Big brother Porsche

Bobby Cheetham

IT'S not every day one gets to drive super sports cars valued at more than R5-million. Last week, just before the rain and snow hit the Western Cape, the World of Wheels was exposed to the latest offerings from Porsche, the big brother of the family, the Panamera.

There are 10 models in this, the second generation of the Panamera.

Covering nearly 500km in these superb machines was an experience not to be forgotten.

We had the opportunity of driving three of the models, the diesel, 4S and lastly the explosive Turbo.

At the beginning of next year, a new diesel engine with more power will replace the current diesel. It will offer even more driving fun with the fuel efficiency typical of a diesel.

Also arriving on the market next year, are the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S.

Starting from the Porsche dealership in Cape Town, the route took in the Franschhoek Pass, Theewaterskloof Dam, and then continued on to Caledon and Walker Bay before heading back to Cape Town.

Accompanying the posse of motoring hacks, was Porsche South African importer Toby Venter.

Venter, a motorsport legend in this country, shared some of his insights in the Porsche brand and his experiences in the motor industry and on the track.

The diesel model provided a relaxed driving experience. While some may find the oil burner a bit sedate, it will suit the needs of those who are more price conscious and want a vehicle which provides good fuel economy (6.3 litres/100km) with the added spice of owning a Porsche.

The Panamera 4S is far more responsive. The three-litre 309kW V6 bi-turbo gets the heavy car to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds and reaches a top end of 286km/h. This car will bring out the beast in you and provide an experience not found in any other four-seater family car.

The top-of-the-range flag bearer, the Panamera Turbo, is the king of the pack!

If this car does not excite you, nothing will.

The big 4.8 litre bi-turbo V8 engine packing 382kW will get to the magic 100km/h mark in a mind-blowing 4.1 seconds.

And for those with the ability to handle it, the Turbo will get a top speed of 305km/h!

While the styling of the big Porsche might not be everybody's cup of tea, it grows on you.

The interior leather finish and equipment is top class, wanting for nothing.

Porsche has once again pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the launch of the Panamera, it's pricey but very good!