V6 and V8 engine Panameras will be available - but no estate any more
The new, third-generation Porsche Panamera is the company’s most luxurious, tech-heavy and expensive saloon yet.
Prices will start at £79,500 for V6-engined models and rise to £141,400 for the topend V8 plug-in hybrid, with the line-up going on sale in the UK early in 2024.
The new Panamera’s eight-cylinder engine is a heavily updated version of the V8 already in use in outgoing Panameras, with only the cylinder block remaining the same, according to Porsche.
Speaking during an event at Porsche’s factory in Leipzig, where the new Panamera will be built, Panamera project leader Thomas Friemuth said it was important to “celebrate the emotions of a V8”.
The top-spec Turbo E-Hybrid model (V8 engines are only available as part of a plug-in hybrid system) produces peaks of 671bhp and 686 lb ft. The 0-62mph sprint is taken care of in 3.3sec on the way to a top speed of 196mph.
Porsche bosses gave assurances that a Turbo S E-hybrid is also coming, and that it will have a “large” power increase.
The entry-level 2.9-litre V6, which will be available with rear- or four-wheel drive, has also been reworked, with modifications to boost pressure, fuel injection flow rate and ignition timing. That results in a power increase of 23bhp, for a peak of 348bhp.
The hybrid system for this third-generation Panamera benefits from improvements in both range and efficiency.
The plug-in hybrid’s new oil-cooled electric motor produces 188bhp and 332lb ft and is now integrated into the new PDK gearbox housing, which should significantly improve brake energy recuperation performance under deceleration.
The motor is powered by a new, larger 25.9kWh battery that gives 56 miles of range, up significantly from 39 miles previously, and it is now equipped with an 11kW on-board AC charger, which is claimed to cut home-charging times by an hour.
Like the latest Cayenne, the new Panamera’s design is a case of evolution rather than revolution: there is a new nose and central air intake, a raised front wing to bring it more in line with the 911, frameless rear windows, new wheel options and extra paint colours.
Turbo models will receive a raft of bespoke cues, including centre-lock alloys, ‘Turbo’ badges and a new bronze colour called Turbonite.
Friemuth said: “We’re trying to do more with Turbo. We are trying to make it a mini brand. For instance, the car may well be called Turbo E-Hybrid, but it will just have ‘Turbo’ on the rear. And the Turbo-specific features are not available to buyers of other specs.”
The interior mirrors that of the latest Cayenne, with a new 12.6in driver display and 10.9in. infotainment screen, as well as a new dash-mounted gear selector that frees up space on the centre console.
The boot is now large enough for two golf bags, as a result of a direct request from Friemuth.
He said: “I gave them the goal to fit two golf bags in the rear, for me and my wife. “They both fit without needing to fold the seats down now, so mission accomplished. You always learn from generation to generation in a car, and it’s the simple things that add up.”
Other big news comes in the form of a new active suspension system for the hybrid models, which boasts added dynamism and comfort because of the way it is able to react to what the car is doing.
For instance, under hard acceleration, it can counter the tendency for the front end to rise by actively bringing down the suspension. Conversely, the system can raise the front under hard braking to counteract the forward weight transfer.
But the system also offers a user-friendly ‘party piece’: it lifts the Panamera up by 5.5cm when a door is opened in order to make it easier to get into the car.
No Sport Turismo
This new-generation model marks the end of the Sport Turismo estate, which made up less than 10% of sales. Long wheelbase saloons will continue to be made for the Chinese market.
Q&A with chassis development manager - steering systems, Christoph Bittner
What is Porsche Active Ride?
“It’s the latest adaptive air suspension. It has taken around six years to develop, and instead of using two or three air suspension chambers it uses just one. It’s the best chassis system on the market.”
That’s quite a claim. How does it live up to that?
“There are similar systems on the market but they lack the energy of ours. Our system is high voltage: 400 volts. It’s very responsive, very fast to react.”
What else marks your system out?
"The air spring is not active – active regulations are done through force in the dampers. And we no longer use stabiliser bars. Those bars guide not only wanted forces but also unwanted ones. With our system there is no mechanical connection between the wheels."