Porsche unveils its revised 2021 Panamera in a virtual presentation.
We’ve caught sight of the new 2021 Porsche Panamera in fits and starts over the last few months, as the manufacturer has been preparing the second generation of the sedan first introduced in 2017. Camouflaged prototypes have been ubiquitous or almost on roads around the world and even at the Nürburgring, where the most powerful trim in the lineup - now called the Turbo S - even managed to set a record lap time for the executive sedan segment. Cmpleting the 20-odd km of the famous circuit in 7 min 29.81 sec in a car of the calibre of the Panamera is quite a feat.
Now, thanks to a virtual presentation, we know all the essential details surrounding the revised new 2021 edition, which can already be ordered by eager buyers. The first deliveries are scheduled for the first quarter of next year.
Canadian consumers interested in this flagship sedan from the German automaker will have to pay a minimum of $99,300 for the basic Panamera with rear-wheel drive, the only one in the lineup that does not benefit from the in-house all-wheel-drive system. One notch higher, the Panamera 4 is priced at $104,600, while the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid will set buyers back $128,500.
Driving enthusiasts will be happy to learn that the GTS version is back at a starting price of $147,400. Finally, at the top of the price range is the Turbo S, which replaces the previous Panamera Turbo and is priced at $202,400.
Four engines, five driving experiences
As is the case with all models in the Porsche range, the Panamera is available with no fewer than four different engines, and it wouldn’t be surprising if that choice grows over the months. To start off, the base Panamera and the Panamera 4 are both equipped with the 2.9L twin-turbo V6l the 6-cylinder engine delivers 325 hp and an optimal 330 lb-ft of torque.
Further up the lineup - at least according to the price range - the new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid is the most frugal alternative thanks to its plug-in hybrid technology. Equipped with a higher-capacity battery (17.9 kWh compared to 14.1 kWh in the past), this electrified version is capable of driving in electric mode for longer periods of time.
Porsche Canada is still awaiting calculations from Natural Resources Canada, but roughly speaking, the manufacturer promises a 30% longer range without the contribution of the twin-turbo V6 which, in this application alone, develops 443 hp.
With the 134-hp electric motor, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid's total output is 552 hp, while maximum torque is 553 lb-ft. With the standard Sport Chrono Package, the electrified sedan needs only 3.7 seconds to reach 100 km/h and has a top speed of 298 km/h.
Next up the Panamera's chart is the GTS variant, which returns once again with the 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine. In this version, the V8 delivers 473 hp (a gain of 20) and 457 lb-ft of torque. Porsche promises, among other things, more musicality from the standard sport exhaust system.
Finally, the Panamera Turbo S amply deserves its new name, the S, which comes with a marked increase in power from the 4.0L twin-turbo V8. Indeed, with 620 hp (up 70) and 605 lb-ft (up 37) in its arsenal, the most dynamic Panamera has no trouble getting from 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds. This from a comfortable sedan capable of transporting four adults in the greatest comfort with their luggage, let's not forget!
Sedan, Family or Executive?
As before, the Panamera comes in three distinct body styles: sedan, Sport Turismo wagon or Executive sedan, the latter coming with an extended wheelbase for improved comfort of second-row passengers. Unfortunately, Porsche Canada confirms that the Sport Turismo trim - the most practical of the range - is still largely neglected by consumers: only 10% of orders are for the version with extended roof.
A few changes on the outside
Since this is a mid-cycle redesign, the aesthetic changes are very sober. The Sport Design Package is now part of the basic equipment, which explains why there are wide air intakes on either side of the turn signals. The Panamera Turbo S has an exclusive face, notably thanks to more-imposing air intakes.
In back, the lighting strip has also been redesigned to follow the line of the trunk. The GTS sees the trunk darkened because that version is equipped standard with the Exclusive Design Package. Finally, the new 2021 Panamera offers three new choices of 20- and 21-inch wheels, bringing the total to 10 wheels for either Panamera model.
A look inside
Th changes are just as discreet inside, which is no shock given that the interior was already among the best in the industry. However, the sport steering wheel is new for 2021. Overall the environment is the same, although the communication management system (PCM) comes with additional services and functions. The options list is also packed with a host of driver assistance systems.
An optimized chassis
We'll have to wait until we get behind the wheel of one of these new 2021 Panameras to confirm it, but the manufacturer promises superior driving pleasure thanks to an optimized chassis. Among other improvements, Porsche says the Active Suspension Management System (PASM) now creates a more-comfortable ride for occupants. Steering and tires are also new, while the celebrated PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control) is said to improve body stability. To be continued...
The final word
It will be interesting to watch the public's reaction to this new Panamera, given that it faces new competition from… within the same showroom. For its part Porsche claims that the recent arrival of the Taycan should not cannibalize sales of its flagship sedan. We'll have the answer in a few months.