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Over the years, we’ve driven the Panamera across an eclectic mix of terrain – from the tortuous twists of the Harz mountains to Germany’s unrestricted autobahns. Across Lebanon in one hit from the beach to mountain-top, and around one of the region’s Grand Prix circuits. On each occasion, the Panamera behaved impeccably – with faultless precision. When something is this good, many would be tempted to leave it as it is – but this isn’t the way of the automobile industry today, and has never been Porsche’s style. For 2017, our favourite Gran Turismo just got better.

For a real-world test, we got the chance to take the new Panamera 4S out onto the streets of the city of Kuwait. No mountains, no hairpin bends, no opportunities to open the throttle and test the close to 289km/h maximum speed (we promise we didn’t!); instead speed bumps, potholes, drain covers and heavy traffic. Yet, here we found the Panamera to be just as much in its element – again impeccable, faultless and, above all, silky-smooth as it floated above the worst this urban jungle’s roads could throw at it. Does it cosset? Does it make its passengers feel they’re in a world of their own? Yes – in bucket loads.

Why is it so good? The new Porsche Panamera was developed for sports car drivers who appreciate four doors and four seats. And for saloon drivers who prefer sporty handling. Opposites which the Panamera reconciles in superior style. It is a sports car and luxury saloon in one – Gran Turismo rethought and realigned. The second generation Panamera is the performance icon of the luxury class. To accomplish this, Porsche has systematically improved the Panamera concept – with a four-door car that has been redesigned and restyled down to the last detail. Its engines and transmissions have been re-engineered, its chassis perfected, and its display and control concept reinterpreted for the future with multi-touch gesture control. The new Panamera once again extends the boundaries between an ambitious sports car and a comfortable cruising car with technical highlights such as rear axle steering, electromechanical roll stabilisation, and a three-chamber air suspension.

Concept
Four-door sports car. The four-seat Gran Turismo concept combines the performance of a high-performance sports car with the comfort of a luxury saloon. The tailgate, folding rear seat backrests and up to 1,304 litres of luggage volume make the Panamera the most versatile model in its class.

Design
New evolutionary stage of the Panamera concept. Expressively designed – and body with extended, dynamic proportions, flared shoulders, athletic flanks, and a much faster roofline. This “flyline” which is typical of Porsche cars creates a stylistic link to the 911 design icon. Body in aluminium/steel hybrid construction: door panels, bonnet, boot lid, wings, side panels and roof all consist of aluminium.

Powertrain
Three new twin-turbo engines. Panamera 4S: 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine with 324 kW (440 hp). Panamera Turbo: 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with 404 kW (550 hp). Panamera 4S Diesel: 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine with 310 kW (422 hp). New Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) with eight speeds and all-wheel drive for all models

Chassis
The broad spread between performance and comfort sets standards in the luxury segment. New features include rear axle steering, three-chamber air suspension, the electromechanical roll stabilisation system Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) as well as networking of all chassis systems via 4D Chassis Control.

Electrics and electronics
New Porsche Advanced Cockpit and state-of-the-art connectivity. Black panel surfaces and interactive displays combine the visuality and intuitive operation of smartphones with the practical aspects of controlling an automobile. New LED Matrix headlights and new assistance systems such as InnoDrive and Night Vision Assist. Features
Standard: 19-inch (4S and 4S Diesel) and 20-inch wheels (Turbo), LED headlights and LED headlights including Porsche Dynamic Light System (Turbo), LED rear lights, rain sensor, automatic boot lid, Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with online navigation and Porsche Connect Plus (online services and app networking with smartphone), 150-watt sound system, keyless engine starting system, part-leather seats (4S and 4S Diesel) or all-leather upholstery (Turbo).

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