This is the new alpha male of the Panamera pack, if you'll forgive us for being a little sexist: the new Turbo S, the fastest, most powerful and most luxurious Porsche Panamera grand touring sedan yet.
Due to make its world debut at the Tokyo motor show, on from 22 November to 1 December, the Turbo S is also the first Panamera to be made available in a 'stretched' Executive version with a wheelbase extended by 150mm, and with thermal and noise-insulated windows, which include privacy glazing, an interior lighting package designed especially for the rear, and a large centre console at the rear.
The Panamera Turbo S has a style all its own, with 20" 911 Turbo II rims, which are not only bigger but also significantly wider than the standard Panamera rims, a special bootlid spoiler and an exclusive metallic body colour called Palladium.
Porsche has boosted peak power by 37kW to 420kW, thanks to new dual turbochargers with larger compressors that push air into the cylinders at 140 bar, compared to the 120 of the 'standard' Turbo.
Pistons made from a new aluminium alloy and specially coated piston rings take care of the extra loads and more accurate preparation of the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chambers increases torque output by 50Nm to 750Nm, available all the way from 2250 to 5000rpm - with 800Nm available for brief overtaking bursts.
That improved efficiency, however, also means that the combined fuel-consumption rating of the Turbo S is the same as the 383kW 'ordinary' Turbo: 10.25 litres per 100km, an improvement of more than 11 percent versus the previous model.
And when fitted with the optional sports exhaust system, the Panamera Turbo S gives the driver a unique sound experience thnaks to an acoustic channel that can be switched at the push of a button to directs the engine sound straight into the cabin.
The Turbo S comes with traction management, all-wheel drive and a Sport Chrono handling package as standard, coordinating the drivetrain and chassis configuration at the touch of a button for consistently sporting responses, while the overboost function is activated in 'Sport' and 'Sport Plus' mode as well as during kick-down in 'Normal' mode.
A ‘launch control' start function guarantees the best possible acceleration by coordinating the responses of the engine control system and the seven-speed dual-clutch gearshift pattern, taking the Turbo S from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and on to 307km/h.
Active suspension management combines adaptive air suspension and damper control as standard, continuously adjusting damper forces to suit road conditions and driving style. Using a rotary switch on the centre console, the driver can choose between three chassis performance maps - 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Sport Plus',
Dynamic chassis control restricts the rolling movement of the car on its longitudinal axis by applying a counter torque using active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles, while torque vectoring and electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differential with variable locking ensures that the Turbo S always goes exactly where you point it.
Chassis control, adaptive damping and air suspension are coordinated by the chassis programmes; when 'Comfort' setting is selected, the systems provide a relaxed journey on uneven roads. In 'Sport' and 'Sport Plus' mode, active intervention by the systems provide roll support, self-steering properties and traction for maximum performance and agility.
The Turbo S also has ceramic composite brakes with distinctive yellow brake callipers as standard, reducing unsprung weight by about 50 percent compared to conventional grey cast iron brake discs.
TOURING IN GRAND STYLE
The standard two-tone leather trim is highlighted by a new interior package in dark burl walnut with a hint of red, and features embossed Porsche crests on the front headrests.
Each 14-way power-adjustable front seat has a memory package that also includes the steering-column settings in the case of the driver's seat. All four individual seats are individually heatable, and a folding central arm rest offer extra comfort for rear-seat passengers.
The new Panamera Turbo S will be available in South Africa from the first quarter of 2014, but in standard length only; there are no plans to produce the long-wheelbase Executive model in right hand-drive. Prices are not yet firm; as soon as we get them, so will you.