The new model marks a concerted effort by Porsche’s design team to provide the Panamera with some of the iconic stylistic cues of the 911, with tauter surfacing and more precise swage line detailing.
Dimensionally, the new Panamera has put on 35mm in length (to 5050mm), 5mm in width (1935mm) and 5mm in height (1423mm). This makes it 50mm shorter, 35mm wider and 67mm lower than the latest BMW 7 Series.
A more curved roofline has reduced the height above the rear passenger compartment by 20mm, with the effect that the new Panamera looks lower and longer than before. This is further enhanced by a wheelbase that is 30mm longer, at 2950mm.
Despite the reduction in roof height at the back, Porsche says rear head room has increased. So has the boot capacity, up by 50 litres over the first-generation Panamera, at a nominal 495 litres. That extends to 1304 litres when the standard 40/20/40 split rear seat is folded.
The new Panamera is the first recipient of Porsche’s new turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 and twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engines. In a move that is becoming increasingly common among performance car makers, the new V6 and V8 engines rely on twin-scroll, counter-rotating turbochargers that are mounted centrally within the space between the two cylinder banks. This, claims Porsche, provides shorter charging paths for added response and greater torque at lower engine speeds.
The new engines come mated to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a reworked version of the multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system used by the Mk1 Panamera.
In the Panamera 4S, the new turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 delivers 434bhp at 5650rpm and 405lb ft of torque between 1750rpm and 5500rpm — sufficient for the car to hit 62mph from rest in 4.2sec (when equipped with the Sport Chrono package) and reach a top speed of 180mph.
The new turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 in the new Panamera Turbo develops 542bhp at 5750rpm and 568lb ft between 1960rpm and 4500rpm. When the car is fitted with the Sport Chrono package, it has an official 0-62mph time of 3.6sec, beating its predecessor by 0.5sec and delivering the same 190mph top speed.
New to the line-up is the Panamera 4S Diesel. It is the first Panamera model to be offered with a V8 diesel engine. The 4.0-litre unit produces 416bhp at 3500rpm and 626lb ft of torque from 1000rpm to 3250rpm. The new V8 oil burner provides the Panamera 4S Diesel with the distinction of being the world’s fastest production diesel, according to Porsche, with an official 0-62mph time of 4.3sec (in combination with the Sport Chrono package) and a 177mph top speed. Perhaps even more impressive is its fuel efficiency: a combined 42.2mpg, with average CO2 emissions of 176g/km.
Porsche makes big claims about the new Panamera’s agility. It features a new electromechanical steering system and, mirroring recent developments in its sports car line-up, four-wheel steer in a bid to further enhance steering precision despite the car’s increase in dimensions.
Lower-end models continue to have standard steel sprung suspension, whereas upper-end models, including those available at launch, adopt a newly developed air suspension system with three-stage dampers in combination with electronic damper control and dynamic chassis control that supports torque vectoring and active roll stabilisation.