Porsche’s initial Panamera release was … controversial. An experiment in, shall we say, hybridizing a roadster and a station wagon — two things conventional wisdom would tell you are mutually exclusive.
But on June 28th, they’re coming back to the table with a first look at the new and improved Panamera II, slated for a 2017 release. First sneak peeks report the second iteration will directly address many of the concerns drivers had with the original. It’s wider, longer, lighter and stiffer, and touts a 440-550 HP V6 or V8 option petrol engine, upgraded digitized interior and a sleeker silhouette.
The major claim, though, is that the new Panamera will bring heretofore-unseen sportiness to the luxury sedan. Porsche is calling it “The unveiling of a world’s first.”
We’ll have to wait and see about that.
Because in our unbiased opinion, the super-sport sedan is no novel idea, and Porsche faces an uphill battle if they want to make good on their claims of redefining the genre. To wit: five of the major contenders the Panamera II will have to best to usurp the throne in the sport-meets-luxury category of sedans.
The 2016 Jaguar XF
Approximately 265 pounds lighter than the previous model, the XF boasts a 380 HP supercharged V6 engine based on the 550 HP V8 found under the hood of the F-type T and XJR. No V8 yet, but the most deft mix of power, handling and comfort to date in Jag’s sedan suite.
The 2016 Mercedes AMG E63 S
One of the most powerful among recent sport sedans, with a hand-assembled twin turbocharged AWD V8 delivering a drool-worthy 577 HP. A seven-speed automatic transmission with multiple clutch packs means quicker transmission response. Bonuses: bigger brakes, sportier seats and a slew of new driver’s aids.
The 2016 Cadillac CT6
Maybe sport doesn’t jump to mind when you think Caddy, but she’s one of the lightest full-size luxury offerings available. Composed of high-strength aluminum and steel, the CT6 delivers 400 HP via a twin-turbo V6 engine, providing both agility and security.
The 2016 Audi RS 7
With Audi sedans in abundance, it’s the RS 7’s 560 HP twin-turbocharged V8 that sets our hearts a-pitter-patter every time. She’s stylish and sporty on the outside and luxurious on the inside, with a new grille, reshaped lights, LED tails and a self-locking center differential and sport rear differential that now come standard.
The 2016 BMW 650i Gran Coupe
Simply a winner. It’s a beautiful build based in the 5-series sedan with 445 HP and a twin-turbocharged V8. That’s 480 ft-lbs of torque without skimping on any of the bells and whistles BMW’s become known for.