The Porsche Panamera Gran Turismo is 16.3 feet long, 6.3 feet wide and 4.66 feet tall, with a wheelbase of 9.6 feet. Weight hasn't been disclosed, but its roughly two tons. The most striking detail on the profile shot is the indentations leading from the front fenders, aft of the wheels, into the doors, but the jury is still out on the Panamera's bulbous back end. The slippery shape and low profile gives the sedan a drag coefficient of 0.29, while an electronically actuated rear spoiler will keep things planted at speed.
An electronic air suspension is part of the package, along with an LSD, and power can be sent to either the rear wheels, or all four, depending on the trim level. Motivation will be provided by a range of engines, beginning with 3.6-liter V6 putting out 300 hp, and continuing upwards with the 400 hp, 4.8-liter V8 Panamera S and the Panamera Turbo, packing a twin-turbocharged version of the same bent eight putting out an estimated 500 hp. Power will be sent to Porsche's new PDK dual-clutch gearbox and although a diesel model has been ruled out, a V6-hybrid variant with 350 hp will come along at a later date.
But is it like a Porsche to drive? For the most part, yes. Porsche says the Panamera sits somewhere between a 911 and a Cayenne but, by dint of having a front-mounted engine and weighing all-but two tonnes, it’s more like the SUV than the rear-engined sports car.
There’s no denying its pace though. The Turbo has a twin-turbocharged 4.8-litre V8 and makes 493bhp and 517lb ft. If equipped with the Sports Chrono package of our test car, which includes a launch control function on the standard seven-sped PDK twin-clutch transmission, it’ll hit 62mph from rest in four seconds dead (4.2sec otherwise).
The Turbo’s top whack is claimed at 188mph and I’ve no doubt it’ll hit it with ease. The Panamera Turbo feels an indecently fast car. Its turbos take a little time to spool from lower revs and it never makes a particularly thrilling sound, but keep it in the right gear and you’ll want a true supercar to keep in touch with it.
As such, it needs to be convincingly dynamically better, and feel far higher in quality, than a Jaguar XFR, Mercedes CLS63 AMG or BMW M5 to justify the Turbo’s price tag which is – wait for it – around