Where the largest factory wheels stop at 20 inches, TechArt offers 21- and 22-inch versions of the signature five-spoke, multi-piece lightweight forged wheels. Our test car was shod with the 10.5x22-inch wheels of slightly different offsets, shod with 265/30 and 305/25 ContiSportContact 3 rubber.
Interior re-trims and high-tech sound and business equipment installation have always been a TechArt speciality. Unfortunately, the all-black interior of this car tends to undersell its finer qualities, which are not as apparent as they would be against a lighter trim color.
The black lacquer wood trim on the dashboard and doors is matched by glossy black highlights on TechArt's three-spoke sport steering wheel, while the shape of the seats, center console, and dashboard are picked out by contrasting white stitching. White thread is also used on the inside of the steering wheel, but in a cross-stitched pattern.
The in-car entertainment for rear passengers is provided by a pair of seven-inch LCD monitors mounted on the back of the front seats. Headsets ensure you can hear the soundtrack in all its glory without distracting the driver. The DVD player is hidden away in the side of the luggage compartment.
Incidentally, while TechArt presented a more radical wide-look Concept One at Geneva this year, feedback from TechArt's regular clients toward this more extroverted design has not been positive enough to justify investing in production tooling-even though TechArt boss Thomas Behringer personally likes it.
Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive
4.2-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve, turbocharged. Sport exhaust, ECU remap
Wheels and Tires
TechArt alloys, 10.5x22
Continental ContiSportContact 3, 265/30, 305/22
Three-piece front spoiler, side skirts, rear valance and diffuser
Contrasting stitching, sport steering wheel, DVD rear entertainment system
Peak Power: 550 hp @ 6000 rpm
516 lb-ft @ 2250 rpm
0-62 mph: 4.1 sec.
Top Speed: 190 mph
With the minimum of show on the outside and a bog-standard interior, Sportec put more effort into making its Panamera a concentrated driving machine.
With its static ride height lower than the factory Sport Plus setting, the Sport Chrono Package-equipped car has Sportec's ESC (Electronic Suspension Control) module that can drop ride height by up to 35mm. The car is thus noticeably lower than the other two.
Sportec's trademark seven-spoke alloy wheels are 10.5x22-inch all around, and like the TechArt car, use 265/30 and 305/25 ContiSportContact 3 tires. The only other obvious modification from stock is the four purposeful looking 90mm tailpipes of the sport exhaust.
Under the bonnet, the Sportec engine looks absolutely standard, as incidentally, does the FAB Design car. But while a new engine cover is in the works, this engineering-based company has concentrated on giving the motor more guts.
Sportec is the first tuner to crack the protection protocols of the Siemens ECU, and currently offers its clients 560-hp/580 lb-ft Stage One and 575-hp/580 lb-ft Stage Two conversions. Stage Three will involve new turbochargers and bigger intercoolers for 650 hp. Considering how much lighter and more slippery the Panamera is than the Cayenne, this level of power should prove more than adequate.
As it stands, the Sportec car is a real hoot to drive. In Sport Plus mode, it practically spun all four wheels off the line and accelerated hard up the runway at a rate that would have left BMW M5s or E63 AMGs gasping for breath.
The exhaust note is also pretty hardcore. Deep, throbby, bent-crank V8 musclecar hardcore. Lacking Sport Chrono Plus, the other two Panameras, while quick in absolute terms, felt comparatively normal, almost like they had lost their Mojos.