Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the saying goes, but ugly is to the bone.
The last generation Porsche Panamera had some pretty funky bones.
It wasn't pretty, but it did drive well.
No matter how much [UNKNOWN] it had, there was no Saving it from the fact that it had a face ony its designer could love.
I make no secrets of my disdain for the looks of the Mark One Panamera.
How on Earth someone presented it to a board of people and they said, yeah, that's acceptable, is absolutely Beyond me.
Then again these are the same people who approved the looks of the 996 generation 911 so who knows what they're thinking most of the time.
However now the new Panamera finally has the looks.
It's a match-up to its go.
Unveiled in 2016, Porsche's new Panamera is a stunner.
Its new face makes it look less like an ungainly hippo and more like a stretched 911.
The way its roof line curves towards the rear, its steep headlamps sit happily in its nose.
And it's working great.
Side vent, make it all look right, this is what the Panamera should always have looked like.
Initially even mentioning it's party piece, it's rear wing, what looks like a flat deck lid at the back, raises and it spreads it's wings.
One outlet when it was revealed calls it.
Proper Iron Man stuff, that is paraphrasing slightly, but it's really cool.
I think it's one of my favorite bits of the car.
If I'm left too long with it I may actually break it through overuse.
Then there's the interior.
Now the old car's internals were decent enough but this is other level stuff.
There are few buttons, replaced with touch tech.
So when everything's turned off, you're left with a flat, shiny, fingerprint marked black surface.
It also means that if you, say, didn't tick every box on the options list, you aren't left with ungainly cheapness revealing blank buttons.
And the entertainment screen is so pretty, so crisp, so sharp.
It'll control pretty much everything in the car through this 12 and bit inch screen here.
And then the pinnacle, right here, what happens is there are the traditional Porsche five dials, but only the central one is analog, a hark back to the Porsche's of old.
And that's the rev counter.
So, the two either side, where those display, all manner of information.
It's all pretty impressive.
So it's pretty and the inside's cool.
Your friends in upper management will be impressed enough, but what about the people at the underground street racing scene?
Well, the turbo is standard Porsche silliness so there's a four liter V8 with two turbos that kicks out a ludicrous 542 brake horsepower.
And 567 pound foot, not the 62 says Porsche, a company that criminally under does itself when quoting times, is 3.6 seconds if you've got sport plus on the go.
And it'll top out at 190 miles an hour.
[SOUND] So, it's pretty brisk then, but what's it like to actually drive and be in, and enjoy?
You know how I said that sensor screen was very pretty?
It's also an enormous pain in the bum, because you can control everything from it and there are so few buttons down here You have to control everything through it.
So, if you want to do say the climate control and it controls what zones things come out.
So, you have to press a button and then you [UNKNOWN] around with the display which means if you probably pay attention to the NAV, you can't do that because you got to press a lot of buttons and because this screen is so Shuffing big.
From where I'm sitting and I know I'm not the tallest man in the world, but, I can't actually reach the other side of it, without leaning forward.
I know it's a first world problem, but, I'm sure it's one of those things that you'll get used to, after time.
It's really pretty and it's really high resolution.
There's little cameras and things to press and buttons to do, but.
It's a big pain and then the center console it's just a big black panel that light's up when the car's turned on.
We're not trying ED missed the windscreen if there was a normal button I knew where the position was, I could quite easily Just reach down and do it.
But here what I have to do is I have to, sort of, look down, hope I find the right one.
And then I get a little bit haptic feedback to tell me that what I wanted to do has been done.
Like the screen, it looks amazing.
Everything you need just up here.
But it's a real fuss to use.
There is this whole kind of we should live in a land without buttons without anything like that.
But at the same time they are rather useful, and were invented for a reason.
The dark interior on the [UNKNOWN] on this particular [UNKNOWN] does make it feel quite snug Look inside.
If you expect a lighter color it will feel massive, and it's not by any means a small car.
I gotta say I do prefer the black though because, well I like the fact that it wraps itself around me.
And the cockpit design is really good.
So yeah, it's pretty, the interior's nice.
What about the drive?
The steering Is really lovely.
It's so smooth.
You get great feedback through it.
The PDK gearbox a phenomenal thing as we know.
Porsche knows how to make a PDK.
I will say the turbo is a little bit over sprung for the UK.
I've driven up and down these roads.
Hundreds of times in countless cars, and the drive is a little bit rough.
It's fine on the motor way, but these country lanes you can feel a little bit too much.
Even in comfort mode it is just a little bit too hot.
That said, bang it into sport and you'll be road blast, well it becomes quite entertaining.
The whole thing sharpens up and you get so much more response The size of the car but then you can put it on sport plus and it becomes angrier.
And by angrier I mean more responsive and far, far more entertaining than something this big and this heavy should ever be.
For example shall we give it a little tickle?
We're in fourth.
Down to third, off we go.
[LAUGH] Two turbos on a big V8 made for a happy, happy time.
The kind of acceleration this thing has an offer.
I keep saying it, but I just don't expect cars like this to perform like that.
I know this is a Porsche and I know it's Panamera turbo, it means the pop flight proper quick one, but my god, you are pinned back in your seat.
Like ten years ago, performance like this wouldn't even have been thought of in a car like this, not a 62 takes.
Near as, damn it, three-and-a-half seconds.
That's insane, and yet, every time you wanna do it, it'll let you do it.
And because we've got the little selector thing, we've also have a Sport Response mode, which I like to call the [BLEEP] you button.
There's someone just ahead of me, on the road.
Mm-hm, I can overtake them.
Sport Response, Go!
ha ha ha ha and it trains the car for twenty seconds of balls to the wall, all of the performance overtake that guy before that blind bend or before the other care comes and hits you, or just you know for showing off to your mates which is pretty much what it's for anyway.
But I know what, I'm cool with it.
The speed this can generate, you need brakes that work.
I have every confidence In these.
After repeated uses I've been hammering up and down this road and it just works, the whole thing.
Its a Porsche and you know it's going to be good but this is just that one stage better.
Cranking work Porsche.
When you think of Porsche your mind should instantly jump to the 911, the sports car that spanned over 50 years.
The one that sits on the to own list of petrol heads the world over.
Thing is, Porsche's more sensible products, the Cayenne and Panamera sell enough to keep the 911 going.
Should any of the sane ones be a bit [UNKNOWN] There may be trouble ahead.
Thankfully, this one isn't naff, it's an absolute stonker.
Yeah, it does have flaws but it's definitely out there with the best in its class.
The old one was good Is hideously ugly, but this one is better all around.