Berlin, Germany ― The all-new 2017 Porsche Panamera recently made its global debut in the German capital. A benchmark for luxury sports sedans ever since it came onto the scene in 2009, this model was more than due for a thorough revision and revitalization.
Porsche openly admits that the Panamera aims to combine the performance of a sports car with the comfort of a luxury sedan. And apparently, the 2017 edition pulls it off with even more determination than before.
While this big, 4-door Porsche has managed to impress with exhilarating performance over the years, styling has always polarized fans and purists. In a segment where looks are crucial, the Panamera’s proportions were less than ideal, and following the initial honeymoon, people began to lose interest as evidenced by fading sales.
Now, the executives in Stuttgart bank heavily on the completely redesigned model to give their one and only sedan all of its luster back.
Unfortunately, the world premiere in Berlin did not include a test drive, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer to read our first impressions. Still, the presentation offered many great insights into Porsche’s new flagship.
At first glance, the 2017 Porsche Panamera sports more attractive body lines that clearly bring it closer to the new 911 and even the 918 Spyder. Special attention was paid to the exterior design, which bodes well for the car’s future success.
For example, the rear section incorporates sexier curves that definitely evoke the most iconic Porsche of all. The thinner LED taillights share a lot of similarities with the 911’s, while the strip connecting them contributes to a broader, more athletic-looking stance. Increased downforce at speed is supplied by the returning automated rear spoiler, which is larger on the Turbo model than on the base Panamera 4S.
If the rear fenders look more muscular, it’s because the car’s beltline was raised compared to the outgoing version. The rounded glass further gives the illusion of a 4-door 911. Back up front, the 4-point LED headlamps are still unmistakable, and while the hood and front bumper have changed, the new Panamera’s nose is more of an evolution than a transformation.
Two flavours of Panamera
As mentioned, there will be two models to choose from when the 2017 Porsche Panamera lands in Canada starting in January of next year. Of course, expect more trim levels to join the lineup before long, as was the case with the first generation.
Priced from $114,300, the Panamera 4S gets a new 2.9L twin-turbo V6 rated at 440 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque. Reach deeper into your wallet to shell out $167,700, and you will have access to the Panamera Turbo and its twin-turbo V8 producing 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque ― numbers that will seriously endanger your driver’s licence.
Both feature the latest version of the fantastic PDK dual-clutch transmission, now with eight gears instead of seven and offering the inevitable steering wheel paddles for manual shifts. And since all-wheel drive sedans are more and more popular nowadays, these first two next-generation Panamera models available in Canada will be equipped as such.
No more buttons
Aside from the ultra-exclusive and otherworldly 918 Spyder, all Porsche models of late still feature a myriad of buttons, especially on the centre console separating the two front occupants. Personally, I don’t mind; however, designers of the 2017 Porsche Panamera wanted to change all that. The usual switchgear around the shifter is now replaced entirely by touch-sensitive controls.
Also worthy of note: The dashboard is flat and conspicuously wide, naturally with the analog tachometer positioned in the middle of the instrument cluster. Over on the centre stack, the new 12.3” infotainment display is compatible with Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto yet).
Material selection and build quality inside the new Porsche Panamera seem to live up to the German brand’s standards. A quick tour of the Leipzig facility where the Cayenne, Macan, and Panamera are built confirmed that Porsche took extreme measures to hone its luxury sedan.
In typical Porsche fashion, the driving position remains excellent. The other three supportive seats in the Panamera are quite a joy to sit in, too.
Porsche Panamera wrap-up
This first-contact report obviously misses a road or even track evaluation, but if the past is any indication expect the new Panamera to be improved across the line, even though the outgoing model already impressed with straight-line stability and cornering agility.
Actually, initial validation of the car’s increased performance came when a 2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo lapped the Nürburgring in a time of 7:38 minutes, tying the previous-generation 911 Turbo. Not bad for a living room on wheels, eh?