PROBABLY DIDN’T HELP that the car I got out of to climb aboard this new

Porsche Panamera Turbo S was an 85bhp Kia Picanto, but when I first sampled its 542bhp it was to overtake what I thought might be a couple of cars in a long line of traffic. As we swept past the third, fourth and fiffh it occurred to me I had perhaps underestimated this car. For over £100,000 less than Ferrari charges for its new FF, here is a Porsche that I’d bet plenty would be just as fast from one point to the next. It doesn’t sound as good as the Ferrari or have such a special cabin, but its interior is still a pretty fine place to pass the time and combines with an impressive ride quality and outstanding refinement to add up to an outstanding long-distance,

all-purpose weapon. But it’s still a car more to admire than to desire. Despite the wrecking-ball power it’s not what I call fun to drive. The steering is too aggressive and lacking in feel, the car too wide to thread down the lanes with any confidence. On my usual fast car test route of quick but

challenging humps, turns and twists, I actually found the provision of so much power without the commensurate reassurance from the helm mildly intimidating.

This Panamera would be at its brilliant best devouring countries wholesale, but in that case would you not be better off in either the forthcoming diesel or hybrid versions? They’re not so powerful, but more power is emphatically not what this car needs. I’ll have driven both in a couple of months’ time and will let you know.