AS a rule, the further forward your seat in a commercial airplane, the nicer it is.
The same holds true for cars – with some exceptions – even the powerful and sporty ones.
Take the Panamera Executive that Porsche launched here last month. With a price tag starting at S$416,088 (excluding COE), the four-door, four-seat Porsche is bound to be exclusive – its slowest version can sprint to 100km/h in merely 5.6 seconds.
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Yet, with 15cm added to the length of its body, the Executive edition of the Panamera caters to the driven as much as it does to the driver.
Most of the car’s extra length has been to added to the back of the cabin, giving backseat passengers more legroom.
Porsche lets customers add fancy features such as fold-up tray tables (S$9,636) or a detachable, backseat entertainment system that consists of two 10-inch touchscreen tablets (S$12,735).
The Panamera Executive may be Porsche’s first stretched car, but it’s the latest in a line of luxury cars that borrow ideas from the airline industry, offering frills such as extra legroom, fold-up footrests and reclining seats.
The motor companies have yet to come up with a way to serve you a cocktail mid-journey, but till then, the back doors of these cars open up to the best the industry has to offer.
The granddaddy of luxury cars offers a Rear Comfort Seat package (S$7,500) which includes individual, reclining backseats, as well as the ability to move the front passenger seat forward by 77mm – and put the electrical, extending footrest to use. The S-Class was also the first car on the market with a fragrance delivery package that releases soothing scents and ionised air into the cabin, a feature designed to impart luxury through the sense of smell.
BMW 7 Series
Long wheelbase versions of BMW’s flagship have an Executive Lounge option, which adds reclining massage chairs and fold-up tables. Press a button and the front passenger seat slides forward to accommodate 90mm of extra legroom, while a footrest folds down to let the boss put his weary feet up. There’s even a Vitality Programme, an invigorating, in-seat workout that guides the occupant through shoulder and back exercises via the entertainment screens.
Porsche Panamera Executive
In addition to the toys mentioned above, some extra features make the Panamera Executive the most towkay-pleasing Porsche. It has an enormous glass roof and, for S$17,143, you can add ventilated, massage chairs for all four passengers. The Porsche isn’t quite as roomy in the back as the other cars, but it’s still the one that might make your chauffeur worry about becoming redundant.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase
Completely redesigned from the ground up for 2018, the Phantom is the world’s quietest car. People in the back have acres of space, while the rear-hinged coach doors allow a more graceful cabin exit. Rolls-Royce says careful angling of the rear seats allows for “effortless conversation” between occupants, which should let them close that acquisition deal quite nicely.
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