The stability systems offer various degrees of control. Döllner grins when he says that in Sport mode during winter testing, the Panamera will happily sit at a 45deg angle on a skid pan.
Despite the significant increase in technology and safety equipment, there has been little or no increase in weight.
The detailed work to keep the mass down includes the use of aluminium in the bodywork, engine blocks (with the petrols) and even the wiring loom, although the structure is largely steel.
Overall, the body is around 30% stiffer than the G1 Panamera, which benefits both dynamics and refinement.
In conjunction with improved stiffness and the benefits that brings, Porsche has worked extensively on the packaging. Döllner admits that access to the luggage space on the old car was an issue.
The opening to the boot is now a far more useful shape and boot space has increased by 50 litres, helped by the way the rear pop-up spoiler has been engineered in the bootlid.
Passenger space is improved, too, with more head room, thanks to a lowering of the H-point by about 10mm and a slight increase in the wheelbase.
The roofline has dropped at the back, to the benefit of the Panamera’s looks, but the lower seats offset that and the interior feels far more spacious than before.
Access to the rear seats is also easier, which will be surely appreciated by anyone who has ever clambered in the back of the current Panamera.
The instruments and infotainment are vastly improved; Porsche’s typical rev counter-dominated instrumentation is supplemented by screens with customisable information on either side, and a central touch and button-operated main screen.
It’s a significant advance on the outgoing G1. Perceived interior quality – excepting the odd patchy, pre-production part scattered about the cabin – has been raised, too.
Customers will benefit from what has been learned here in South Africa, too.
On production cars, the air-con fan will be quieter on its fastest setting, there will be less road noise and some suspension tweaks, and the finer aspects of the eight-speed PDK’s controls will be recalibrated to reduce a degree of driveline shunt that’s sometimes apparent in traffic – the same traffic that caused the heat and necessitated that air-con fan to run at full tilt.
There’s method in this global testing madness and every drive helps to make the Panamera as good as it can be.
As Döllner says: “The Panamera fits into a very specific niche and that’s where we have to stay.”
It looks like that’s exactly what they’ve achieved, while making it faster still, more efficient and with greater refinement.