Unlike what we were expecting, the Panamera S is more than just a four-door version of the 911. It uses its own platform, the engine sits in the front and it's not a Boxer but a V8. On top of that, the comfort features, interior space and level of performance make it a pretty fierce competitor for the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG, the Maserati Quattroporte or the Aston Martin Rapide. This is a true four-door grand tourer even in its lower-spec V8 and rear-wheel drive guise.
The fact that it's not exactly in the same league as the aforementioned competitors when it comes to styling might be a problem for some potential customers. We didn't exactly find it butt-ugly, but it sure can't stand a chance against the elegance of a CLS or a Rapide. Apparently the engineers in charge of the Panamera project were paid much, MUCH more than the stylists.
The ugly bit about the Panamera S we tested was probably the oddity of the options list. We mean, our test car had a seven-speed double-clutch transmission with an integrated start-stop system, cruise control, electronically-controlled suspension and other gizmos like that, but it didn't came equipped with a rear windshield wiper. Considering the car is actually a hatchback and the fact that not even the Panamera Turbo comes with that option in standard, this seems to be a bit weird. Continue reading