One of the Panamera’s defining features is that it moves and sounds like a Porsche rather than conforming immediately to the conventions of the luxury car market. The end result is that, because of its inherent size and weight, the model tends to work better as more power is injected into it.
Thus the entry-level 3.6-litre V6-powered car and the current 3.0-litre V6 diesel model struggle to stimulate the driver. Neither are asthmatic – even the oil-burner will hit 62mph in 6.8sec – but nor can they be considered quick.
The petrol six-pot is at the very least free-revving and quietly characterful; the hand-me-down diesel, although popular thanks to its 44.8mpg potential, is neither, and feels too often like an unfortunate compromise.
A similar accusation could be aimed at the E-Hybrid, which, although not suffering from a lack of pace, is just far too soulless for consideration outside of a city centre, or the United States. Objectively, the bigger battery has given the model better flexibility and eco credentials, but it’s still tagged to Porsche's lacklustre 3.0-litre V6 engine and the combination only feels quick in the most benign way imaginable.