: Panamera Turbo

09-21-09, 02:28 AM
One of the advantages of living in Atlanta is that PCNA is located here, so we get to see Porsches in the USA before everyone else does. At my monthly PCA club meeting last week, we were fortunate to have a Panamera Turbo on display, the very same one that was displayed at the recent CEDIA show (also in Atlanta this year), to show off it's (optional) Burmeister sound system. Our club got to see the Panamera S last month at another function, and I reported on that car in another thread. In short, I don't think we have anything to worry about.

This car was in Yachting Blue, with a two-tone Cream (white) and blue interior, with dark gray Birch wood. It was kind of hard to tell about the exterior color, because it was very overcast that day, plus it was getting towards dusk. It was on the optional 19" wheels, which did the car no favors. We got a demo of the folding rear spoiler, which was interesting, but not very attractive, and I would worry about longevity. It's looks, at least while static, were still pretty unfortunate, especially around the ass. There weren't many neat touches, either, except maybe the shape of the LED running lights, which I don't think look as good as our light pipes. Ditto for the rear lights. I did get to watch the car drive off, and it does look much better in motion. Later that night, I was stopped at a traffic light in Buckhead, and saw another Panamera cross in front of me, and it also looked better than when it was static (I think it was the same silver one I saw last month).

The interior did look very good. The doors have detentless door holding, a nice touch. It's very solid, as expected. The color combo looked great, though we all worried about the white upholstery, and also the white carpet. This car had the 14 way ventilated seats (optional), and they did seem more comfortable that the ones in the "S". The entire interior is wrapped in leather, there is lots of attractive wood, and nice metallic trim everywhere. It does look expensive while remaining sporty, as opposed to MB S-class or Bentley, for instance. It's maybe more contemporary than the Maserati Quattroporte, but not necessarily better. This car had the optional adjustable and ventilated rear seats, which were also more comfortable than the ones on the "S". It does have more rear headroom than the V, but I think the legroom is comparable. The trunk had the cargo shelf in place, and it looks somewhat smaller than the V, though of course it can be folded, and it is a hatch, which could be handy, though not with the seats up and tray in place.

Ergonomically, it's really a disaster. There were so many buttons, and it wasn't obvious what all of them did. This car lacked any performance options save the $245 Servotronic steering. The other suspension, sport exhaust, and sport chrono packages would just add more buttons. The NAV and audio system were accessed by a mix of buttons and touch screen (7"), but more confusing than the Cadillac system. The Burmeister sound system sounded good on a CD (but so does the V), but it didn't sound any better on XM ($750!!!) than ours does. Plus, USB is $400, and a CD changer is also extra (no hard drive), as is bluetooth. Rear visibility, especially to the sides, is still terrible, and the paddleshifters still suck.

This car lacked all performance enhancing options, and was not extravagant in the interior options that it did have, yet this one listed for a breathtaking $153,000!!! The car that Walter Rohrl unofficially broke the V's 'Ring record in has the Ceramic brakes with mandatory 20" wheels, together more than $10,000, plus the Sport Chrono Package ($2000) which adds more power (temporarily) and launch control. They also offer adjustable sway bars and a sport exhaust, but no mention was made of these options on his car (I bet it had the sway bars, though). The car that I sat in would not be as fast as the 'Ring car, for sure.

So, twice as much money (or more), but definitely not twice as much car as the V. It's a very nice car, for sure, but it's still ugly, and it's VERY expensive. Two days later, I was retrieving my car from the valet at an expensive midtown restaurant, and as I was climbing in, he said "that's the nicest car I've driven, EVER". 'Nuff said!

09-21-09, 03:26 AM
Good to hear, I hope lutz punishes the Jalopnik guy with the V. I didn't think the Panamera would challenge the V, and even if it did... it would be prohibitively expensive. No one else took him up on the challenge so the V is still King of the sport sedans... at least for a little while.