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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As per our appointment, I and my father where at SMG Porsche, in Mohandeseen to test drive the new Panamera 4S. We were scheduled for the test drive at 14:00 hours, however, on our way there, I got a call from our salesman, Mr. Riad, asking me to delay our appointment for 30 mins as the car went to the service center to get the 120 kph speed warning disabled. I didn’t object because I had already paid to disable mine while in Qatar, and I know how annoying it could be.

So, we slowed down and got there about 14:30, but unfortunately, the car was NOT there. We were informed that they had just finished working on the car and it was on its way (Although I know it takes less than 5 minutes on PIWIS). Very good then, we’ll hang on for a while.

Tick, tock… Tick, tock… It’s 16:30 now and the car still hasn’t arrived, considering that the distance between the service center and the showroom is less than 10 kms, and that the streets were not that crowded, it was getting ridiculous. We decided to go out, if its not in sight, we’ll hop in our car and reschedule.

Luckily though, she was waiting for us outside, damn she’s huge. While my father still wanted to get a quick look and reschedule, I was eager to drive it that I suggested we do it since we’ve already waited that long. He agreed and off we go.

Starting off, Mr. Riad took the driver’s seat, I took the passenger’s seat and my dad sat in the rear. Mr. Riad started off heading to “el me7war” and I was busy playing with the new PCM 3.0, trying to connect my iPhone.



Here you can see the iPhone finally playing through the Universal audio interface, I say finally because I had tried it before while the car was still on the showroom but to no avail. That optional 18 speaker Burmester sound system is a true sonic masterpiece. It sounds so well that no matter how much that volume knob is turned, if you hear distortion, its your mp3’s fault. One more reason to switch to lossless formats :D.

I tinkered with the system for a while, and I found a rather interesting option, although I didnt have much time to fully understand it but it was really nice. It displayed an overlay of the cars with the four seats and all, you get to choose where you want full surround experience by tapping the respective seats (or something like that :D)

Mr. Riad on the other hand, not knowing how much of Porschephiles we really are, started explaining about the different systems in the car, PASM, SportChrono, PDK, etc… Initially, we let him explain everything, hoping we’d hear something we didnt know... Nope, all old stuff, I think he was surprised we knew almost more than he did about those systems!

While on our way to “el me7war”, I took some time to look around and snap a few pictures, it was not my first time inside a Panamera, but it was my first time in broad daylight and with a camera at hand.

While in traffic, the size of this thing shows up like a sore thumb. She is indeed huge, and depending on the suspension settings, you will be higher or lower than the cars around you. Besides, this car had 6 front sensors, 6 rear sensors and a backup camera (which is really needed, considering the rear view is like that of a space shuttle). The front sensors kept beeping all the time since other cars were in close proximity. Not sure if she was meaning “Be careful” or “Get them out of my vay before I crush them”!


The Center console, so many buttons you’d think its a space ship, just more luxurious. And these are not even all the buttons in the car, not even all buttons at the front!!!


My father enjoying the back seat


The view from the side window, a really big mirror

Finally, we got to our destination, it was time for some real fun, after some arguments about who would go first, I insisted that my father does. And he did…


Starting off, nice and slow… SC: Off, PASM: Comfort


Then he was talking and keeping his foot relaxed on the accelerator, the only 2 things that tell you you’re accelerating, is the sound of the exhaust and the speed you’re passing other cars. There are G forces, but the car holds you so well that you barely feel them. Before we knew it, we were @ 220 kph, definitely faster than our Boxster, my father had some braking to do. He then tried it on SC and SC+.

Meanwhile, I was snapping more pictures of the rear.


Like buttons?? The rear console has many of them as well.


Door handles and air vents, notice it has 4 rear air vents, they are real aluminum. Very classy! I remember some people here requesting aluminum handles for the Cayman. Maybe take them off a Panamera? :hilarious:

The road ended, we took the exit to Cairo-Alex road and then the first U turn. Now it’s my turn to drive this beast *evil grin*

Starting off, just before putting PDK on D, Mr. Riad asks whether my car was a tip or not. Surprised at the question I ask why, he says “I noticed that you have your left foot on the brake, in automatics we only use one foot”. I laugh and explain that I always left foot brake and what left foot braking is. I dont think he totally trusted me with that, but off we go.

Fighting the urge to just hit the SC+ button and floor it, I put it back in comfort mode and start off slowly. I heard stories about PDK jerking at slow speeds, not this time, it was so smooth you’d think its a CVT. By the time the speedo hit 60 kph, it was already in 7th gear!

Enough with babying, time for some real testing, I skip SC and press SC+ directly, the car lowers, suspension sharpens and PDK shifts are insane. I decide to “test” the handling in a little “slalom” between other cars. I know, I know. Its not safe, but hey, a test is a test.

Damn this beast can handle, all wheel drive, air suspension and PDCC really do their job well. I was zipping in and out between cars at breakneck speeds with barely any body roll. It really doesn’t feel that huge anymore.

Now thinking I can shift better than PDK, I decided to switch to manual. Pull the lever to M and off with the shifters. But wait a sec, why doesnt it want to shift?! I try again, and again to no avail. Finally I discover why so many reviewers were saying that the PDK buttons are counter intuitive… Although they are well layed out, I kept pulling the right one as if it were a paddle shift. This in PDK button language meant “downshift”, and it wouldnt of course downshift at the red line! But I hear they can be re-programmed to act as flappy pedals, with the right one for upshifts and the left for downshifts. For either push or pull!



The road ended quickly and we are in traffic again, and again I feel her size. However, when we were stopped next to an S-Class in traffic and its driver was staring at us in amazement, that’s when I felt the Panamera would take her rightful place in the market.

Unfortunately, life is not pink

Not everything in the car is great though, here what we thought needs more improvements:
  • As I said earlier, rear visibility, considering that the rear view cam is an option, and is only for reversing. Rear visibility should be improved.
  • Rear doors’ shape; They have almost the same problem as the rear doors of the Opel Astra Hatch, the windows protrude that they hit you if you’re not paying attention when opening or closing them. It happened to me in the Astra, and was very close to happening in the Panamera.
  • The sun roof; In a nutshell… Useless. It is extremely small for a car of this size to be of any use, I say either remove it or make a panoramic roof like the Cayenne.

Now it was time to go, it was a short test drive and we didnt test everything, but we did test all we could in that short time. While we were leaving, I thought to myself, “One day, I will buy one of those… But not before we had a garage that could fit her” She is really wide, she can’t pass through our garage’s door!

Before we left I decided to snap a few more pix











Some background about the car we were driving, this was the 4S, I didnt see the spec sheet, but these are the options I saw in the car, I might miss a couple of them which I’ll add if I remember:
  • This specific car cost $156,000, too much I might add, it is cheaper in the US. I configured a similar one that only cost $135,000
  • Cognac metallic exterior.
  • Adaptive air suspension w/ PDCC & PASM.
  • SportChrono+
  • 2-tone leather interior, Cedar and Cognac.
  • 14 way adjustable power seats front w/ seat ventilation.
  • 8 way adjustable power seats rear w/ seat ventilation
  • 4-zone automatic climate control.
  • PCM 3.0 touch screen HDD based navi, + universal audio interface
  • Burmester high end surround system: THE BEST system I’ve heard so far, period.
  • Adaptive Cruise control: Been on high end Merc’s for years, it regulates the speed based on the chosen distance between you and the car in front.
  • Porsche Entry & Drive: A fancy name for keyless entry.
  • Bluetooth phone interface / Sim card based phone, cordless color screen handset included.
  • Adaptive Xenons.
  • Front and Rear parking sensors and backup camera.
 

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I too had a panamera 4s for a full day/overnight while our Cayenne gets serviced.

The thing is simply beautiful, inside and outside. The Loaner came as Silver exterior and Coco interior which was stunning.

Fully loaded, Sport chrono/PCM/PDK the usuals.

Power is alright, you can definitely feel it's a 400hp monster but at the same time feel that it is heavy, the Cayman S PDK walks all over it all the way to top speed.

Handling wise, i'm so impressed. Never knew a car this big and weighs this much can handle this good. Steering feedback and response is perfect. Feels like a sports car, definetely how a porsche should feel.

And last thing, what a head turner. I felt like a Sheikh driving through the streets yesterday :hilarious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally, someone ventured here :)
 

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I drove both the S and Turbo at California Speedway. I'm not into front engine Porsches, but the Panamera was quite a ride. Of course the turbo had the poop, but I thought the S handled better. Too bad I couldn't see the rear spoiler split in the mirror.
One unique feature; the rear seat passenger, behind the front seat passenger, has a button to move the front seat forward for more leg room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, that 4S had it too. But I think it is an option that comes with some package I dont remember!

I'm more interested though in how you say the S handled better than the turbo? I really liked the AWD on the 4S so I'm not sure if the S would be better. Is it weight?!
 

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I'm more interested though in how you say the S handled better than the turbo? I really liked the AWD on the 4S so I'm not sure if the S would be better. Is it weight?!
Yes, it felt lighter, more agile and seems like I could brake later. I didn't get as many laps as I had hoped for, and I didn't time any laps. I was grateful that I was invited to thrash such nice cars.
 
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