The 2018 Porsche Panamera is powered by a turbocharged 330 hp, 331 lb-ft 3.0-liter or a twin-turbo 440 hp, 405 lb-ft 2.9-liter engine in 4S versions. An 8-speed PDK transmission is standard and only the base model isn’t fitted with all-wheel drive. Performance levels are class-leading. A new Sport Turismo hatchback variant is now available and luxury and safety levels are excellent with standard items including a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a power rear hatch. Available options are vast and include LED dynamic lights, soft close doors, night vision assist, rear wheel steering and carbon composite brakes.
The completely redesigned Panamera arrived in 2017 with a far more resolved exterior design along with the usual cutting-edge technology and performance features that we have come to expect from Porsche.
For 2018, the range now includes a new Sport Turismo body style to complement the standard and extended wheelbase models.
The Panamera feels much like an enlarged 911 from behind the wheel, the dashboard cluster and cockpit design mimic those of its two-door sibling and both major and minor controls fall easily to hand.
A number of switches and buttons still surround the gear lever but the large touchscreen can be used to access most of these features too. The standard seats offer great support and in standard form the rear row seats two occupants. Most adults will find the space adequate, but if not, the Executive option adds a few inches to the rear legroom.
The Sport Turismo retains the standard-length wheelbase but offers a redesigned rear end which incorporates a rear hatch that aids in loading items into the decent sized trunk. You also get a bit more vertical loading space than the other models too.
When it comes to the driving experience, the Panamera offers class-leading handling with levels of grip and braking that few other luxury sedans can hope to emulate. The chassis is taut and responsive even in extreme situations and the while the ride remains firm it is not uncomfortable on longer trips.
The all-wheel drive system is standard on all but the base Panamera and adds extra grip in slippery conditions, the rear-biased setup means that understeer is kept to a minimum and steering feel remains good too.
The Panamera and Panamera 4 are equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 which produces 330 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. This provides a 5.4-second 0-60 mph time in the base rear-drive Panamera and 5.2-seconds in the all-wheel drive models. An 8-speed dual clutch transmission is standard throughout.
If you want more power the 4S is equipped with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo unit which makes 440 hp and 405 lb-ft and it completes the 0-60 mph dash to 4.2-seconds or 4.3-seconds in the slightly heavier 4S Executive.
The dual-clutch transmission and practically lag-free turbo motors combine to offer serious acceleration in both models and few competitors will match the Panamera’s all-round performance abilities.
The available Sport Chrono launch control option cuts the 0-60 mph acceleration time down by a further 0.2-seconds in either variant and consumption figures are very similar, you can expect city/highway consumption figures of 21/28 mpg on most models.
The base Panamera is the only rear-wheel drive model in the range. Notable standard features include active suspension management, power rear hatch, 12.3-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, navigation and smartphone compatibility as well as an adaptive rear spoiler and all-round parking sensors.
The Panamera 4 adds all-wheel drive and can also be had in the extended wheelbase 4 Executive trim or in the new 4 Sport Turismo body trim which provides a larger cargo area and re-profiled rear end. The 4S derivatives mirror these equipment levels but add a dual exhaust system and the more powerful twin-turbo engine.
The Premium Package includes comfort access, lane change assist, power seats and Bose audio system, the Premium Package Plus adds soft close doors, seat heating and ventilation and LED dynamic lights. The Assistance Package adds night vision assist, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
The Sport Package is also worth considering and adds air suspension to the 4S and also includes rear axle steering, sport chrono and a sport exhaust system.
Notable individual options include rear axle steering with power steering plus, adaptive air suspension (standard on the 4S Sport Turismo), a sport exhaust system and ceramic composite brakes.
Customization options are extensive and shoppers can choose from body-colored alloy wheels to personalized paint schemes and numerous interior trims.
Porsche has moved the luxury sport sedan game forward in no uncertain terms with its redesigned Panamera. The dynamics, performance and luxury levels are all superb and shoppers can choose from a selection of drivetrains and body styles to suit their specific needs.
A much-improved exterior design and huge range of options round off a very desirable luxury sedan.