Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan—Last month, Porsche held its first-ever Asia Pacific regional media drive of the new Panamera at Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake. Dubbed “Panamera: Two Trails” the unique test drive experience was designed to highlight how performance and luxury, two contrasting characteristics, are reconciled more than ever in Stuttgart’s second-generation super sedan.

More than 80 media participants (with five from the Philippines) went behind the wheel of various V6-powered Panamera, Panamera 4, and Panamera 4S variants to experience the sports car among luxury saloons. These Panameras are powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo petrol V6 developing 440hp and 550Nm, good for 4.4 seconds (4.2 with the Sport Chrono package) from 0 to 100km/h and a top speed of 289km/h.

A range-topping V8-powered Panamera Turbo, boasting 550hp and 770Nm of torque, was also on display at the base venue.

The drive was split into two trails—the Performance Trail and the Luxury Trail—with their own distinct character and routes. Under the guidance of Porsche-certified instructors, drivers tested the mettle of the cars on the Performance Trail via winding, mountainous roads and high-speed expressways in Nantou County.

For the Luxury Trail, the Panameras cruised around the scenic Sun Moon Lake and also enjoyed a picnic setup right from the trunks of the Panameras. After sunset, participants experienced a live demonstration of the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) Plus and Night Vision Assist as they navigated roads confidently in a near pitch-black night environment.

“For this Panamera media drive, we wanted to give our participants as much exposure as possible to the different sides of the Panamera. We created the two routes to differ in pace and mood while allowing the drivers to immerse themselves and understand more about the new car. On the drive, they got to experience some of the new highlights such as best-in-class performance and comfort through our new V6 and V8 engines and eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), as well as redefined connectivity with the brand new Porsche Advanced Cockpit,” said Martin Limpert, managing director of Porsche Asia Pacific.

Porsche reimagines the sports sedan

Redeveloped and reimagined, the all-new second-generation Panamera combines two contrasting worlds more than ever before: it offers both the performance of a genuine sports car and the comfort of a luxury sedan. Systematically improved down to the very last detail, this new model is steadily advancing to become a performance benchmark in the luxury saloon class. Its engines and transmissions have been developed from the ground up, its chassis perfected, and its interior redesigned for the future.

Visually, the design of the all-new Panamera is a reflection of the unique 911. The exterior silhouette is more expressive than ever with long, dynamic proportions, pronounced shoulder lines, and athletic flanks, as well as a roofline that is lowered by 20mm at the rear, which is stylistically reminiscent of the 911, the design icon of Porsche. In fact, staring at the back of the Panamera during our high-speed convoy, I can’t help but see so much of the 911 in it, especially with those sensuous flared rear fenders that form its flanks.

Best of both worlds

Although not typical of sports cars, an abundance of luxurious space and comfort has become a staple in the Panamera model range. The interior of the all-new Panamera has been completely restyled while still retaining the Porsche DNA—with an ascending center console and a flat and conspicuously wide dashboard. A future-oriented display and new control concept called the Porsche Advanced Cockpit brings direct access to the most important functions.

A highly innovative family of new V6 and V8 turbo engines has been created for the all-new Panamera for a unique blend of efficiency and extraordinary performance.

All engines in the range feature more power, but not at the expense of economy and emissions, which have been lowered. Together with an all-new eight-speed paddle-shifted dual-clutch transmission (PDK II), the engines’ power delivery is increased for a more rapid response, and driving performance and pleasure are intensified.

True enough, the Panamera: Two Trails drive in Taiwan revealed the two personalities of this extraordinary car. Sit behind the wheel and prepare for a scintillating—but not overwhelming—drive. Spirited acceleration, cornering, and braking truly brings out the over-achieving dynamic abilities of the Panamera.

Then sit in the back seat and prepare to be cosseted in the luxurious cabin surrounded by the finest and most supple (and aromatic) leathers and a highly sophisticated entertainment system that would rival the best in-flight systems of the best airlines. Impressively, the ride quality does not suffer despite the very responsive sports car handling. It’s no Bentley, mind you, but it’ll still give a very dignified ride if you tell your chauffeur to hurry to your next corporate takeover.

Truly, with the speed and luxury that the Porsche Panamera offers, it’s nothing less than a ground-bound executive jet.