LEIPZIG, Germany — The third-generation Porsche Panamera made its debut on-line, and Autoblog went to Germany to get a sneak preview of the sedan earlier than its unveiling. Whereas it seems to be so much just like the second-generation mannequin, it advantages from a protracted checklist of mechanical, chassis, and inside modifications.
Visually, the modifications made to the third-generation Panamera are largely evolutionary — did you anticipate the rest from Porsche? Whereas the brand new automotive seems to be so much like its predecessor, it is not a easy nip-and-tuck and the agency stresses there’s extra occurring than meets the attention.
“The idea of the chassis is identical. The wheelbase is identical. It is a part of our technique to make a chassis platform which lasts for 2 generations. Nevertheless, we needed to change plenty of issues within the platform due to new necessities, corresponding to crash-test necessities. So, it is not precisely the identical platform. There are plenty of carry-over elements however there are additionally plenty of new elements. We wished to extend stiffness, and we would have liked to [accommodate] crash necessities worldwide,” Dr. Thomas Friemuth, the Panamera line’s vp, instructed me.
Up entrance, designers gave the entrance bumper a brand new look, fitted extra angular headlights, and made the fenders taller. Out again, the hatch’s window loses its metallic body and the sunshine bar stays but it surely options an up to date design. Turbo fashions obtain the brand new Turbonite end introduced earlier in 2023, and center-locking wheels seem on the Panamera’s checklist of choices for the primary time since its introduction in 2009.
Porsche pared down the vary to 2 physique kinds: the usual Panamera and the long-wheelbase, Govt-badged variant. That is it; the Sport Turismo station wagon is not making a comeback. Friemuth defined that international gross sales had been a lot too low to justify retaining it round.
We have already seen the brand new Panamera’s inside, which includes a format known as the Porsche Driver Expertise. Should you’re conversant in latest additions to the model’s vary, like the brand new Cayenne, you will really feel proper at house within the third-generation Panamera. From the motive force’s seat, you face a 12.6-inch curved instrument cluster that does not have a binnacle. The swap to begin and cease the engine has been changed by a button (although it is nonetheless on the left facet of the steering wheel), and a razor-shaped shifter clears area on the middle console. One other first is the provision of an non-obligatory 10.9-inch touchscreen embedded into the a part of the dashboard that is forward of the entrance passenger.
At launch, patrons could have three trims referred to as Panamera, Panamera 4, and Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid, respectively, to select from. The primary two use a 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 rated at 348 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, will increase of 23 and 37, respectively, over the six-cylinder discovered within the last-generation mannequin. Porsche quotes a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.0 seconds for the rear-wheel-drive mannequin and a high pace of 169 mph, whereas the all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 takes 4.7 seconds to achieve 60 mph however loses one mile per hour on the high finish.
New for 2024, the Turbo E-Hybrid mannequin will get a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain that consists of an up to date model of the outgoing automotive’s 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, an electrical motor built-in into the eight-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission, and a 25.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack. This drivetrain is rated at 670 horsepower and 685 pound-feet of torque, and it advantages from the quite a few classes that Porsche has discovered from constructing hybrid Panamera fashions for over a decade, like a brand new electrical motor cooled by the transmission’s fluid.
“With water cooling, you possibly can solely cool the housing. You can’t go on to the elements due to corrosion,” Friemuth famous.
Supercar-like energy unlocks supercar-like efficiency: the Turbo E-Hybrid takes 3.0 seconds to achieve 60 mph from a standstill and does not cease accelerating till the digital speedometer shows 195 mph. Nevertheless, the brand new Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid posts an output of 729 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. What provides? Granted, the Cayenne is greater and heavier, however could not Porsche have dropped this precise drivetrain into the Panamera only for the hell of securing bragging rights? It seems the reply is not so simple as it’d sound.
“The bottom cast-iron piece of the engine is identical [between the two models]; all the pieces else is completely different. We’ve a distinct gearbox and a distinct electrical motor. And, right here we wish to [continue the tradition] of creating a Turbo E-Hybrid and a Turbo S E-Hybrid. The shoppers need each. Our methods are barely completely different relying on the purchasers [and on the product line],” Friemuth defined.
Put one other manner, whereas it does not sound just like the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is coming again, the Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid will not keep pegged on the high quality for very lengthy. “Sooner or later, we could have 4 hybrid fashions, and as you understand when Porsche says there is a Turbo there usually is a Turbo S coming with extra highly effective and with extra torque. There’s far more to come back,” Friemuth assured me.
Each hybrid member of the third-generation Panamera vary will probably be optionally out there with a brand new suspension system referred to as Porsche Lively Trip. It consists of lively shock absorbers powered by an electrically-operated hydraulic pump. Curiously, the system is so highly effective that Porsche claims the brand new Panamera does not want springs to ship a cushty journey; they’re there to hold the burden of the automotive (giving this job to the lively shocks would use an excessive amount of vitality) and make sure the massive sedan does not drop on its stomach when it is off.
On the highway, the Lively Trip suspension system is eye-opening. It jogs my memory of the ultra-smooth and very snug journey you discover in Citroën fashions with a hydropneumatic suspension system, minus the jumbo-jet-like physique roll. Once you speed up, even in the event you’re flooring it, the automotive does not squat. Once you brake, even in the event you’re mashing the pedal, the automotive does not dive. Take a flip in both route and the automotive gently leans into it, virtually like a motorbike. A part of the magic is that you do not really feel it: there is a sure diploma of disconnect since you anticipate the automotive to maneuver and it does not, however there isn’t any delay within the response time. Change it off and the distinction is instantly perceptible.
Notice that this function is not out there in Sport Plus mode as a result of the dealing with “would not really feel pure,” a Porsche engineer instructed me. Good name.
Porsche arrange the Lively Trip system to decrease the journey top by roughly an inch at freeway speeds to make the Panamera extra aerodynamic. House owners may also have the choice of enabling a perform that raises the journey top by just a little over two inches to make getting out and in of the automotive simpler. Locking it within the excessive place, Citroën-style, to deal with dust roads is not be doable resulting from regulatory hurdles.
Constructed alongside the Macan in Leipzig, Germany, the 2024 Porsche Panamera is on sale now throughout the nation. Pricing for the bottom mannequin begins at $101,550 together with a $1,650 vacation spot cost whereas the all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 mannequin prices $108,550. Each variants will attain showrooms within the spring of 2024. Porsche will launch pricing info and launch particulars for the Turbo E-Hybrid at a later date.
The checklist of normal options consists of an air suspension system, LED Matrix Design headlights, and a cooled smartphone compartment with inductive charging. Choices? You need ’em, Porsche has ’em. InnoDrive expertise (which beneficial properties an evasive maneuver assistant function) is a spotlight from the checklist of choices, together with smartphone-controlled Distant ParkAssist expertise, and a rear-wheel steering system.