2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive Review
More Executive to the already Executive Sports Sedan
Porsche’s Panamera line-up has expanded once again to include a pair of long wheelbase models designed to cater to those buyers looking to maximize comfort and perhaps, as the name applies, use these rolling masterpieces as mobile offices.
Story and photos by Russell Purcell
There are three separate versions of the Executive mode. In order of performance potency from quick, to ultra quick, the three variants are based on the Panamera 4S, the Panamera Turbo, or the pinnacle, the Panamera Turbo S. This means that the cars come outfitted with most of the company’s technological and luxury equipment as standard fare, as well as the means to outperform most sports cars in the handling and performance department.
The car has been lengthened by 15 centimetres (6 inches), but visually it appears to be much more, as the rear windows look enormous, as does the stretched roofline. All of this new real estate has been incorporated into the rear passenger compartment, which is spacious enough to make the two passengers feel like they are riding in a limousine. Legroom is expansive and my size 13 feet were pleasantly surprised by the extra wiggle room offered in the foot well.
The 2014 Panamera Turbo Executive features a potent 4.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V-8 under its long hood. Porsche’s automobiles are designed for performance, so it should come as no surprise that this engine puts out a healthy 520-horsepower and 512 lb.-ft. of torque. For those consumers looking to outfit the car to its true potential, it can be ordered fitted with the Sport Chrono Package for an extra $2,910, which boosts torque levels to a stump-pulling 568 lb.-ft! This is more than enough power to motivate this 2,070 kilogram cruise ship from 0-100 km/h in a mere 4.0 seconds!
The Panamera Turbo Executive utilizes Porsche’s phenomenal seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission. This marvel of engineering is capable of executing gear changes faster than just about any transmission in the world, and has been optimized to allow the driver to extract the most from the engine’s wide power band.
Acceleration is impressive as the twin turbochargers spool up almost instantaneously and the transmission rockets up through the gears striving to keep the rumbling V8 engine operating within its very wide sweet spot. A healthy dose of torque is readily available whenever the need arises, so the execution of passing manoeuvres and the occasional on-ramp drag race become stress free operations. The Panamera Turbo Executive may appear heavy and awkward, but it sure moves like a sports car.
Surprisingly, for such a long car, the Turbo Executive is nimble through tight curves. The car maintains a precise line and always tracking straight and true, exhibiting only a hint of body roll. Much of this road-holding magic can be attributed to Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. When equipped with the optional Adaptive Air Suspension with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), the enthusiastic driver is able to finely tune the suspension and sway bars to best suit the driving conditions and sporting intentions of the driver. When it comes time to rein in the fun, the Executive’s big, beefy brakes react so quickly that they catch you off guard at first. Pedal response is positive and confidence inspiring, and these big binders seem to resist fading.
The Panamera Turbo Executive is equipped with a high-performance all-wheel-drive system. Power delivery to all four wheels is a treat whether exploring the car’s handling limits at the track, or carving your way through fresh snow over a slippery road surface. This proven platform features a clever torque vectoring system (designed to direct power to the wheel appropriate for trajectory and traction) and an electronically locking rear differential.
Like all Panamera models, the Turbo Executive provides very luxurious seating for four adults, and all seating positions have been designed for spirited driving as well as comfort. The two rear seats feature a bucket design similar to those up front, which helps give the passenger cabin a very unique and exclusive look.
[quote] The car maintains a precise line and always tracking straight and true, exhibiting only a hint of body roll.[/quote]
Rear seats are heated and cooled for passenger comfort, and independent climate controls give the passenger control over their individual environment. Power operated privacy screens offer shade from prying eyes and harmful solar rays.
The modern interior design layout first featured in the Panamera has now been incorporated into lesser Porsche models, so I found myself immediately at home when behind the wheel. The wide center console is home to a wide array of controls and buttons, but you will be amazed at how quickly their placement and various functions become intuitive to use. The car’s shifter features a comfy grip, and manual shifting can be executed via the side shift gate or by using the paddle controls.
Audiophiles will appreciate the Bose engineered surround sound audio system which features 14 speakers and 585 watts of clean power. The Porsche Communication Management system includes the company’s latest navigation system, and incorporates a seven-inch colour touch screen which worked very well. The center armrest features a 12-volt power port as well as an auxiliary input as well as a USB port for connecting portable electronic devices.
Despite the fact the Panamera Turbo Executive offers limousine-like comfort in the rear passenger cabin I sense that most people would rather be behind the wheel. Designed with a true cockpit layout, drivers will notice that all the gauges, and the majority of the controls, are within easy reach of both hand and eye.
My test vehicle came equipped with the aforementioned Sport Chrono Package which places a compact lap timer in a recess atop the center of the dash. This innovative device allows the driver to customize throttle-mapping, chassis tuning, and stability and traction systems. It also increases steering response and offers a nifty Launch Control function. When operating the car in Sport (or Sport Plus) mode the engine mapping and gearbox become optimized for high-performance rather than fuel efficiency.
Porsche’s three-mode, adaptive air suspension is on board as standard equipment. This quick acting system gives the driver the ability to raise the car at the touch of a button if they find the need to clear snow or shallow road debris, or conversely, to lower the car to allow for more efficient ingress or egress.
There is no shortage of cargo room as the rear seatbacks fold forward to extend the size of the cargo area to permit the transport of long and bulky items.
The 2014 Panamera Turbo Executive represents a new level of comfort and luxury for the Porsche brand. As a result, it carries a hefty price tag and an air of exclusivity. But for those individuals fortunate enough to own one, you will be the envy of the block.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS Review
2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive Technical Specs
Base Price (MSRP): $184,100
Price as tested: $204,965
Type: 5-door, 4-passenger luxury sedan.
Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Engine: 4.8-litre twin-turbocharged V-8
Horsepower: 520 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 516 @ 2,250 rpm (boosted to 568 with Sport Chrono Package- $2,910)
Transmission: 7-Speed PDK automatic
Top speed: 305 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 4.0 s
Fuel economy [L/100 km]: City 13.8 L (20.5 mpg); Hwy 8.3 L (34.0 mpg)
2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive Gallery: