There are no such issues with the programming of Porsche’s new 4D-Chassis Control four-wheel drive system, though. Even if you do the incomprehensible and switch off all the driver assistance programmes on a sodden, challenging Scottish mountain road, it gives you a few degrees of twitch at the rear, after which it shuffles the power frontwards so you can rifle it out of corner. ‘Measured fun’ would be an apposite description.
That could apply to the charmed handling as well. The Panamera may weigh the equivalent of a mid-sized hippopotamus, but sticking with the critter theme, it changes direction with the agility of a housefly. That’s partly down to the Panamera’s new party trick of optional four-wheel steering, which aids rear-end stability at speed to the extent that Porsche can fit a quicker rack. And apart from a slightly digital feel around the straight-ahead, the wheel builds weight so effectively that you can use that lively front end with utter confidence. There’s enough feel to help you gauge the reaction between tread and road, too.
This lucid fluidity spills into the suspension. We thought the Turbo was good, but the 4S’s waif-like V6 affords it a bonus dimension of body control, albeit with the adaptive air-sprung set-up fitted. It’s supple and comfortable in its softest mode but has a tenacious, terrain-hugging resolve in its firmest setting. Too stiff? Not on your nelly; there’s enough vertical wheel control in hand to keep things resolutely stable, even on the crinkliest roads.
Inside the Panamera, Porsche has upped the razzmatazz. Those messy buttons on the Mk1’s centre console have been smoothed off with touch-sensitive switches in the Mk2. There’s also a new multimedia system with all the connectivity you could desire, displayed with sharp imagery on the 12.3in main screen. There are also two smaller TFT screens flanking the traditional analogue-age rev counter sitting right in front of you.
It’s all very clever indeed, but to be honest, not particularly practical. The touch-sensitive buttons are tricky to locate on the move, while the multimedia system's layers of menus are so numerous as to be a distraction.