Porsche Panamera 4 S 4.8 V8 15 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Panamera lights up a gloomy Glencoe, then impresses workmen; so it can't be bad!


    It’s a Porsche, but not as we know it. A wee while ago the German masters broke the mould of the conventional 911 by creating the 4x4 Cayenne and everyone thought they were crazy. Now it could seem they’ve lost it altogether by producing a four door, four seat coupe … almost everything a Porsche HASN’T been until now. On the face of it, it makes no sense, but all it takes to change your mind is to get behind the wheel and sample its delights. Until I got hold of the test car, I’d only seen photos of the Panamera and couldn’t quite get it.

    When the test car was dropped off, I got it very clearly. The first impression is of its size. It’s huge … like a 911 on steroids. Or it’s as if someone has attached a giant air pump to a 911 and expanded it to one and a half times its normal size. The simple reasoning is to make the Porsche delights more accessible to a wider market, like a family who until now have been restricted by the existing two door options.

    The fabulous 4.8 litre V8 growls at the front

    On the road

    There’s just one word to describe the Panamera – sensational. My few days with the car coincided with a trip from Glasgow to Inverness and I just couldn’t wait to get onto the A9 with it. The performance is breathtaking, shooting from a standing start to 62mph in a mere five seconds. But the stats are only part of the story.

    What’s really impressive is the feel of the car – and the sound of it too. The fabulous 4.8 litre V8 growls at the front, delivering the power to all four wheels while the sports exhaust (a hefty £1736 option) booms out the beat with acoustic delight. If it’s good inside, it’s even better outside. It’s a real head turner as I discovered on my return journey.

    I opted to come back down the side of Loch Ness and let the car stretch its legs through Glencoe and Rannoch Moor. By the side of Loch Lomond, road widening work came to a standstill as the team of contractors spun on their shovels to watch the car go by ... accompanied by an assortment of appreciate ooohs and aaahhhs.

    Comfort & Safety

    It’s delightfully comfortable, safe and secure. The 500 miles I clocked up were effortless yet invigorating, with only one or two little niggles. The car came with the environmentally correct start/stop system which cuts the engine when coming to rest, for example, at lights. You can switch it off, but it automatically resets every time you switch on again. It is really annoying and has very little point in such a car.

    There’s a vast array of switches both in the central console and on the steering wheel, but I really wanted a volume control for the audio system at my fingertips. The sound system is superb, but you have to reach over to the control unit itself to alter the sound when what you really want is to do it with a flick of a finger.

    Should I buy one?

    Absolutely … if you can afford it.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £78,938 / £84,300
    Engine / Power: 4.8-litre V8 / 400bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 5.0secs, Max 175mph
    How big/heavy?: H1418mm  W1931mm  L4970mm / 1860kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 25.4mpg / CO2 260g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 49 / Band M, £435
    Alternatives: Aston Martin Rapide; BMW 6 Series; Merc SL; Maserati Quattroporte

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