It’s almost frightening how effortlessly triple-digit speeds are achieved. It’s not just the silken power delivery of its eye-watering 568 lb-ft of torque; the Turbo’s a marvel of engineering technology, all of it working together to produce phenomenal composure and grip.
The adaptive air suspension system features the Porsche Active Suspension Management System (PASM), which monitors road conditions and continuously regulates each individual wheel according to the situation. A new three-chamber air spring now allows a greater range of flexibility depending on which drive mode is selected – choose “Sport Plus” and it’s nearly track-day firm. The air suspension can also raise the chassis 20 mm for clearance, or lower it for track days up to 28 mm in front and 20mm behind to improve dynamics.
New rear-axle steering adds 2.8 degrees of angle adjustment to the rear wheels: turning opposite to the fronts at low speeds to reduce turning circles, and in the same direction at the front wheels over 50km/h to enhance stability and cornering ability at speed.
Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control adds a an electronically controlled rear differential lock for more traction while accelerating out of turns, and brake-generated torque vectoring (PTV) for more agile turn-in.
All these technologies are now governed by a central control system called “Integrated Porsche 4-D Chassis Control” which continually accumulates data and makes it available to the other chassis systems.
The upgraded steering now offers a decent amount of feedback and heft, which is crucial in a large car capable of such prodigious bursts of speed.
The result is a car that’s supremely capable both on the straight and through the turns. In Sport Plus, the chassis firms and the Turbo S hunkers down on the road, yet the suspension remains supple enough to absorb rough tarmac with no jarring. Visibility down the long hood is excellent, and combined with its excellent grip, imparts the driver with a sense of confident well-being.
While it probably won’t lure the die-hards away from their 911s, the Panamera is now the car it was always intended to be: a true, 4-door sports car.
Arriving in Canada in early 2017, the Panamera 4S starts at $114,300, and $167,700 for the Panamera Turbo.