What is it? A new “pure” Turbo S version of the company’s biggest sedan. Previously the Turbo S was available only as the heavier SE Hybrid.
What does it cost? $409,500 plus on-road costs. The SE Hybrid is still available at $11,300 more.
What makes it go? An upgrade of the familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, now producing 463 kW and 820 Nm. With all-wheel drive grip, 0-100 km/h takes just 3.1 seconds. Top speed is quoted as 315 km/h.
Why would you want it? It’s a big, comfortable luxury car, with a lavishly fitted out interior, and a chassis that combines a wonderfully smooth ride with Porsche-level driving dynamics. Indeed, it is stunningly quick and capable for such a large and wide vehicle. The styling has been improved greatly; the Panamera is not the awkward-looking thing it once was. This facelift of the second-gen model also has the latest Porsche user interface for sound, phone, navigation and so on, which is a big improvement.
Why wouldn’t you? Because the all-electric Taycan, although slightly smaller, is newer, fresher, quicker, cheaper and cooler. Or, because you are a typical Australian and would prefer an SUV. The skew here towards the Cayenne (the company’s largest SUV) over Panamera is said to be the highest in the world.
And in conclusion? The Panamera has always been a niche product and has become even more so since the launch of Taycan. Recently, Porsche Australia tried to increase the appeal by reducing the price of the base Panamera to bring it closer to its electric stablemate and, for those needing even more room, introducing the long wheelbase Panamera Executive sedan for the first time in Australia. It’s a special order only proposition.