Porsche debuts the new Panamera in a visually-transformed, Nurburgring lap record-breaking avatar

The all-new Porsche Panamera made its debut last week at an event held in Berlin, Germany. Currently in its second generation, the sporty luxury sedan from Porsche has clearly carved a niche for itself in the market, something we thought the Panamera would struggle to do when it first debuted in 2009.

What worked for the Panamera was the fact it successfully bridged the gap between the performance of a sports car and the comfort of a luxury sedan and, more importantly in our view, Porsche's welcoming and 'open-to-experiments' loyalists. The Stuttgart-based brand, after all, churned out nothing but sports cars not so long ago. Now, it's the two SUVs and Panamera that bring in more volumes and revenue for Porsche than the iconic 911 and its derivatives.

The first-generation Panamera's design was a hit or a miss and that humpback whale-like derriere was quite an eyesore. Despite being just an evolutionary change, the new Panamera has smitten us. It's remarkable what a little nip here and a tuck there has resulted in! The new Panamera looks more pleasing and less oddball while flaunting the classic 'coke-bottle' silhouette that the 911 has been gracefully carrying for so many decades. The new Panamera is longer, wider and taller than before but the front wheels have moved outwards, the wheelbase has increased and the height above the rear of the passenger compartment has come down, giving the car a mean 'glued-to-the-road' stance. Porsche's characteristic 'flyline', or in other words the way the roof line drops down, leaves no stone unturned in impressing upon the fact that we are looking at a four-door coupe.

Distinct, four-point LED Daytime Running Lights up front are paired with matching four-point brake lights at the rear. A narrow LED strip runs across the full width of the car and looks dramatic when illuminated. We are told this is going to be a Porsche trademark in future!

The Porsche Advanced Cockpit aboard the new Panamera results in a cabin that sees touch-sensitive surfaces and digital screens replace cluttered buttons and switches. An analogue tachometer greets the driver with two 7-inch displays on either sides.

What matters most on a new Porsche is not the way it looks or feels from the inside but the speed at which it accelerates and the way it drives. In that sense, the new Panamera definitely won't disappoint prospective customers. Engine options include a 550 horsepower V8 petrol, a 440 horsepower V6 petrol and a 422 horsepower V8 diesel, all featuring biturbo direct injection technology. A 8-speed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and permanent all wheel drive system are standard across all three engine options. The top-spec 'Turbo' variant with the V8 petrol under its hood and the Sport Chrono package can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in a measly 3.6 seconds. If you ever need a sedan that can comfortably confront and pass sports cars, this is it!

Would you believe us if we tell you that the Panamera beat cars like the Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Porsche's own 911 GT3, Ferrari F430 Scuderia and the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio by clocking an incredible 7 minute and 38 seconds lap around the Nurburgring Nordschleife? Yes, it's that quick!

Sporty and elegant sedans are the kind of cars that make our Sunday mornings so much better and the Panamera did just that today. So what if you can't go and drive one now? Check the new Panamera inside and out in the official video released by Porsche.

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