For awhile, the Audi A7 has been the best looking luxury four-door hatchback. While that is a small niche, with only the A7 and Porsche Panamera, the A7 was clearly the better looking car. The first-gen Panamera was downright ugly while the Audi A7 is a stunning thing. However, the Panamera always made a case for itself by being a great handling and great performing car. And now that the new second-generation Porsche Panamera has mostly fixed its looks, should its combination of looks and performance scare off the Audi A7?
Thanks to this new video from Carfection, we find out.
Its looks are much improved, although I still don’t love its profile. It looks like a longer 911 and it just doesn’t seem right. However, it’s far better looking than the first car and is a handsome overall luxury car. Its deployable rear wing is also one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on a car, being outdone only by the aerodynamic flaps on the Pagani Huayra. The wing is completely flat, hidden in the rear of the car but lifts up and extends outward on either side and looks like something Iron Man would have on his suit. It’s flipping brilliant.
Inside, the Panamera continues its familial trend of looking good. The first-gen Panamera had a great cabin and this new car is even better looking on the inside. It looks sporty and elegant all at once with rich materials everywhere and beautiful looks touch buttons. However, it does have some flaws. All of those touch buttons seem to be maddening to use while driving and touchscreen infotainment systems are never fun to use while on the move, as you have to actually take your eyes off the road to look and touch the icons. Physical buttons can be found and memorized without taking your eyes off the road and is why most German brands (Audi, BMW and Mercedes) mostly stick with physical controls, such as buttons and rotary dials. Audi’s new MMI system seems far easier to use.
One you set off, though, and you might forgive the big Porsche. It apparently handles and drives every bit as well as you’d expect a Porsche to. It also seems to move far quicker and seems far lighter on its feet than any car its size has the right to. It’s nimble, agile and genuinely fun to drive.
The specific car in this video is the Porsche Panamera Turbo, meaning it’s powered by a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 550 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. That’s monstrous and stacks up well against the Audi RS7’s 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque (thought the RS7 Performance outdoes it with 605 hp). The Porsche is capable of getting from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph, though expect it to be faster than that in both regards. Those numbers are right there with those of the RS7. Oh, and that V8 sounds delicious.
We haven’t driven the new Porsche Panamera Turbo, so we can’t say for sure whether or not it will be better than the Audi RS7. However, its performance, style and dynamics seem to be capable of taking it head on.