Almost eighteen months ago I wrote “If the Panamera appeals and you don’t want to go for the all-singing Turbo, then this is the pick of the bunch.”

This being the two-wheel drive naturally aspirated V8, running the standard suspension, without the optional air springs or active anti-roll bars.

The conclusion then that “Removing some of the technology injects a little charm and interaction we’ve found missing from the technically more accomplished models.”  Today I can update that story with the news that the Panamera gets better still the less you spend.

Until now, every Panamera we’ve tried has been fitted with the PDK gearbox (standard on all-wheel drive models and optional with rwd), but I’ve just returned from an 800-mile round trip in a Panamera equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox.

Clearly a manual change is not going to be for everyone - a stick Panamera is likely to remain a rare spot – but for those looking for a limo that’s as much about providing an amusing drive as it is rear seat comfort, I reckon it shouldn’t be overlooked.