You have made it to the most enviable place in life. It is the highest plateau of success but it is not glamourized in movies or television shows. It is the quiet pinnacle of life… you are a successful family man.
The days of all night partying, chasing women and everything that comes with that lifestyle are over. You had a different kind of success back when you were single but the single life can get boring. Now, unconditional love, little league games and family dinners are more your thing. There is a reason people remember the birth of their children as the best day of their lives. For many it can be the first day their life gains a real purpose.
But, being a family man does not mean you suddenly become an entirely different person. You are still a man of good taste, you still enjoy a great bottle of wine and you still have a love for beautiful automobiles. Enter the ultimate reward for being a successful man with a family… the 2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo.
In a perfect world you already have a 911 in the garage (which you are most definitely keeping) and the Panamera will be for family outings in style. When the first generation Panamera was introduced it was clearly a Porsche but there was some debate over just how much of a Porsche it was. Not everyone liked the idea of a “family friendly” version of a 911. Porsche had flirted with the concept before… The 989 was developed between 1988 and 1991 but was never put into production and rightfully so. It was an odd look for a company known for excellence in design.
The next gen Panamera is not only pure Porsche style it is larger, more comfortable and delivers more power than any prior model. We want a Porsche with four doors, not a four-door that happens to have the Porsche badge… and it has arrived.
Although the Panamera comes in several trims it is the Turbo that is the most exciting. The 4.0-liter twin turbo front engine V-8 delivers 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque. That kind of horsepower is strong enough to take the family from Zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds. In order to curtail fuel consumption the V-8 has the ability to seamlessly deactivate four of its cylinders to provide an equally reliable but fuel-efficient ride.
Since we are dealing with a twin turbo its important to talk about how they respond. The Panamera makes use of the new “hot vee” design. The turbos reside between cylinder banks to cut the distance the exhaust gases need to travel from cylinder heads to turbines. This improvement in design means turbo lag is decreased and the car’s center of gravity is slightly lower. The 4S delivers a still impressive 440 horsepower but the Turbo V8’s 550 horsepower make it an absolute monster.
As with any high-powered, high performance automobile traction can be a concern if not appropriately dealt with. Porsche alleviates this with all wheel drive. The Turbo handles its power with smooth confidence. The eight speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is automatic shifting at its finest. Shifts are executed quickly and gracefully.
The roofline on the new Panamera sits lower but gives passengers just as much headroom thanks to the new design’s lowered center. It is a comfortable ride for everyone involved. The rear seats provide ample legroom and comfortable bucket seats. The Panamera delivers on its promise to being a Porsche with real “back seat.”
Should you be concerned this powerhouse is all power and not enough house the air springs are there to ease your mind. The Panamera feels perfectly at home strolling around town as it does at full throttle and contending with corners. If the mighty 4-door Porsche’s competition is the A8, the 7-Series or the S-Class it is far and away something entirely superior. The previously mentioned trio is soft compared to present company.
This world of luxury family transportation would be incomplete if it did not have the best in infotainment… and it does. A 12.3 touchscreen is the mission control all thing information and entertainment complete with Apple CarPlay capability.
Controls for Sport mode, suspension settings and stability control are all located on the center console and require a tangible push to engage despite being virtual buttons. Even closing the center air vent or redirecting airflow is controlled via touchscreen in this modern marvel. While it is not a self-driving car its InnoDrive technology brings it dangerously close. It is an adaptive-cruise-control that reacts to speed limits and uses map data to peer two miles down the road to make shift and speed adjustments. With Sport mode and InnoDrive both active the Panamera will actually take corners, brake and accelerate more aggressively than the average person. It knows what it is capable of and isn’t scared to show you.
Porsche’s new Panamera Turbo is unquestionably built to be the complete package for a sophisticated family man. It takes what worked on the first generation and evolves into something more timeless. It neither looks, feels or drives like anything that is supposed to be in its class. It puts the driver first and gives him the opportunity to invite more than one person along for what is sure to be a superlative driving experience. You will arrive on time and you will arrive in style. I can think of no better way to pull up to a gala, magazine launch party or art exhibition, family in tow and dressed to the nines, than in the latest Porsche Panamera Turbo.
4S – $100,950
Turbo – $147,950
Twin-Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 2.9-liter V-6
Power: 440 hp,
Torque: 405 lb-ft
Twin-Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.0-liter V-8
Power: 550 hp
Torque: 567 lb-ft
8-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode
Zero to 60 mph: 3.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 8.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 11.6 sec
(Top speed: 190 mph)
EPA city/highway: 15-17 mpg
Zero to 60 mph: 4.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 10.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.6 sec
(Top speed: 179 mph)
EPA city/highway: 25-28 mpg