download Porsche Panamera - Jonathon Savill

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download Porsche Panamera - Jonathon Savill

MOTORINGMOTORINGBeauty is in the eye of the keyholderPORSCHEPANAMERA TURBO SThe Porsche Panamera dividesthe world into two kinds of people, thosethat like it and those who haven’t driven it. It hassometimes been unfavourably criticised because of its looks.Lets get one thing straight right away. Porsche only builds two kinds ofcar, totally magnificent and way better. There was never any doubt that it woulddrive flawlessly but it’s actually a very pretty car. No, really. BY Jonathon Savill82 I ALTITUDESARABIAALTITUDESARABIA I 83


MOTORINGMOTORINGSTYLISH INEVERY DETAIL -EVERYTHINGJUST FEELSGREAT.The most fun you canhave in this car is drivingit. Acres of switches andmost of them seem tomake it go faster.It’s surprisingly big and seems to stretchout. But it’s really lovely, close up the linesmake perfect sense. It’s a bit like falling inlove – in the morning she’s just a girl and bynight you can’t stop thinking about her.Inside the Panamera is operatically beautiful.The stitching on the leather seats and suedefinish on the headlining make the world a betterplace. The switches are like a Vertu phoneand you keep discovering new ones. There aretwo buttons; sport and ultra sport, whichmake the car feel even tighter and better thanbefore.Everything works well. On the speedometersection there is one dial that is customizable.One setting tells you what your tyre pressuresare. But another lets you see your GPS so youdon’t have to look to your right to get directions.I also love the stopwatch that sits on thefront of the dashboard and is for lap timings.One nice touch is that the key resembles thecar. Once inside you have a stop/start buttonon the dashboard but the key fob for releasingthe doors actually looks like a small Panamera.The seven-speed gearbox is brilliant. It’s called– and I know I’m never going to type thisword again – Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe(PDK). This is driven by a 4.8-litre V8-biturbo 550hp engine.Press the Ultra Sport button and you can literallyfeel yourself being pushed back into yourseat. You members of the business jet fraternitywill know the sensation but only fighterpilots and Panamera S drivers will understandthe full force of it.In the Porsche press release they say ‘It goeswithout saying that the suspension of the PanameraTurbo S features the Porsche ActiveSuspension Management (PASM) adaptivedamper control and adaptive air suspensionwith additional air volume’. Well I am going tosay it, it’s brilliant.Acceleration is 0-100Kmh in 3.8 seconds. Forthose of you who don’t know 100Km/h is 62miles and that sort of speed gain is motorbikefast. Literally at that rate of acceleration youcould lift the front wheel of a fairly heavy motorcycle.You do have to stop sometimes though andthen the dual-circuit braking system with separatecircuits for front and rear axles, frontsix-piston aluminium monobloc calipers; ventedbrake discs with a diameter of 390mm anda thickness of 38mm and rear: four-piston aluminiummonobloc calipers, vented brakediscs with a diameter of 350mm and a thicknessof 28mm will do just that.Bizarrely though the effect of all this rawpower is to make you relax. The other cars are84 I ALTITUDESARABIAALTITUDESARABIA I 85


MOTORINGMOTORINGTHE PORSCHE IS WAY FASTER THAN THEJET RIGHT UP TO THE POINT WHERE IT STARTSFLYING - AND IS MUCH MORE FUN TO DRIVE.just there. You know that you could spreadthem like toast and if you press the ultra sportbutton you could be in Abu Dhabi before theymake the next traffic lights.To save this becoming fan mail I have to thinkof something negative. Here it is - I can’t affordone. Having said that if I met someonewho had driven a Panamera and could affordone but hadn’t ordered one, I’d avoid theircompany and I’d never ask their opinion overanything.Wait, there’s something I forgot. Oh yes, thisis a four door, four seat car. It is easy to forgetthis salient point because it drives like a batout of hell. In fact it is perfectly possible thatyou could use this car as a chauffeur drivenmotorway express and read a paper as it gobbledup the miles. But you’d want to makesure that you had it weekends.So for 815,000AED is it worth it? It’s taken Porscheabout 60 years to come up with this designand they’ve obviously thought it out verycarefully. A quarter of the cars sold in the UAEare Panameras and the fact that one in four oftheir cars cost this much indicates how goodit is. Quite a lot of people in the Middle Eastare apparently unaware of the 911, and theBoxster doesn’t register on the radar at all.So to the 1 in 4 Porsche drivers who bought aPanamera and the fewer who will buy thisTurbo S version – well done and thanks formaking the Dubai traffic prettier.❚The switches looklike a Vertu phoneand the wholedashboard lookslike a spaceship.86 I ALTITUDESARABIAALTITUDESARABIA I 87

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