After our short stroll through the city we tested the Panamera S on its true turf: the open road. This is where the magic happens with a car like this. The 4.8-liter V8 using as much of its 400 horsepower as possible, the seven-speed double-clutch PDK transmission in sport (or manual) mode and a clear, police-free road. What more could you want? And to think that all this is now available for up to four whole passengers, unlike a maximum of two and a couple of midgets in a 911.
Still, it was not all fun and games though, since a couple of nuisances marred our drive. First of all, despite activating the stiffer mode for the standard electronically-controlled dampers (our test car wasn't equipped with the optional adaptive air suspension or the dynamic chassis control) the car didn't exactly behave like an all-out sports car on slightly bumpy roads. It actually gave a feeling of instability and a “floating” sensation over road imperfections at higher speeds.
After judging it a bit negatively we were reminded of the fact that the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) can actually switch from Sport to Normal or Comfort on its own if it detects that you're driving on a not-so-smooth surface, despite the “Sport” mode being activated. The fuel consumption, if anybody would care, was situated around the 8-10 liters per 100 km mark (US 23.5-29.4 mpg) during a decent cruising speed, but for the heavy-right footers out there it can rise to over 14 liters per 100 km (US 16.8 mpg) or even more.
Our test car's pretty obvious tendency to go a bit sideways whenever a full-throttle launch was made is proof that this isn't exactly the right vehicle for a normal luxo-barge driver or a person who likes to be driven by a chauffeur. No less than 400 horsepower and a massive 500 Newton Meters (368.8 lb ft) of torque can catapult the leviathan from naught to 100 kilometers per our (62 mph) in a minimum of 5.4 seconds. After that it can go to an aerodynamic-limited top speed of 283 km/h (176 mph). Not a bad feat considering its sheer size and weight.
The steering is as precise as it gets while the braking system – without benefiting from the optional ceramic discs – is also deep down in Porsche territory (translation: horrifyingly good, especially for a beginner). All in all, even in its natural-aspirated V8 form and rear-wheel drive, the Porsche Panamera S is one hell of a sports grand tourer. Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
A lady never reveals her true age, don't you agree? Also, a gentleman should never guess it in public, especially if she's around the big 3 0. Leaving that aside, do I look a day over 23 years old to you? I though so. Then why, of all the Porsches that exist in the world, did you made me drive one that simply screams: I'm an old frigid business woman with too much testosterone to actually keep a man near me?
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