You could even call it the final jigsaw puzzle piece if you consider how much more dynamically accomplished the second-generation Panamera is than the first was, and how much more star quality is contained within its range of engines.
The simple fact that the Sport Turismo no longer seems so desperate to be mistaken for some curious, overgrown four-door 911, thanks to its elongated profile and windowline and smart, raked D-pillars. These make all the difference.
Unleashing the Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo
To drive, the Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo caters to the duality required of a sporting GT car superbly well.
When we road-tested the Panamera 4S Diesel, we praised an air suspension system capable of mixing a pleasing layer of ride comfort and isolation with unusually good close body control and an encouraging and consistent sense of connectedness with the surface of the road.
This car achieves precisely the same trick. Its relative superiority on handling precision and poise, roll control, steering weight and feedback and overall driver engagement over cars of the Audi RS6's ilk is quite clear; and yet it’s not produced without a sense of suppleness and quiet from the ride, or without assured all-wheel-drive traction or big-car stability.
Whether you want to stride quickly through the miles or lose yourself in the detail of every successive corner, the Panamera is singularly well placed to oblige you.
Porsche’s new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 (all-new for the Panamera, destined for service in the next Bentley Continental GT) is a rich and enticing motor, great to listen to and appealing in so many modes of use.
It doesn’t deliver this car a turn of pace quite as ridiculously urgent as the new E63 S, nor even quite as savage as Audi’s latest bigger RS cars, and given the Panamera Turbo’s price positioning, there’s a chance that this may be a slight sticking point for some.
But away from the inevitable trading of statistical might, few could find fault with the way the V8 performs on the road. It responds quickly and with prodigious torque, revs smoothly and keenly, sounds authentic and drives through an eight-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox that has just the right instincts about when to kick down and how to balance shift speed with refinement in manual mode.