Having additionally frolicked within the Panamera’s 4S E-Hybrid variant, which brings a lithium-ion battery and an electrical motor into the combination, I consider the 4S is simply pretty much as good with out all that electro-frippery. The engine beneath the hood is identical in each automobiles: a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 443 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. My tester’s optionally available Sport Package ($5,450) brings Porsche’s wonderful sport exhaust into the equation, making each chilly begin and arduous press of the throttle that rather more thrilling. A V6 is not essentially the most sonorous cylinder association, however the upgraded pipes give this one a bass-heavy rumble that by no means will get so loud it annoys the neighbors.Of course, you are not going to be listening to that sound from exterior the automotive. You’ll be listening to it from the cabin as you throw the Panamera round curvy backroads, which is the place this factor belongs. 4S fashions with the Sport Package do not embody the adaptive air suspension discovered on Panamera and Panamera 4 variants, however that is OK, as a result of the usual adaptive dampers are nonetheless very succesful. In their default mode, there’s little or no physique roll however an appropriate quantity of softness over crappier components of the pavement. Throw the automotive into Sport or Sport Plus and that smidgeon of lean will get Thanos snapped into the ether, leaving a automotive that desires to get chucked round at each alternative. Add within the Sport Package’s rear-axle steering and it is simple to neglect how giant this automotive truly is.Every different a part of the driving expertise blends collectively effortlessly. The electrical energy steering is direct and the correct quantity of heavy. The Panamera 4S’ lack of a hybrid system means these wonky brakes aren’t current, leaving stoppers which are straightforward to modulate and able to friction-welding the seatbelt to my chest in a rush. The eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automated transmission strikes its approach up and down the gears as snappily as any ‘field on the market, and it is aware of maintain the engine in its candy spot as I exit one curve and instantly method the following. It all simply… works.Fuel economic system is respectable, however I would not say there’s a lot to jot down residence about right here. The feds price the Panamera 4S at 18 mpg metropolis and 24 mpg freeway, which aren’t straightforward to hit whenever you’re having approach an excessive amount of enjoyable. However, hold the foot gentle and the engine out of the enhance and the freeway determine ought to attain about 25 or 26 mpg with out an excessive amount of effort.In slower conditions, you will wish to take a while to understand the Panamera 4S’ cabin, which like so many different Porsche fashions, is simply peachy. Build high quality is top-notch and the supplies are good, even should you do not choose to spend 1000’s on a leather-lined dashboard. The 14-way energy seats ($1,780) are supportive with out being constricting, and you will get them ventilated for an additional $840. The remainder of the cabin hasn’t modified that a lot within the final couple years, save for 2021’s redesigned steering wheel. The illuminated haptic switches on the middle console are nonetheless coated in smudge-magnet gloss black, which is the only sore spot in an in any other case fabulous design.
The Panamera’s cabin is previous hat should you’re used to Porsche’s present design language, however it’s nonetheless fairly darn good. Andrew Krok/RoadshowThe Panamera 4S’s cargo space could not carry as a lot because the boot within the station-wagon Sport Turismo variant, however it’s not such as you’ll miss it. At 17.6 cubic ft, it is simply 0.7 cubes smaller than the wagon, which continues to be a lot for a household’s price of groceries, suitcases or a pair units of golf golf equipment. There actually is not an area to place your Nalgene, both, as a result of the cup holders are on the small facet, as are the door pockets, and no choices package deal will make them extra capacious.Another vivid spot within the Panamera 4S is its infotainment system. Porsche Communication Management resides on the dashboard’s 12.3-inch display screen, and it is a good’un. It’s straightforward to hop between numerous menus by means of a dock on the left facet of the display screen or haptic buttons just under, however a configurable residence display screen permits you to see just about every thing with out the necessity to swap round. Apple CarPlay is normal, however Android Auto stays absent, though an replace in 2022 ought to get rid of this gripe as soon as and for all. If that is not sufficient display screen for you, the tachometer is flanked by two extra shows that put primary data nearer to the horizon.The security tech is somewhat bleaker, within the sense that it is paywalled fairly closely. Standard equipment consists of parking sensors and lane-keep help. If you need automated braking, you will need to shell out $2,250 to get it plus adaptive cruise management. Lane-change help is an extra $1,060, whereas a surround-view digicam requires an additional $920. Porsche InnoDrive, which mixes the aforementioned techniques to match tempo with site visitors on the freeway, asks for $3,290. Porsche might at the least make automated braking normal, sheesh.
PCM is a system that is straightforward to each study and grasp. Andrew Krok/RoadshowFinally, there are a few small upgrades to the Panamera’s exterior for 2021. The SportDesign entrance fascia was an choice, however now it is normal, including a bit extra visible aptitude on that facet. Out again, a brand new taillight design incorporates an LED strip that bridges the hole throughout the hatchback, and a brand new rear diffuser appears somewhat extra aggressive than earlier than. It’s a great look, particularly with my tester’s $840 Mamba Green paint job, which is an actual conversation-starter in parking heaps and drive-thrus.As you may count on, the 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S shouldn’t be an affordable proposition. My tester sports activities a base value of $106,350 (together with $1,350 for vacation spot), and with a comparatively small smattering of aforementioned choices, that value swells up like a foul bee sting to $128,040. Competitors abound on this house. If you need one thing equally as sporty, Mercedes-Benz gives the GT 4-Door or CLS-Class, whereas these choosing one thing extra luxurious could gravitate towards a BMW 7 Series. Porsche additionally gives a plug-in hybrid variant for these not desirous to go full inexperienced, however forward-thinkers could wish to take into account one thing like a Mercedes-Benz EQS, Porsche Taycan or Tesla Model S.Whether alone or compared, although, the 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S is a winner. Its giant dimensions belie simply how agile it’s, providing a great mix of consolation and precision with few, if any drawbacks.