This second generation Panamera is one of those rare cars than can call itself genuinely and entirely new: it sits on a new aluminium and steel hybrid platform and is powered by a range of new engines, including for the first time in a Panamera, a V8 diesel. V6 petrol and diesel models will go on sale shortly but for now our focus falls on the top of the range Turbo, whose 4-litre twin-turbo V8 may be a little smaller than the 4.8-litre unit it replaces, but with 542bhp, is even more powerful.
Visually the new Panamera is far more attractive than the old – which in truth is perhaps not saying very much – and has more 911 in its lines. But it’s bigger in every significant dimension, so much so that it’s actually wider than a BMW 7-series and not much shorter. So don’t be surprised to learn that it will not only carry four adults, but do so in sumptuous comfort even if all four are six footers or more.
But it is the interior design that will leave you gasping, long before you’ve even fired up the V8. If you’re lucky enough to own a 918 Spyder, the approach may be a little familiar, otherwise prepare to be impressed. Switchgear as we know it has been all but banished, replaced by smooth piano black surfaces with touch sensitive areas. Information is conveyed via three ultra high definition TFT screens. Only the central tachometer survives as an analogue instrument, just to remind owners that as Porsche hurtles towards its future, it has not entirely forgotten its past.