Much of the automotive world scoffed upon the reveal of the original Panamera.
In the view of these critics, Porsche was meant to make sleek two-seater sports cars and nothing else, so what were they playing at coming up with a four-door, four-seater GT?
Err, short answer: diversifying, progressing, bettering themselves because history has many lessons outlining what happens to those who become complacent and rest on their laurels.
Porsche had been slammed for branching out already with the Cayenne SUV and the first Panamera continued to get people angry with both its appearance and ambition. Many criticised it for looking like a 911 gone wrong with its familiar and iconic front-end but a weird extended wheelbase.
However, it allowed brand devotees with families to remain loyal to Porsche. It gave Porsche the confidence to introduce another groundbreaking model with the Macan SUV.
A second-generation Panamera arrived in UK showrooms earlier this year, claiming to right the wrongs of its predecessor, so what did the British motoring press make of it?
‘Massive step on’
Never ones to mince their words, Auto Express hailed Panamera mk2 as “a massive step on”, thanks to its all-new platform and engines, as well as a distinctly more luxurious interior.
They noted how it now rode like a proper luxury car yet the fresh underpinnings still meant it could deliver as bracing a drive as any other Porsche.
Powertrain options include the 520bhp 4.8-litre V8 Turbo, capable of 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, the ‘affordable’ 310bhp 3.6-litre V6 at £63,913 and the super-green 3.0-litre V6 S E-Hybrid with its promises of 91.1mpg at 71g/km of CO2 .
The motoring weekly hailed the 416bhp four-litre diesel model as the pick of the bunch though, due to its unique tag of being the world’s fastest diesel saloon (0-62mph: 4.5s).
Aesthetically, Porsche has sustained its efforts to make the Panamera resemble the 911, something that wasn’t lost on Autocar’s Matt Saunders.
He noted how the car’s lower roofline gifted it “a more recognisably Porsche ‘flyline’ profile”, but still felt that “its appearance remains a debatable virtue”.
For road tester Nic Cackett, the interior of the original Panamera was a memorable experience, reprising the Cayenne’s sense of space with a focus on a more engaging drive. He had similar feelings this time, but highlighted an emphasis on the cabin’s digitalisation, with the arrival of two seven-inch high-res displays in the instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch display covering the width of the centre console.
Top Gear felt the all-new second-gen Panamera looked more like a facelift but admitted it wore its 911 styling cues better than before.
Like AE, they favoured the 4S Diesel twin-turbo V8 variant with its “boisterous 627lb ft of torque” and “absurd performance”.
TG was taken aback by the “very posh” interior too, which outside of a Bentley, is the nicest appointed interior in the VW Group.
Top Gear’s eight out of ten verdict was supported by summarising that Porsche had “got the Panamera properly right” at the second time of asking.
WhatCar? gave it four stars, withholding a top five star rating due to its lofty price tag, lack of fun and difficult touch-sensitive controls.
It was four stars from Auto Express too, again taking issue with the asking price and its divisive styling.
Autocar had no reservations awarding all five stars though, due to its “epic powertrain, magnificent handling” and impressive economy.
So there you have it, the new Panamera is a four-star car on the whole. But what do you think? Have you given the stretched 911 a test drive? Share your thoughts down there in the comments section.