Porsche sharpens sporty, luxurious character in second-gen Panamera
It's been about seven years since the launch of the Porsche Panamera, and the time has officially come for an all-new model. After rolling into the Goodwood Festival of Speed in prototype form, the second-gen Porsche Panamera made its official world debut in Berlin on Tuesday. Porsche has redesigned its sporty four-door from the ground up, doubling down on the car's two most important attributes: sporty performance and luxurious sedan comfort.
In redesigning the Panamera, Porsche sought to create a more "911 with four doors" look. Toward that end, it dropped the roofline by 0.8 in (20 mm) at the rear while raising it 5 mm at the top, giving it an all-around more arched, sleek appearance. The side windows are redesigned to further emphasize the coupe-like profile.
The new Panamera measures 1.3 in (34 mm) longer and 6 mm wider than the outgoing model, measuring in at 199 x 76 x 56 in (5,049 x 1,937 x 1,423 mm, L x W x H). The wheelbase has been stretched by 1.2 in (30 mm) to 116 in (2,950 mm), lending a longer appearance. The 4S and 4S Diesel ride on 19-in wheels, and the Turbo on 20-inchers. Porsche will offer 21-in alloy wheels as an option.
With the front wheels pushed forward, the front overhang has been cut down. The lowered face is quite recognizable as the Panamera and features a redesigned grille and modestly reshaped LED headlights with Porsche's four-point LED daytime running lamps.
The rear-end has received more of a restyle than the front and now features a longer overhang, squarer shape and thinned out LED taillights connected straight though the center. Hiding in most of the photos (but highlighted nicely in the promo video) are the new deployable, body-color rear spoilers, the largest of which is the Turbo's split-panel version.
"The new Panamera can be identified as a Panamera at first glance, but also as the new Panamera," Porsche's head of style Michael Mauer sums up. "Its strengths have been reinforced; its weaknesses have been eradicated; and above all its distinctive character has been preserved."
So far, Porsche has announced three Panamera models, adding more power with new twin-turbo engines. As is the case with the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT R, Porsche's engines house the turbos inside the cylinder banks, offering a compact configuration for lower mounting and spontaneous throttle response.
The Panamera 4S adds 20 hp over the current model with a 434-hp 2.9-liter V6 biturbo with 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque. The Panamera Turbo, which will serve as flagship at launch, relies on a 542-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, a jump of 30 hp over the current Panamera Turbo. That V8 offers up to 568 lb-ft (770 Nm) of torque.
Also available outside the US will be a 4S Diesel with 416-hp biturbo that Porsche calls its most powerful production-car diesel engine to date. That eight-cylinder puts out an impressive 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) between 1,000 and 3,250 rpm. The diesel's sequential turbocharging system operates as a mono turbo under low to moderate engine speeds, improving throttle response, and a twin turbo at engine speeds of 2,700 rpm and up.
Porsche promises fuel economy bumps up to 16 percent (NEDC) thanks to a new eight-speed PDK transmission and other fuel-saving technologies. The Panamera Turbo becomes Porsche's first car to feature its new adaptive cylinder control system, which shuts down four of the eight cylinders during low-demand driving situations, reducing fuel consumption by up to 30 percent.
More power, more performance: the flagship Turbo speeds from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds (or 3.6 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package) and has a top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h). The new Turbo has also lapped the Nürburgring in 7:38, leading Porsche to call the new Panamera "the fastest luxury sedan on earth." You can see more of the Nürburgring story in the second video clip at the end of the article.
The 4S accelerates to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds (4.2 with Sport Chrono) and tops out at 179 mph (289 km/h). Porsche calls the 4S Diesel the world's fastest production diesel car, listing a 177 mph (285 km/h) top speed and 4.5/4.3-second 0-62 mph.
Permanent all-wheel drive is available on all three models and offered standard on the US-bound 4S and Turbo models. Standard and available systems like rear-axle steering, electronic 4D Chassis Control system and adaptive three-chamber air suspension further improve the ride. A new night vision assistant system relies on a thermal imaging camera to warn drivers about people and large animals ahead.
Inside, things have taken a turn for the digital with the new Porsche Advanced Cockpit. The classic-modern instrument panel sandwiches a 1955 Porsche 356 A-inspired analog tachometer between a pair of 7-in digital displays. A sprawling 12.3-in high-resolution Porsche Communication Management touchscreen in the center console serves up infotainment, including Apple Car Play and online navigation. That screen can be accessed by both driver and passenger.
Porsche has pulled out the busy array of buttons and switches in the center console, replacing them with a much more streamlined system relying heavily on touch-sensitive controls around the shift-by-wire gear selector. A new voice control system also helps the driver manage various interior functions. The old-school analog clock popping out of the dashboard complements the classic-digital modern theme of the instrument panel.
The greater interior design includes a 40:20:40 split of the folding rear bench backrests and between 495 and 1,034 L of cargo space. Options include a Burmester 3D premium audio system, tilt panoramic roof and massage seats.
Porsche will manufacture the new Panamera entirely at its Leipzig production facility and has invested €500 million into upgrades, including an all-new body manufacturing facility. The 4S will start at US$99,900 and the Turbo at $146,900. The 4S Diesel is listed just under €117,000 (US$129,500) for the German market.
Watch the polished Panamera intro in the first video clip or jump to the second for the Nürburgring footage.