What we were given in the mountainous regions of Taichung is slightly more modest, while we get to take photos of that Panamera Turbo showing off its wing, we’re given the 3.0 V6 Turbo Panamera with 330hp and the 2.9 V6 BiTurbo Panamera S with 440hp. I have to apologise to Porsche, but this is 2017, and a 330hp lame duck Panamera is unforgivable for a car that carries the badge of honour of the greatest automotive engineer to ever lived on this planet. No doubt the car is great in all measure, but a 330hp that risks being flash-off the fast lane by a puny little A-Class AMG, and one that’s only 10hp more than a family wagon built by a tiny Nordic country with only 9 million population is not the greatest show of Germany’s engineering might. The 3.0 V6 Turbo engine is slow not by modern standards, but it is slow when BMW has a 252hp 3.0 turbo engine in the year 1980. Yes it is faster than the previous base Panamera that sports the naturally aspirated 3.6 V6, but that Touareg engine has no place even in an Audi let alone a Porsche.
The new 2.9 V6 BiTurbo engine of the Panamera 4S however, is a complete different story, though 440hp for a Porsche might sound like a case of just barely passing “Now that’s what I’m talking about” in reality, the eagerness of this mill, the rawty behaviour of it wanting to pounce, the sound, the gush of power is of a totally different plateau of enjoyment than that lazy 3.0 V6 mill in the base Panamera. With 110hp more than the base model but only a slight top up in pricing - think of it as RM85k vs RM105k; this is the car that is worthy of the Panamera badge and the Porsche crest. It is properly rapid, and most importantly, carries with it the sporting heart of the most successful racing brand in motorsports. Alternating between the two, everyone just can’t wait to hop back into the one with the cheaper road tax. The 440hp mill should've been in the base Panamera at the first place, a wonderful engine that hums along as we rollin' and screams as we go hatin'. Perfectly embodying the car with which it duly serves its duty.
In a world where displacement no longer equals performance, performance no longer equals consumption, and consumption no longer foregoes sustenance, the Porsche Panamera is a car that defies convention, defies objection, defies physics, defies logic. A car that can only be built if you’re courageous enough to take on two trails at one go.