by Danny Shin
The redesigned Panamera has been around for two years now and while it still offers cutting-edge technology and sports car eclipsing performance in Turbo form, it has been further updated with the addition of a new Sport Turismo body style.
The Panamera Turbo features a wide dashboard with a well-integrated wide touchscreen system that is within easy reach of the driver unlike the systems in some rivals. The cabin is covered in plush leather and soft-touch plastics, a large range of available materials can be picked to add a touch of personalization too.
Turbo models come equipped with 14-way power sport front seats and offer excellent support both in fast cornering and on long drives. Rear passengers should find the accommodations comfortable too, there is seating for two as standard although a three-seat option is available.
Headroom can be tight due to the sloping rear window and if you regularly transport adults in the back the Turbo Executive offers an extended wheelbase which adds some rear legroom. New for 2018 is the Sport Turismo body style which adds a touch more practicality with a hatchback rear end that offers some additional cargo space.
The Panamera Turbo may no longer be the quickest model in the range, that title falls to the new Turbo S E-Hybrid, but the Turbo is a fair bit lighter and it feels as nimble and sharp as ever. The all-wheel drive traction gives the big sedan superb control out of corners and the adaptive air suspension keeps the car planted even when the road surface gets bumpy.
The steering may be all-electric but it is about as good as these systems get and the Panamera offers excellent feedback when pushing through a series of tight corners. More sedate driving sees the Panamera Turbo cruise along in silence, the ride is firm but in comfort mode it absorbs most bumps and rough road surfaces with relative ease.
The Panamera Turbo come equipped with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, power outputs are 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque; all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission are standard.
There are not many four-door sedans that can match the Panamera Turbo away from the lights and 60mph is achieved in a rapid 3.4-seconds when launch control is used. The slightly heavier extended wheelbase Executive model adds a tenth to that time but any variant is seriously fast and neither the similarly equipped Audi RS7 or the two-wheel drive BMW M6 can match those numbers.
City driving yields a claimed 18mpg while highway estimates are 25mpg which are also class-leading figures.
The Panamera Turbo is available in either Turbo, Sport Turismo (hatchback) or Executive (extended wheelbase) body styles, all are similarly equipped and notable standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, adaptive air suspension, panoramic roof, adaptive rear spoiler, power folding exterior mirrors, full LED lighting system with auto-activating dynamic LED headlights and power rear hatch.
On the inside, 14-way powered front seats, full leather interior with seat heating, cruise control, 14-speaker Bose audio system, surround park assist with rearview camera, 12.3-inch infotainment system with navigation and smartphone connectivity and keyless access are also standard.
Two notable packages are the Premium Plus package which adds lane change assist, front seat ventilation, LED-matrix headlights and soft close doors and the Sport Package which includes rear axle steering with power steering plus, the sport chrono package and a sport exhaust system. A number of these items can be ordered individually too.
A number of standalone options can be chosen too and those wanting a sportier drive can opt for dynamic chassis control with torque vectoring and ceramic composite brakes. There is a Burmester high-end audio system and 18-way power adaptive seats for additional luxury too.
This is in addition to the myriad paint and interior trim options on offer which allow further personalization.
The Porsche Panamera Turbo is the sport luxury sedan to beat in this segment, for 2018 it strengthens its position at the top of the class with a more practical Sport Turismo hatchback derivative.
Performance levels are superb and a wide range of available upgrades further enhance its capabilities, luxury and safety too are out of the top drawer and few shoppers will want for more although perfection does come at a price, especially if you get liberal with the options list.