Porsche is not above making itself look slightly ridiculous. The brand that sealed its reputation with miniature speedsters and beetle-shaped sports cars—you know, the marque that won Le Mans 19 times—now makes this super-juiced 17-foot-long airport barge for rich swells striding off their Citation X airplanes after quick nips to tech confabs in Aspen. In case any bystanders are wondering who is aboard, it’s written right on the C-pillar in cursive chrome script: executive. All lowercase. Best to whisper it slow and in a husky voice: “exxx-ecuuutivvvve!”
A chauffeur-driven Porsche being, by definition, an absurdity, the specs for the Panamera Turbo Executive push beyond that and into the surreal. There are 122 inches in the wheelbase—10 feet and change between axles—of this stretched Panamera, as well as 550 horsepower from its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 and a sticker price, before options, of $161,050. And no, that does not make this the most expensive base price at Porsche; that honor goes to the new 911 GT2 RS, with its starting price of $294,250.
Indeed, you may be able to live without our test car’s carbon-ceramic brakes ($8960), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($5000), massaging and ventilated front seats ($4060), the rumbly Sport exhaust system with silver-finished tailpipes ($3490), the somewhat incongruous Sport Chrono package ($2530), or the variety of other options that together totaled more than $30,000 on this car, resulting in a final price of $191,480. You can even get the long-wheelbase Executive treatment with the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 for a price containing only five digits, before options: $97,350. That’s for the Panamera 4 Executive; add an S to that name to get the 4S with its twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6, which starts at $114,950. Additionally, the long wheelbase is available on both plug-in-hybrid Panameras: the 462-hp 4 E-Hybrid ($105,150) and the 680-hp Turbo S E-Hybrid ($195,850).
It’s Whack in Back
What we have is the Turbo Executive, though, and you want to know what it’s like to drive this V-8 model. Who’s asking? Obviously not someone who plans to use the TurboExec for its seeming intended purpose. The back seats are where it’s at, and a variety of electric controls will motor your seat into a supine position if the acres of legroom alone aren’t cosseting enough. Rear-seat riders get their own color touchscreen that echoes the 12.0-inch unit up front and allows the…