Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive Review
- Published On: 30 March 2017
- 4 min read
Is Porsche’s long-wheelbase Panamera Turbo Executive the ideal chauffeur-driven luxury sports sedan?
Common-sight in China, long-wheelbase cars tend to do well in countries with a culture of being chauffeur-driven. In fact, luxury carmakers don’t even bother offering models with the standard wheelbase in markets such as these. The Indian market’s requirement is very similar to the Chinese. Carmakers have acknowledged this and, in their quest to indulge owners, have introduced long-wheelbase variants cars in their line-up. Cue Porsche’s Panamera Turbo Executive.
This is also the first time the car’s available in right-hand-drive, which makes it possible for Indian customers to buy one. But should you buy one?
On the inside
The standard Panamera has a decent amount of space in the back to begin with, but the Turbo Executive has legroom that rivals the Mercedes S-class and BMW’s 7-series. It comes loaded with goodies like a panoramic roof, special ambient interior lighting, soft-close doors, 10.1-inch infotainment screens and electrically reclining seats that come with two fold-out tables to give you an executive jet ambience.
And even though there’s enough space on offer, you can’t really lounge in the Panamera’s deeply contoured and sporty rear buckets as you would in an S-class. The slim windows, sloping roofline and tall front seats don’t give you the same airy ambience either. The truth is that the Turbo Executive is not the ideal car to be driven around in. It’s for someone who sits in the back seat occasionally. The only place to be in any Porsche is in the driver’s seat and the Panamera is no exception. Sit in the perfectly bolstered driver’s seat and you tend to forget that there’s a pair of seats and a big boot in the back.
The sea of tiny buttons from the previous Panamera have made way for touch-sensitive controls. What truly stands out here is the infotainment system. The ultra-high-definition display, the haptic feedback and the unintimidating way in which the huge number of functions can be quickly accessed make this 12.3-inch-wide touchscreen a delight and less of a distraction to use. Porsche’s tradition of a five-dial instrument cluster continues in the Panamera but four of these dials are digital, except for the large, central tachometer which continues to be analogue.
Engine include a base 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6, a mighty 4.0-litre V8 diesel and the top-of-the-range (for now) Turbo which gets a brand-new, compact 4.0-litre V8 petrol that puts out 550hp. The Panamera Executive has been launched in India in the Turbo avatar. Though it doesn’t sound particularly potent, there’s a nice burble at idle and low speeds. The engine note doesn’t crescendo dramatically as the revs rise as you’d expect. The rather muted engine note also dulls the sensation of speed, which makes the Turbo Executive deceptively quick.
Step on the gas and the Panamera rockets off – you won’t believe it weighs 2,100kg. With maximum torque at a colossal 770Nm developed at 1,960rpm, there’s instant response in any gear, at any revs, and at any speed. The colossal grip, the rock-solid stability, and minimal steering corrections remove any drama through corners.
Indian customers will be pleasantly surprised with the impressive ride quality the Panamera’s air suspension delivers. There’s an underlying firmness to the ride no doubt, even in Normal mode, but the way it rounded off sharp edges and some broken bits of tarmac bode well for a certain level of comfort.
Is it worth the money>With a price-tag of ₹2.06 crore (ex-showroom, Maharashtra), the Panamera Turbo Executive sounds too expensive and hard-core for a lot of buyers. But for the true enthusiast, there’s no other sports sedan that is as spacious and, at the same time, can be thrown around bends in grin-inducing fashion.