Porsche’s all-new Panamera looks like a four-door sports car. Drives like one, too, if you twirl the Sport Chrono controller, which sharpens the powertrain and suspension responses. But the real genius of the new Panamera is that when you need it to be, it’s as smooth and quiet and comfortable as a four-door limousine. If you like driving an S-Class but hanker after a sports car, the 2017 Panamera is the Porsche for you. “Three things carry over from the old car,” says Gernot Döllner, the man in charge of the new Panamera’s development. “The vehicle concept, the Panamera name, and the Porsche crest.” The 2017 Panamera is new from the wheels up: new platform, new engines, new transmission, new technologies. But what everyone will notice first are the new proportions wrapped in sheetmetal that’s a new take on a familiar design theme. ntroduced in 2009 the original Panamera was—let’s be kind—an oddly hunchbacked thing, a legacy of then-Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking’s demand that his 6-foot-6-inch frame be readily accommodated in the rear seat of the first four-door Porsche in history. Wiedeking has long since gone, and the switch to VW Group’s new MSB platform
hardware means Michael Mauer’s design team has been given the freedom to fix his vainglorious legacy.