbo PDK and BMW 750i for example. In sheer speed it is very, very fast. BUT, in drive dynamics it is IMO not nearly as close to 997.2 variants as Porsche wants as to belive(and some magazines like recent test in Italy. Pana Turbo faster on track then 997.1 Turbo? They must be using some illegal stuff...). 

    Pana is as you said sporty-limousine. Actually, pretty sport big limousine. True sportscar a la 997.2CS/Turbo PDK or GT3? NO, NO, NO.


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos from Spain:
    MKSGR:

    One summary question: would you say the Panamera turbo is closer to a 997 or closer to a sporty limousine in terms of driving excitment/feel? 

    For me, without a doubt closer to a sporty-limousine. It has little to do with a 997 because there is no way getting around its weight and size no matter how good it handles for its size, it coveys a very different feeling, but for a sporty-limo its as close to a sportscar you are going to get from a limo in terms of driving enjoyment, and I dare say rivaling some GT'ish sportcars out there. I remember for example the last Maserati I tested was a Maserati Coupe a while back with even the sportier Grand Sport package, and the heavy Panamera handles better and was also more fun in the bends.

    What I could not compare is the difference in handling and feel in mountain curves - roads between the Panamera Turbo and the Panarema 4S because the Turbo I only had a chance to test in city and in highway and also had the PDCC option so was not comparable.

    Carlos, many thanks for this. It appears that the Panamera highlights another time that physics are physics Smiley A very well made car - but only truely impressive if you approach the car with the right expectation (i.e. with the expectation to enter and drive a sporty limousine and not a sportscar).

    Still, Porsche did a great job in developing the car. The only question raised by the Panamera is whether it is indeed possible to build a car in this segment that is different enough from other sporty limousines (new A8, BMW 6 series sports coupe etc.)... In the end the Panamera is quite flashy and expensive. For me it needs to feel much better than, let's say, an A8 to justify ordering one.

    Many thanks again Smiley


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    MKSGR:
    Carlos from Spain:
    MKSGR:

    One summary question: would you say the Panamera turbo is closer to a 997 or closer to a sporty limousine in terms of driving excitment/feel? 

    For me, without a doubt closer to a sporty-limousine. It has little to do with a 997 because there is no way getting around its weight and size no matter how good it handles for its size, it coveys a very different feeling, but for a sporty-limo its as close to a sportscar you are going to get from a limo in terms of driving enjoyment, and I dare say rivaling some GT'ish sportcars out there. I remember for example the last Maserati I tested was a Maserati Coupe a while back with even the sportier Grand Sport package, and the heavy Panamera handles better and was also more fun in the bends.

    What I could not compare is the difference in handling and feel in mountain curves - roads between the Panamera Turbo and the Panarema 4S because the Turbo I only had a chance to test in city and in highway and also had the PDCC option so was not comparable.

    Carlos, many thanks for this. It appears that the Panamera highlights another time that physics are physics Smiley A very well made car - but only truely impressive if you approach the car with the right expectation (i.e. with the expectation to enter and drive a sporty limousine and not a sportscar).

    Still, Porsche did a great job in developing the car. The only question raised by the Panamera is whether it is indeed possible to build a car in this segment that is different enough from other sporty limousines (new A8, BMW 6 series sports coupe etc.)... In the end the Panamera is quite flashy and expensive. For me it needs to feel much better than, let's say, an A8 to justify ordering one.

    Many thanks again Smiley

     Markus,

    you can´t compare a BMW M6 with the driving feeling you get from a 997 turbo.

    I have driven three different Panameras and I have tested a lot of M6 cars. I would say, that a Panamera feels better then a M6. Of course you have to take the Panamera turbo to compare it with the M6.

    After testing the Panamera and going back to my 997 turbo, you don´t need to be an expert to feel the difference. But on Schwarzwald twisty roads I doubt a "normal" driver can be faster with the 997 turbo. Just my opinion I didn´t do a real test.

    The long wheel base and the perfect balance help a lot. They didn´t change the physics but they adopted everything to expand it.

    AM


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    AM


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    KresoF1:

    Carlos,

    great review. Drove Pana over last weekend and my own conclusion is similar to yours. Just, IMHO PDK is still not as smooth as good torque converter at low city speed and it could be a deal braker for some poeple.

    Pana is very color dependant design IMO and in white is looks totally awfull IMHO. Darker shades are the best for this car(and its size). Price is big problem also since Pana Turbo cost more then similary equiped 760i for example. I know it is a Porsche-still prices are bigger then I expected.

    Overall-question is would I buy Pana if I needed a car in this class? NO. Simple and honest. Why? Because Pana Turbo is not fusion of 997.2 Turbo PDK and BMW 750i for example. In sheer speed it is very, very fast. BUT, in drive dynamics it is IMO not nearly as close to 997.2 variants as Porsche wants as to belive(and some magazines like recent test in Italy. Pana Turbo faster on track then 997.1 Turbo? They must be using some illegal stuff...). 

    Pana is as you said sporty-limousine. Actually, pretty sport big limousine. True sportscar a la 997.2CS/Turbo PDK or GT3? NO, NO, NO.

     

    As usual I'm with your line of thinking. The only defect with the PDK was that it wasn't as smooth in stop and go traffic as a torque converter, though I didn't find it to be bothersome, but I can see some more confort oriented buyers may make a bigger deal of it, though I think it will be a minority because the secuentials in maserati for example aren't exactly smooth either. And  abosolutely agree as well regarding the colors, I also think darkers colors really fit the Panamera best, and really makes a night and day difference with white and similar light colors in this car.


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    MKSGR: A very well made car - but only truely impressive if you approach the car with the right expectation (i.e. with the expectation to enter and drive a sporty limousine and not a sportscar).

     

    I couldn't have phrased it better myself Markus, thats sums it up perfectly Smiley


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    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    ALDO:

    After testing the Panamera and going back to my 997 turbo, you don´t need to be an expert to feel the difference. But on Schwarzwald twisty roads I doubt a "normal" driver can be faster with the 997 turbo. Just my opinion I didn´t do a real test.

    AM

     

    I think you are both right, a normal driver may not be able to be much faster with the 997TT, true, but the difference Markus and I are referering to is more about driving enjoyment and feel, not objective performance, and there the difference is significant, one drives clearly like a sportcar and the other like a sporty limo, its not a hybrid of some sort.


    --


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos from Spain:
    ALDO:

    After testing the Panamera and going back to my 997 turbo, you don´t need to be an expert to feel the difference. But on Schwarzwald twisty roads I doubt a "normal" driver can be faster with the 997 turbo. Just my opinion I didn´t do a real test.

    AM

     

    I think you are both right, a normal driver may not be able to be much faster with the 997TT, true, but the difference Markus and I are referering to is more about driving enjoyment and feel, not objective performance, and there the difference is significant, one drives clearly like a sportcar and the other like a sporty limo, its not a hybrid of some sort.

     That´s what I mean - performance yes - feeling different. 

    But many would say that driving a Masarati or M6 is like driving a sports car - if that is true - then driving a Panamera is like driving a sports car.


    --

    AM


    Re: Road Test: Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S

    Carlos from Spain:
    ALDO:

    After testing the Panamera and going back to my 997 turbo, you don´t need to be an expert to feel the difference. But on Schwarzwald twisty roads I doubt a "normal" driver can be faster with the 997 turbo. Just my opinion I didn´t do a real test.

    AM

     

    I think you are both right, a normal driver may not be able to be much faster with the 997TT, true, but the difference Markus and I are referring to is more about driving enjoyment and feel, not objective performance, and there the difference is significant, one drives clearly like a sportcar and the other like a sporty limo, its not a hybrid of some sort.


    The feeling one gets depends on how and where one's travels takes one.  Autobahn?  B roads?  Mountain switchbacks?  Race course?  Grocery mart?  Dining or theater?  All?

    What kind of feeling is desirable or achievable?  Does a low lap time on circuit define it against all other traits?  Is it confident handling on a unknown, challenging road at 8 tenths.  Is it a feeling of immense safety margin over more humble demands?  Is it the feeling of control over the road surface when the car does exactly as it is bidden and not as it wants?

    When I drove the Panamera on California "mountain" roads last August, it gave the me feeling of being in better control of the outcome than any sedan I had ever driven and quite close to a number of high-performance 2-seaters.  In some more relaxed freeway flying last week, I came to appreciate the immense straight-line stability and the feeling of absolute dominance over the pavement's worst irregularities.  Each one of these traits adds to the overall feeling of a superlative car that I find lacking to one degree or another in other vehicles in its class.

    Is it the best 4-door in existence?  I really don't know, but it has to be among the mix at the very top.

    Once one adds the hatch back to the mix it means I can drive one of the best 4-doors on the planet and replace my SUV.  How bad is that?


    --

    Mike

    2005 Carrera GT - Signal Yellow + 2008 Tesla Roadster - Thunder Gray +1972 BMW 3.0 CSi - Nachtblau +2009 Bentley Arnage T - Black Saphire


     
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