When Porsche originally decided to move forward with the Panamera, a lot of options were on the menu, including a traditional three-box sedan. But there were enough of those in the market, and not so many hatchbacks. Since then, more hatchbacks have joined the luxury arena, including the Audi A7 and the Tesla Model S. But the Panamera stands alone: More spacious than the A7 and more luxurious than the Tesla, it’s a valid contender against the Audi A8, the BMW 7-series, and the Mercedes-Benz S-class, although its shape and dynamics pit it against top versions of the Germans’ sleeker offerings, such as the Audi RS7, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, and Mercedes-AMG CLS63 S.
It looks better—a lot better
The second generation of the Panamera, which Porsche launched at a lavish event in Berlin, takes everything a step forward: It’s slightly bigger, it’s more powerful, it’s said to perform better, and it’s fitted with a cutting-edge man-machine interface. What’s more, it looks better—a lot better. When we rode along on a prototype drive in South Africa earlier this year, we got a sense of the much-improved proportions of the new car. Its roofline has been lowered over the rear passengers, and the shape of the side-window opening resembles that of the 911.
Now the camouflage has been lifted entirely, and we really like what we see. The LED headlights, available in various levels of technical sophistication, look futuristic, and the taillights resemble the 911’s. They stretch all the way across the Panamera’s rear, and the effect is as stunning as it is ultramodern.
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