What is it?
A 2013 Panamera S with a new bi-turbo 3.0-litre V6 where the 4.8-litre V8 used to be. Porsche has deemed the old engine too inefficient to continue in any model below the GTS, and has downsized accordingly.
It likes to describe the V6 as a cut-down version of its predecessor, but realistically the new motor is a heavily fettled (and slightly smaller) variant of the naturally aspirated 3.6-litre six-pot that already underpinned the range.
Don’t let that put you off though, because this is another forced-induction, belt-tightening affair that easily eclipses the raw figures of its forerunner.
With two turbochargers running at up to 1.2 bar, a new fuel-injection system and variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust side (the latter being a first in a V engine from Porsche), power surges to 414bhp. That's 109bhp more than the V6, and even 20bhp more than the old V8 managed.
Even better from a Gran Turismo point of view, peak twist now levels out at 383lb ft. That’s as much as you’ll get from the V8 in its current GTS guise, and from 1750rpm earlier. It’s only 22lb ft back from the oil-burning V6 Porsche still sources from Audi.
And while it obviously can’t match that diesel engine’s economy, the bi-turbo - in this, the rear-wheel-driven Panamera - does deliver a respectable 32.5mpg via the now standard seven-speed PDK (sadly, the six-speed manual is no more).