- Published: Tuesday, 21 March 2017 16:41
Porsche stretches the limits of luxury sports limos with the 550bhp Panamera Turbo Executive
Cape Town, South Africa -
With the new second-gen Panamera launching in Singapore this week, it's a good time to highlight the new 'Executive' variant of the series.
Although the ‘Executive’ has been available since the first generation Panamera, it’s only with the Gen-2 that this variant will arrive on our shores, and in a variety of four model choices no less, which includes this fire-breathing Turbo.
‘Executive’ is Porsche-speak for its long-wheelbase model, but it’s not just about the 150mm extension to the regular car’s wheelbase, or the simple matter of just lengthening the car, because the Executive has been redesigned to be as balanced and beautifully proportioned as the shorter version.
Apart from subtle trim niceties, the ‘Executive’ brings with it greater rear comfort and a bunch of premium comfort equipment that includes an expansive panoramic roof and the option for rear-seat entertainment.
Now, even if the first gen model already featured it, the Gen-2 Turbo has enjoyed a huge buzz on the Internet thanks to its dramatic ‘Transformer’-style three-part rear spoiler - it became one of our most watched videos ever online. In keeping with the trend towards downsized everything, the V8 at the heart of the Turbo now displaces ‘just’ 4.0-litres (800cc down from before), but natural selection also means the survival of the fittest, which is why the engine is lighter (by almost 10kg), more efficient and more powerful (+30bhp/+70Nm) than its predecessor.
Like a lot of the new breed of turbocharged monsters, the Panamera Turbo’s ‘turbos’ are located in a hot-in-the-V formation, where the twin-scroll turbochargers are positioned between the cylinder banks for a more compact package and quicker responses to the driver’s demands.
It may be a big car pushing two-over tonnes but it’s certainly no slouch. Give it some gas and the Turbo Executive will slingshot itself to 100km/h from standstill in under four seconds before zeroing in on the 306km/h top speed. Like the M760Li xDrive we also drive this issue, the Turbo’s all-wheel drivetrain with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and PDCC Sport is supplemented by rear axle steering, which has been adapted from the 911 Turbo and 918 Spyder.
This translates to the cornering agility of a much shorter wheelbase car at lower speeds as the rear wheels steer in an opposing direction to the front, but stability at higher speeds where the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front.
The gobstopping amount of torque and instant responses of the engine to gas pedal prods works with the Turbo Executive’s natural agility to create a package that is stupendously fast on both highway, winding road and believe it or not, the track. To put its pace in perspective, the non-Executive Turbo has been clocked around the ‘Ring in 7 minutes 38 seconds. Now is that the sort of firepower you’d want to share with anybody?
Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive
Engine 3,996cc, 32V, V8, twin-turbo
Power 550bhp at 5750-6000rpm
Torque 770Nm at 1960-4500rpm
Gearbox 8-speed dual-clutch
Top Speed 306km/h
0-100kmh 3.7 seconds
Fuel efficiency 9.5L/100km
Availability March 2017