Why spend so much money and engineering effort on such a highly niche segment?
No longer satisfied by leaving enthusiasts wide-eyed with the holy grail of driving experiences, Porsche has moved onto bigger things, literally. It seems to want to show the world that its engineering team can take on anyone and anything, even if the task is theoretically impossible. By that we’re of course talking about making large cars like executive sedans perform like supercars. Owning vehicles like that seems to be a fetish the well-off like to spend money on, the kind of money Porsche would like in its coffers.
That’s why it’s just given the Panamera Turbo, an impressive 550 horsepower machine in its own right, the Executive treatment. From the outside, it might look long and bulbous enough to be a torpedo, but the twin-turbocharged V8 underneath the hood ensures that it can traverse land like a torpedo cuts through water.
With power being sent through all four wheels, mediated by an eight-speed PDK transmission and given the magical scalpel of rear-axle steering, the Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive defies all logic, performing as well as cars half its size that come with just as much power. That’s done without cutting away at the luxury amenities that make this the car of choice for CEOs and their families to use for a trip to the country club. Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman seems to be impressed by it, but can he pinpoint the faults inherent in a unicorn vehicle that should not exist? Or better yet, can he find justification for its existence in the first place?