What is it?
This is the new Porsche Panamera, the second-generation incarnation of the German car maker's four-door coupé. And when Porsche says new, it means it: this is no facelift nor even a largely redeveloped car worthy of being described as effectively new. This Panamera has a brand new architecture, brand new engines, a brand new transmission and a brand new operating system.
And, of course, a brand new look. Few are likely to miss the shape of the old Porsche Panamera, especially as the new car, while still some distance removed from gorgeousness, is such an improvement: bigger in every dimension, it contrives to appear sleeker and more like the 911 that so many Panamera owners would drive if only it were suited to their domestic or professional lives.
The range at launch will comprise a 2.9-litre twin turbo V6 and a 4-litre V8 diesel, with a V6 diesel to come, but the first car we have been allowed to drive is the full-fat, maxed-out Turbo complete with four-wheel steering, carbon ceramic brakes, 21in rims and a Sport Chrono pack.
Its 4.0-litre V8 is unrelated to Audi’s 4.0-litre V8 and has its turbos buried inside the vee, all the better for response and fast warming. It may have lost eight-tenths of a litre of capacity over its predecessor, but it has gained 30bhp to reach 542bhp and comes with a healthy additional slug of torque, too, achieved at somewhat lower revs.