The new Panamera is a car that, Porsche says, has been “redeveloped and realigned down to the last detail” in a renewed challenge to luxury rivals, such as the soon-to-be-replaced Audi A8, latest BMW 7 Series and newly updated Maserati Quattroporte.
The all-new liftback-style saloon replaces today’s seven-year-old model, which has contributed to record sales for the German car maker in recent years. The initial line-up comprises three four-wheel drive models: the £88,700 Panamera 4S, £91,788 Panamera 4S Diesel and £113,075 Panamera Turbo.
Live stream of the reveal
Further derivatives are planned for early next year, including entry-level rear-wheeldrive variants with petrol and diesel engines, as well as successor models to today’s GTS and petrol-electric plug-in S Hybrid.
The new Panamera is based on the second incarnation of Porsche’s MSB (or modular standard architecture) platform. It contributes to a reduction in weight through the use of aluminium for the main structure as well as the bonnet, wings, roof and tailgate.
Although Porsche hasn’t specified the Panamera’s kerb weight, a claimed power-to-weight ratio for the Panamera Turbo of 3.6kg per 1PS (Pferdstärke, equivalent to 0.986bhp) would suggest that it tips the scales at 1980kg, which is 10kg more than the outgoing version.
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.