Porsche Panamera Kirkby Stephen
Appleby In Westmorland
Porsche has been swimming against the tide for years. The legendary 911 retains its physics-defying rear-mounted engine, and the line-up has never included a conventional saloon – until now.
The long-awaited Panamera is the car Porsche followers have been craving for decades. With eight cylinders, five doors, four seats and an optional twin-clutch PDK gearbox, it gives 911 owners who need more space an alternative to the firm’s chunky Cayenne SUV. It also brings the company up against a raft of diverse rivals. So what better way to get under the skin of the newcomer than to pitch it against three very different opponents?
The first car lining up against our entry-level Panamera S is the BMW M6. With its two-door coupé body, it puts style ahead of practicality. However, its new Competition Pack means it should set the standard in terms of dynamics. For buyers after more space, the Audi RS6 Avant takes some beating. As with the BMW, it boasts a powerful V10 and scorching pace. But unlike rivals here, it’s the only car that is available as a versatile estate.
The Mercedes CLS 63 AMG completes our quartet – and is closest in concept to the Panamera. The sleek saloon marries storming V8 pace with a luxurious cabin. Read on to see how the new Porsche fares...