Five-Point Inspection: 2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

The Panamera has undergone a lot of changes for 2014; enough for Porsche to claim this is the second generation of the four-door model. The big news this year is that for the first time ever, the Panamera will be available in two body styles: regular and long-wheelbase “Executive.”

Stretched-out Panameras will be available in two flavors: 4S Executive and Turbo Executive. By offering more space for rear seat passengers, Porsche intends this Panamera to take on the long-wheelbase versions of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans.

Recently at a 2014 Panamera launch event near Portland, Ore., Porsche brought along a Turbo Executive to sample and who are we to say no? Here now is a five-point recap on this insane executive super-limo.

On the outside all Panameras have received revised sheet metal for 2014. The front end features larger air intakes and more distinctive headlights that are now LEDs in top trim models. In the back there is a new rear hatch with new glass that takes away some of the awkward hunchback rear proportions of the older model. There is also a wider spoiler that splits open when deployed on the Turbo Executive, a lower placed license plate holder and more pronounced LED taillights. The Executive model also has longer rear doors to accommodate the larger rear seat section.

Executive Panameras are built on a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase with more than four inches of that space finding its way into rear passenger legroom. The backseats can also recline more than in conventional Panameras allowing for improved lounging.

The back seats aren’t just spacious, but also comfortable. Our test vehicle had the optional heated and cooled seats as well as optional four-zone climate control. The red leather interior looks great and isn’t visible from the outside so passersby won’t know about your wild side. Then again, you are being chauffeured in a V8-powered executive limo with over 500 hp, so maybe subtly was never an option.

Powering the Executive Turbo is the same 4.8-liter turbocharged V8 as found in the short-wheelbase Turbo model. That means 520 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque is on tap for whoever is lucky enough to be piloting this rocket. Porsche claims the Executive Turbo will hammer from 0-60 in four seconds or 3.8 with the Sport Chrono package.

Yes, this car hauls serious ass. The power is endless and feels like it will pull forever. The seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission reacts insanely fast in sport plus mode and the V8 bellows out the backend and backfires after abrupt throttle lifts. Fuel economy is officially rated at…ah, who cares about fuel economy in a car like this?

No vehicle this big should handle so well or be so fast. Press the sport plus button and the car lowers an inch, seemingly gluing it to the road. It is composed in corners and the steering and chassis never got upset even on less-than-ideal roads. The brakes are incredibly powerful and scrub off speed in a hurry when needed.Equally impressive is how intuitively the all-wheel drive system works when exiting a corner. The car just grips without any drama as all four wheels work together to deliver maximum traction.

Compared to some lesser Panameras, this model feels like a proper sports car with proper Porsche levels of performance. On smooth, twisting roads the car can be pushed as hard as you are comfortable with, never missing a step.

Despite weighing in at 4,564 lbs., the extra length and girth of this long-wheelbase Panamera is hardly noticeable. In fact, the Executive feels significantly lighter and smaller than it is when really tossing it through some tight bends. If a sports car limonene is what you seek, it’s hard to beat the Panamera Turbo Executive; just bring a cheque book as pricing starts at $161,100.

Curious about a more detailed breakdown with full specifications, pricing and the chance for side-by-side comparison? The AutoGuide new cars section offers all that and more. Or you can go directly to the Panamera page itself.

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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