Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition - Sportingly Luxurious

BY Vivek Max R

The Panamera Platinum may just surprise you with how it cossets and handles at the same time - give it a go!

When Porsche introduced the first-generation Panamera to the world back in 2009, the automotive press industry collectively gasped and recoiled at the way it looked in shock and horror. The backstory, allegedly, was that Porsche’s then head-honcho Dr Wendelin Wiedeking insisted that he had sufficient headroom in the back of the initially sleek and well-proportioned four-door luxury coupe, which on its face seemed a reasonable request since the Panamera was supposed to serve as a luxurious and sporty rival to the likes of BMW’s 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

However, Dr Wiedeking being taller than average, necessitated the roofline of the 970-chassis Panamera growing significantly in height, much to the chagrin of the project’s designers and engineers, and gave us the “Hunchback of Stuttgart” that “induced vomiting upon sight” and that “everyone loved to hate” – perhaps a little unfairly so since it reportedly drove, rode, handled and did the luxury bit brilliantly.

Fast forward to 2016 and the second-generation 971 chassis received a desperately-needed restyling which brought it much closer to the “four-door 911” look that was originally envisioned. Here is the Panamera Platinum Edition, and starting from just under half a million Singapore dollars before COE and options, its price-competitors include the BMW Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo and Mercedes-Benz E53 AMG 4MATIC+ with both being more powerful than the Panamera Platinum.

However, power isn’t everything.


I don’t think anyone can argue that this Panamera Platinum is much more cohesively designed when compared to the first-gen. The no-cost Aventurine Green Metallic is subtle. When combined with the optional staggered 21-inch Panamera SportDesign rims in Jet Black Metallic, wearing Porsche-specific ND0-marked 275/35ZR21 and 315/30ZR21 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber front and rear respectively, the Panamera Platinum looks solidly hunkered down, ready to menacingly prowl streets and highways while still looking classy.

The standard-fit spoiler is usually stowed flush with the boot lid for a clean look and deploys automatically at highway speeds, although it can be set to its deployed position via the infotainment system for that sportier look.

Practicality is not compromised with the Panamera Platinum. Being a liftback makes it easy to get things in and out of the boot, and if the standard 495-litres of luggage space with the rear seatbacks up is insufficient, drop them to liberate a pretty-substantial 1,334-litres of cargo capacity.

Who says a sporty luxury four-door coupe can’t be practical? Outings to the golf course should be a cinch.


Let’s start where prospective buyers would spend most of their time – up front. 14-way electric Comfort Seats with memory package, clothed in Agate grey partial leather are comfy, supportive and sufficient for most daily-driven intents and purposes. The only cost option I’d specify here would be ventilation for the front seats, considering our usually hot-and-humid climate. The driver’s seat is easily adjustable and even with my longer-of-limbs and shorter-of-torso 1.82m-tall portly frame, I was able to get settled in real quick.

Once comfortably ensconced in the seat, the steering wheel falls naturally to hand with a little bit of adjustment, with the rim being perfectly sized and easy to grip. The instrument cluster is the familiar Porsche five-gauge arrangement, with an analogue tachometer in the middle and flanked by selectable digital gauges on either side. Everything is crisp, clear and legible, just as one would expect in a Porsche.

The infotainment is easy to operate and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto help with smartphone integration. Haptic buttons on the centre console provide direct shortcuts into the infotainment’s various functions, and the Bose audio system plays loud and clear, albeit a little on the bright side so have a play with bass and treble adjustments.

However, there is ONE bugbear here. See the central aircon vents? They need to be adjusted from the infotainment’s touchscreen. Both vents get adjusted to the same degree as to how high or low they blow, and only side-to-side adjustment is asymmetric. Hey Porsche, manual individual adjustments via knobs and thumb-wheels weren’t broken, so don’t “fix it!”

Once adjusted to my driving position, I can comfortably sit behind the driver’s seat in the rear with a good amount of knee- and leg-room to spare. The press vehicle came with “4+1 Seats” in the rear, and they’re EXACTLY what they say on the tin. To sit in the middle seat, one needs to literally throw a leg over the centre console and pretty much straddle the rear aircon vents, so folks wearing skirts or Daisy Dukes and those with hip and/or leg issues should actively avoid the centre seat and stick to one of the two outer items. Being sculpted, they hold one’s body nicely in place. What would have been nicer is if the rear cupholders could have been pop-out items from the front of the centre armrest, instead of being IN the centre of the armrest for more lounging comfort and ergonomics.

The Panamera Platinum is SOOOOOOO comfy! Courtesy of a new three-chamber air suspension system, it glides effortlessly over most bumps – bumps that induce crashiness in other luxury German cars with air suspension – and soaks them up with aplomb on its most comfy setting, with only the sharpest of jolts inducing some crashiness but not much. Colour me impressed because where other luxury German manufacturers appear to struggle somewhat with their air suspension systems, Porsche has knocked it outta the park!

Visibility all around is pretty good, and reversing into parking spots is pretty simple courtesy of its reversing camera system and large door mirrors. On the move, Porsche’s eight-speed dual clutch gearbox is smooth and seamless, be it in stop-start street traffic or on the highway. Again, like in the 911 Carrera, the only option I’d specify is adaptive cruise control for longer journeys and tiresome work days where one just wants to get home.

Flooring the accelerator sees the Panamera Platinum take off briskly, aided by its gearbox and 330hp from the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 powerplant up front driving the wheels at the back. Performance is somewhat blunted by its 1.935-ton weight, and the aforementioned price competitors will definitely outrun it, but as mentioned before, power isn’t everything – it is brisk enough and enthusiastically brrrraps its way to naughty km/h.

AND it can handle well too. The Panamera Platinum, like the 911 Carrera, was treated to a set of curves and put on an impressive show for a vehicle of its size and weight. Never once did I feel like I was forcibly hauling it into the curves, with the Panamera Platinum dancing its way through the twisties just like a Porsche should.

At the end of the business-day test drive, it even returned a pretty impressive 11.6km/litre or 8.63-litres/100km calculated average fuel economy, which is way better than Porsche’s claimed 8.85km/litre or 11.3-litres/100km, and makes the Panamera Platinum that much more attractive as a luxury daily driver.

clockwise from top left: pure street, mostly highway, winding road & return to showroom

While there may be faster, lower-priced or more capacious and practical competitors out there, one needs to remember that the Panamera Platinum is all about Porsche’s take on a sportingly luxurious four-door coupe, and that comes at a premium – one that’s well worth it.

After my test drive, I can’t help but feel that I can’t look at its competitors the same again. The Panamera Platinum, though not bonkers fast, has left an indelible impression in my car-enthusiast psyche.

Have a fiddle with the online configurator. Here are the notable options for my ideal spec of Panamera Platinum:

I7 – Copper Ruby Metallic
43U – 21-inch Panamera SportDesign wheels painted in Jet Black Metallic
5KA – 4+1 Seats
QQ2 – Ambient lighting with rear compartment interior lighting concept
8T3 – Adaptive cruise control
4D3 – Seat ventilation (front)
Total cost with options – S$515,979 without COE (accurate at the time of this article)

However, just between us, I'd have my Panamera in shooting brake Sport Turismo instead.

Photography credit: Sean Loo (@auto.driven)

Technical Specifications

Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition
Engine: 2,894cc V6, twin-turbocharged
Power: 330hp @ 6,800rpm
Torque: 450Nm @ 1,800-5,000rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed twin-clutch automated
Top Speed: 270km/h (claimed)
0-100km/h: 5.6 seconds (claimed)
Price (listed): from S$488,488 without COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Price (as tested): S$509,258 without COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Contact: Porsche Singapore