The perfect sports sedan

Lausitzring, 19 July 2016

The Porsche Panamera is the fastest sedan in the world. Who said that? Porsche. What do you mean? Now, the second generation of the luxury liner circled the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 38 seconds. For comparison: a few years ago the Porsche 997 GT3 7 minutes and 40 seconds for required the 20,832 km long Eifel course. The German sports car manufacturer at the Lausitzring, near Dresden to a technology workshop invited before the official presentation of the driving. Although I could still not yourself behind the wheel, for I can now extensively report on all technical and optical changes. And that there more than you might suspect. By the way, a short ride there was even.

Visually closer to the 911

First Panamera was still often as the ugliest of the Stuttgart duckling ridiculed or even decried the appearance with the second generation is now much more towards sports car. A flatter roofline, a longer wheelbase, and a "elferischeres" tail turn into an equally chic as sport sedan with distinct Porsche DNA the new Panamera. Porsche is now on a Forebody, which entirely consists of aluminium in car body construction. Also the side walls and the roof are made of lightweight material. So around 14 kg can be saved in these areas weight. More eight kilos each save the two new seats. A real innovation has created Porsche with the doors, opening angle stop and prevent very practical so a unintentional swing up by wind or on the mountain. The retractable rear spoiler can increase its area as already with the predecessor if necessary, but now does that to a greater extent.

Porsche interior of the future

In the Interior a lot has happened also. The new "Porsche advanced cockpit" occupies an important position in the Panamera with a large 12.3 inch touch screen in the center console and two 7-inch displays left and right of the Central tachometer. The large screen with proximity sensor works with so-called "black panel"-areas, which work like the display of a Smartphone zoom and slide included. A capacitive keypad below the large screen controls including the air vents that are now completely without buttons. In General, the number of buttons in the Interior was significantly reduced. The 12.3-inch display can be freely configure in its layout and the layout with various apps and cropping on each driver. Via a Wi-Fi hotspot up to five devices can be with the vehicle, an LTE antenna in the center console provides better reception on the phone. The outdated Infotainment system of its predecessor no trace: the Panamera has taken a big step forward in this area. Also new on board is a night vision Assistant that recognizes animals from the size of a Fox and warns the driver, a collision should initiate.

Matrix LED and "InnoDrive" are intelligent

The new matrix-LED headlights, which is turn the night into day high beams enabled with 96 LED units lighting the way. There are hidden under other oncoming vehicles and overexposed street signs through a camera detection glare. As a further development of the Abstandsregeltempomaten "Adaptive Cruise Control" is the so-called "InnoDrive" in the new Panamera at the start. It is calculated with help from vehicle sensors and predictive route data from one algorithm twice in the second, what looks like the optimal driving strategy for the lowest consumption. This speeds up and slows the car independently. The system can plan ahead up to three kilometres and is laid out on country roads and on motorways.

Only turbos and a strapping diesel

Even when the drives there to report new. As with Boxster, Cayman and 911 is the Panamera in the next generation with supercharged engines only. The base represents the 4S with a 2.9 liter V6 bi turbo, which produces 440 HP and 550 Newton metres of torque. The 4S-Diesel is a 4.0 liter V8 bi turbo, which originates in the principle of Audi. With 422 HP and massive 850 Newton metres of torque, also this engine should provide for more than ordinary driving. The top aggregate works in the Panamera Turbo: provide four liters of displacement in a twin-turbo V8 550 HP and 770 nm. These are 30 HP and 70 nm longer than with its predecessor. Consumption should fall in an average of 1,1 litre. For the first time, while walking the two turbochargers in the so-called "hot V" inside of the engine and sit directly on the manifolds. The air supply is realized Bank-side and for the first time a cylinder shut-off is used. The block is about 15 percent lighter than even in the predecessor and was equipped with coated cylinder running tracks to better durability. This result a minimal wear, a low oil consumption and high robustness. The Panamera Turbo sprints thanks to four-wheel drive and PDK in 3.6 seconds from standstill to 100. Just to recap: we are talking about a full-fledged luxury sedan with a weight of just under two tons.

Completely new PDK transmission

However, the most important change in the drive is the completely new PDK transmission. Now eight instead of seven-course six full plus two overdrives the gang spread to be better suitable for comfort and top speed. This Porsche is based on two wet clutches and for the first time a "Full Shift by Wire" System. Thanks to the design as a four-shaft transmission gears can be placed together six and eight, five and seven shrinks the PDK to about 14 centimeters in length. As a result, lengths neutral hybridization can be realized in the future. In addition, the second generation of the PDK by 28 percent to be more effective than the previously built-up transmission.

Adaptive air suspension and "4 d chassis control"

With a longer wheelbase and wider tires the new Panamera should represent driving dynamics an evolution of its predecessor. The chassis is in the Turbo works with new monotube dampers and a three-Chamber Adaptive air suspension. The rear suspension has been completely redeveloped and is designed as a four-link axle. The chassis changes to further promote spreads between performance and comfort. A rear axle steering on board is optional for the first time in the Panamera. The three-Chamber system of the air suspension provides three spring rates per axis dynamically switched depending on driving mode and situation. The minimum spring rate is 14 Newton per millimeter in comfort mode, the maximum 36 Newton per millimeter in sport plus mode. With a volume of 4.1 litres of air, the monotube shock absorbers are 60 percent larger than even in the predecessor. The electro-mechanical steering, which should make for a good feedback and high driving comfort is new. The rear axle steering, which is found in many 911 models, shortened or extended the wheelbase depending on the situation virtually and ensures more handiness or stability depending on the need. All chassis components are networked by the so-called "4D-Chassis-Control", creating the "ideal conditions for the way to the intelligent chassis" according to Porsche.

A short ride impression

So, enough of the gray theory. Although Porsche left me still is not in the control of the date for the presentation of driving until the end of August but still got a ride on the Eurospeedway Lausitzring. With the Panamera Turbo together with optional ten piston carbon ceramic brake, it went several laps of the circuit. How it felt: impressive. If the difference to the predecessor of the passenger seat is difficult to feel, the Panamera could ever show, why he the fastest sedan in the world and is definitely a true Porsche. A superbly tuned chassis, brutal braking and a huge swipe powerful engine: I can't wait, even behind the wheel and to be able to learn both performance and comfort. (mf)