2013 Porsche Panamera review, test drive

    Our first impressions of the updated 2013 Porsche Panamera diesel.

    Published on Oct 10, 2013 12:01:00 AM


    Make : Porsche
    Model : Panamera

    Porsche has just launched the facelifted Panamera in India and it brings with it, a whole host of changes.

    The updates to the exterior are quite hard to spot though. Look closely and you’ll see larger air intakes and a slight tweak to the headlights that now include LED daytime running lamps. The side sills are restyled, the rear windscreen is now more swept back and the boot lid is new as well. Most noticeable though is the licence plate bracket that’s been moved a bit lower. A tighter tail-light design and a wider spoiler complete the facelift. But the odd, boat-like dimensions are retained. It’s an unusually long car and still isn’t as elegant to look at as the Aston Martin Rapide or a BMW Gran Coupe. What the Panamera has is a sporty stance and you won’t mistake it for anything but a Porsche.

    There are five variants on offer -- four petrols and one diesel  -- the base Panamera and Panamera 4 come with a 3.6-litre V6, the GTS has a V8 and the Turbo gets a turbocharged V8. Last and certainly not the least, there's the Panamera diesel which gets an Audi-sourced 3.0-litre V6 which is what we got to drive. 

    Under the skin, the front suspension gets larger chassis mounts for added stiffness, the steering gear bearings have been improved for better off-center response, there's newly developed tyres, lighter 18-inch wheels and improved software for the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system. And, all Panameras, except the base V6, now get air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management.

    Start the diesel and you'll be impressed with its refinement. There’s no hint of diesel motor rattle, there’s very little vibration, and even when you rev it, it is unbelievably smooth.

    With 56kgm of torque, the oil-burner makes light work of pulling the 1770kg kerb weight. Normal driving conditions need only a gentle dab on the throttle, and even that is good enough to have you scooting forward in that effortless manner. The motor has a very wide powerband and that, combined with the perfectly weighted controls, makes the Panamera very easy to drive even in traffic. The V6 motor's linear power delivery only adds to the overall driving experience. Credit goes to the excellent eight-speed auto 'box too. It's smooth when it has to be and when you require a sudden burst of acceleration, it is very quick to respond as well. It also helps that you are given paddle shifters which, in both Sport and Comfort settings, are nice to use. Performance is strong, with 100kph coming up in a rapid 6.6sec. Performance continues unabated further up the powerband as well and, despite its girth, 200kph comes up in 26.9sec. 



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