Porsche has announced the arrival of an all-new Panamera luxury performance sedan. Let's explore the (much better-looking) second iteration of this surprisingly popular model.
The Porsche Panamera has been a fairly popular model and since it's launch back in 2009, more than 150 000 units have been sold. This model will hopefully carry on this success story and it features a design, new tech and new engines. The new model will be built at Porsche's Leipzig plant and Porsche has invested 500 million Euros into the facility. The design has not changed dramatically and there's no mistaking it for anything else. The rear in particular now looks a lot more modern and fresh, and there are styling cues which are a nod to the 911 sports car. The new car is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing Panamera.
The cabin of the new Porsche Panamera even gets a new name. The Porsche Advanced Cockpit has emphasis on the smartphone/tablet generation and things such as the number of hard buttons and analogue instruments have been reduced. Touchscreens and touch-sensitive panels and configurable displays replace these and the cabin is dominated by a large infotainment screen in the middle.
Engines and Handling
To go with the new Porsche Panamera are a series of redesigned engines. These motors are more powerful, yet emissions and economy are reduced. There are three new twin-turbocharged direct injection engines and these power the Panamera Turbo, the Panamera 4S and the Panamera 4S Diesel. All three models (including the diesel) can be equipped with all-wheel drive as well as an all-new Porsche PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Power outputs for the three new engines are 404 kW / 770 Nm for the Panamera Turbo, 324 kW / 550 Nm for the Panamera 4S, while the diesel-powered Panamera 4S Diesel has a V8 with 310 kW and 850 Nm. The turbochargers of the engines have been moved to within the cylinder banks in what's known as a Hot V configuration. The Turbo S will be the fastest of the lot and can do 306 kph. It will sprint to 100 kph in just 3.8 seconds, but if you tick the Sport Chrono Package, that time is dropped by 0.2 seconds.
The new Porsche Panamera is larger, wider and offers more powerful yet efficient engines.
Being a Porsche, it's expected to perform well and the new Panamera will do just that. While a Panamera is being marketed as a combination of sporty driver's car and luxury grand tourer, it will still be able to deliver driving thrills. The new air suspension features three-chamber technology as well as Porsche Active Suspension Management which handles the electronic damper control. Porsche's Dynamic Chassis Control Sport with torque vectoring, anti roll stabilisation and a new electromechanical steering system are also fitted. The braking system has also been improved.
It's in the technology department where the Porsche Panamera really shines. Some of these systems are standard, some are optional, and all will make your life as a Panamera owner easier. First up is night vision assistance which can detect people and animals when its really dark. Then you get Porsche InnoDrive which is an advanced version of adaptive cruise control. This system will use the navigation data to provide the optimal acceleration and deceleration for the next three kilometres. The car will take corners, inclines and descents as well as speed limits into account, and will drive the route using the least amount of fuel as possible.
There are two 7-inch displays that are directly in the driver's line of sight. Between these two electronic displays is an analogue tachometer. The 12.3-inch touchscreen is the highlight of the cabin and has features such as online navigation, the online functions of Porsche Connect, smartphone integration via Apple Car Play and a new voice control system. The rear can be specified with a similar system in the rear.
The Porsche Panamera will reach German dealerships on the 5th November 2016. This model will most likely come to South Africa, but as soon as we have more info on local availability, we'll update.