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4-door Gran Turismo is back

4-door Gran Turismo is back

Botchi Santos

Porsche Philippines has unveiled the latest four-door Gran Turismo coupe. Internally code-named the 972, the latest Panamera amps up the traditionally evolutionary design theme of Porsches. Overall, the new Panamera is sharper, more chiseled and angular. The front end has a slightly smaller frontal area and the front bumper gains an extra inlet above the license plate mount to feed more air. New angular headlights with optional HD matrix LEDs are available, reminiscent of the upcoming Macan EV and the Porsche Boxster and Cayman. There are new wheel designs present, too, in staggered, 20-inch all the way, to optional 22-inches. At the rear, the full-length 3D effect tail light remains, but there’s more blockiness, more chunk in the rear bumpers and overhang.

Perhaps the most controversial design feature in the past of the Panamera was its hatchback. Today the ungainly rear hump is gone, replaced by a sexy and svelte sloping rear fastback. That alone makes the all-new Panamera a million times more desirable. A quick glance from a distance will easily have you mistaking the Panamera for the sexy Taycan or even the iconic 911 thanks to its now sexy silhouette. Beneath that sexy fastback is a handy 495 liters of cargo space. You can fit a golf bag sideways, or two bags in T-formation by dropping one of the 40/20/40 split folding seats.

Inside, the Panamera eschews the traditional dash and the analog instrument cluster. It now sports a dash architecture very similar to contemporary Porsches with two large LCD screens: a 12.6-inch display for the driver’s primary instrument cluster, and a 10.9-inch display for the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled infotainment system. An optional 3rd LCD screen for the front passenger measuring an equal 10.9 inches is also available allowing them to control entertainment, climate control and communications settings. A BOSE surround sound system is standard. Overall, much more modern and arguably more relevant and attractive to a wider, more tech-savvy target audience. Leave the Porsche traditionalists to their 911s, Caymans and Boxsters.

And just like the Taycan EV and latest Cayenne, the gearshift lever moves to the dashboard. Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel give added control to for the 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Stopwatch in the middle of the dash tells you that the Sport Chrono package is fitted into local units. Rich 14-way adjustable (for the fronts) leather seats covered in deep red is standard, but you can indent-order your personalized unit with different shade of exterior, as well as interior combination. An electronic folding rear and rear passenger window sunshades, soft-closing vacuum doors, and a four-zone climate control system round out the interior features.

The heart of the Panamera is a 2.9-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine outputting a very acceptable 353 horsepower, and more importantly, 500 Newton-Meters of torque. There will be a V8 Turbo and hybrid variants, plus all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering available in the future. A 75-liter fuel tank gives the Panamera its proper Gran Turismo long legs.

Dynamically, the Panamera’s other major difference is the dual-valve dampers with two-chamber air springs, a technology used in other VW Group models like the new Bentley Continental and Lamborghini Urus. This endows the Porsche Active Suspension Management or PASM a better, more supple and luxurious ride without giving up the handling, balance and finesse all Porsches are known for. There is a total of 3.5 inches in variance from the Panamera’s lowest dynamic setting to its tallest ride height, meant for rough roads and steep ramps. It can rise as much as 2.2 inches up also for easy entry and exit, and lower itself by as much as 1.3 inches closer to the ground for better aerodynamics, handling, and responsiveness.

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Lastly, the brakes, always a strong Porsche suit, are more than enough to tame the 1,952kg curb weight, with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers clamping down on 360mm front and 330mm rear rotors.

Despite its considerable size, the Panamera had that magic quality of seemingly shrinking in size when the road beckons, always putting a smile on your face, yet offering considerably more space, comfort and refinement for the daily commute through traffic.

Want the comfort of a modern luxury car, the timeless silhouette of a 911, and the driving dynamics of a proper sports car? The Porsche Panamera has the perfect amount of everything for all your needs.