The Epitome Of Power And Performance

FACT spent some quality time with the latest generation Porsche Panamera, a truly phenomenal luxury saloon, offering everything one could possibly want in a high-performance sports car.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 14 years since Porsche launched the first generation Panamera. Fast-forward to 2024, and this world-renowned sports car manufacturer has released the G3 (third generation) model, a superbly designed luxury saloon that has car enthusiasts slow clapping all over the world. As Porsche moves toward an all-electric future, it has included new E-Hybrid powertrain models along with a plug-in hybrid option. Fortunately, for those who prefer their sports cars to be petrol-powered, the Panamera 4 and standard Panamera models are also available in the G3 range.

Thanks to the team at Porsche Centre Bahrain, FACT spent time with the brand’s latest masterpiece in the form of the standard Panamera, an auto experience we won’t soon forget.

Updated Exterior

Let’s not beat around the bush. This new release from Porsche is a thing of exquisite beauty.

Although the G3 retains the characteristic lines and proportions of the model line we have come to know and love, several fresh features in the exterior design endow this new sports saloon with an even more expressive and athletic appearance.

Staring at the vehicle head-on, we instantly recognised the car’s sharpened lines and the inclusion of an extra air intake situated above the number plate. This add-on is part of a larger air intake system, securing the additional air required by the drive systems. We also noticed that the wings have been enlarged and are now reminiscent of the iconic 911, providing the vehicle with an even sportier, high-performance look and feel. The contours of the bonnet are now more pronounced, further adding to the car’s powerful persona.

Porsche has also equipped its latest release with standard, steeper-looking, newly developed matrix LED headlights. The appearance of this new inclusion is characterised by four, three-dimensional light modules that generate the characteristic Porsche four-point daytime driving lights. They have been arranged around the central bi-matrix module for dipped beam and matrix high beam. This means the headlights automatically control illumination of the road based on camera and navigation data, as well as vehicle speed. The system also uses the camera function to detect cars ahead and oncoming traffic.

Shifting to the flanks, we appreciated the redesigned window line that reinforces the saloon-like character of this four-door sports car. The outer edges are now flush with the contour of the body, creating a harmonious line at the rear of the vehicle. The 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels have also been included in the setup, enhancing the car’s sporty prowess.

From the back end, we appreciated the three-dimensional rear light, as well as the integrated Porsche logo that further accentuates the car’s dynamic look. A continuous light strip spans the entire rear, with two filigree arcs producing a distinctive light display. The frameless rear window provides a fresh, elegant look, while the sharper tearoff edges on the roof and adaptive extending spoiler endow the Panamera with a decisively cleaner and more athletic appearance.

Refined Interior Layout

The moment we entered the cabin, we were in awe of what the masterminds at Porsche managed to accomplish in the new Panamera. The interior exudes a sense of absolute style, consisting of premium materials, delicate décor and a wealth of modern technical details. All this has been accomplished while placing the primary focus on operating efficiency and a dynamic driving experience.

We found the freshly designed seat surfaces to add to the high-quality, clean and sporty feel of the Panamera, with the front comfort seats providing 14-way electric adjustment and memory functionality.

From the front seating, we could take in the now steeply rising console and the decorative elements of the wide black panel that seamlessly combines the central display with the optional passenger display, into a single elegant unit. Another first in the G3 Panamera is the implemented ambient lighting present across the entire width of the dashboard.

Along with the attractive and comfortable nature of the Panamera, we had nothing but admiration for the Porsche Driver Experience Interior Concept of this latest generation. The designers have attained a perfect balance between digital and analogue controls, achieving optimum placement of primary controls and touchpoints for maximum efficiency and convenience.

Firstly, the gear selector has been moved away from the centre console and is now positioned to the right of the steering wheel, meaning both quicker access and more storage space in the cockpit. To add to the convenient layout, an easy access mode switch for the various driving options is within effortless reach.

We also loved how the dual digital displays have been positioned. These include the 19.9-inch gauge cluster, complete with traditional Porsche dials and the centre touchscreen. A little lower down on the centre console, we discovered numerous touch-sensitive buttons allowing for simple access to the climate control functions. Additionally, our G3 Panamera test-drive model housed the optional 10.9-inch passenger-side display screen interface. This allowed easy access to the car’s infotainment system, as well as video streaming. We soon realised this high-quality display is not visible to the driver, meaning no dangerous distractions while on the road.

Highly Advanced Technology & Performance

As always, our favourite moment of the day was engaging the ignition. The roar that escaped the new Panamera as we revved the powerful 2.9-litre V6, twin-turbo engine was exactly what one wants to hear from a sports car. Grinning from ear to ear like little children, we made our way tentatively onto the tarmac.

Coupled with an eight-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox, we knew we were operating an extremely potent machine. The expert engineers at Porsche have upgraded several elements, including the boost pressure, fuel injection rate and ignition timing to optimise the G3 Panamera’s performance. Generating 260kW of power and up to 500Nm of torque, the slightest touch of the accelerator launched us forward at an almost unsettling rate, leaving us hard-pressed against our seats.

The standard Panamera is capable of surging from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and from 0-200km/h in 20.1 seconds. Add an electronically capped top speed of 272km/h to the equation and you have one beast of a car. These acceleration times are even quicker when Launch Control is engaged.

Knowing full well the power of their latest creation, the masterminds at Porsche have included a hugely impressive hydraulic dual-circuit brake system to ensure the driver has the means to tame this beautiful monster. Combined with an electric brake booster, an electric duo-servo parking brake (EPB), an auto hold function and a multi-collision brake, these highly effective additions meant we always felt we held the reigns over this abundance of horsepower.

As we put the G3 Panamera through its paces, we became keenly aware of the standard adaptive two-valve air suspension that includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and two-valve dampers. We found this inclusion ensured more body stability and handling – characteristics enhanced through the optional all-wheel steering.

“The interior exudes a sense of absolute style, consisting of premium materials, delicate décor and a wealth of modern technical details.”

Superior Driver Assistance & Safety

As is expected from a Porsche, the new Panamera has been equipped with numerous driver assistance and safety systems to aid in the control of the vehicle and maximise the safety of occupants at all times.

The brand has included as standard, the Park Assist system, a reversing camera and a Lane Keeping Assist system. A host of additional assistance systems with an increased range of functions are also available as optional extras.

Our Verdict

The G3 Panamera is nothing less than a motor vehicle masterpiece. Effortlessly combining beauty, comfort, functionality, power and performance, Porsche has accomplished near perfection with this latest offering. ✤