By Otsile Kadiege
Porsche recently revealed the third-generation Panamera which boasts a wider range of digital features, a fresh and expressive design and a broader spectrum between dynamic performance and driving comfort.
The new Panamera carries over much of the previous generation’s exterior design, however, Porsche tweaked the design and styling to help set it apart from its predecessor. Some highlights include a sculpted bonnet and doors, newly designed standard Matrix LED headlights (HD Matrix LED lighting system with 32 000 pixels per headlight is available as an optional extra), larger air inlets, new wheel designs, redesigned window line and a rear LED light bar.
The Turbo E-Hybrid derivative is characterised by a distinctive rear apron with painted diffuser panels and a unique front apron in body colour. There are also chrome-plated tailpipes in dark bronze and optional centre-lock wheels, which can also be specified on the other models.
The new Panamera measures 5,052 mm in length (Executive: 5,202 mm) and is 1,937 mm wide and 1,423 mm high (Executive: 1,428 mm).
Interior design and technologies
Inside, the new Panamera adopts modern, typical Porsche design and technologies used in some of Porsche’s latest models like the new Cayenne. Some noteworthy features include the Porsche Driver Experience cockpit concept that features the ideal balance between digital and analogue control elements, a three-spoke multifunctional steering wheel with a rotary drive mode selector, three large displays including an optional 10.9 inch screen which displays vehicle performance data on request and also allows operation of the infotainment system and supports video streaming while the car is in motion.
More highlights include a minimalist, raised centre console, optional contrasting leather seats (Turbo derivatives get sporty bucket seats with Porsche crests embossed on the headrest), ambient lighting and a cooled inductive charging pad for compatible smartphones to list a few.
Porsche has significantly upgraded the range of assistance systems in the new Panamera. The standard active speed assistant now interacts with traffic sign recognition. If the system is active, the Panamera will not automatically drive faster than the appropriate speed limit. Porsche InnoDrive including adaptive cruise control features active lane guidance and junction assist. A swerve assistant is now also part of the range of functions. Also new is that, during automatic parking, the driver no longer has to be in the car, although they are still responsible for the manoeuvre. The parking process can be monitored from a smartphone with the new Remote ParkAssist function.
In response to the high demand for this type of drive system, Porsche now offers a total of four efficient E-Hybrid powertrains for the new Panamera. At the heart of the Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid is a revised four-litre V8 turbo engine. The output of the newly developed electric motor is 140 kW. Together, they create a system output of 500 kW while the system torque reaches an impressive 930 Nm.
Porsche integrated the electric motor into the housing of the comprehensively redesigned eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The automaker claims the Turbo E-Hybrid sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and boasts a top speed of 315 km/h. Its battery capacity is now 25.9 kWh which enables an equivalent electric range of up to 91 kilometres in the combined WLTP cycle or 83 – 93 km in the city cycle. A new 11 kW on-board AC charger shortens the charging time at suitable charging points to 2 hours and 39 minutes.
The Panamera and Panamera 4 variants will be powered by a modified 2.9-litre V6 turbo engine. It now generates 260 kW and 500 Nm of torque – an increase of 17 kW and 50 Nm compared to its predecessor. This shortens the Panamera’s sprint to 100 km/h to 5.1 seconds and boosts its top speed to 272 km/h. The all-wheel drive Panamera 4 now takes 4.8 seconds and reaches 270 km/h.
As standard, the new Panamera comes with dual-chamber two-valve air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Porsche says the two-valve technology separates the rebound and compression stages of the damper control and therefore offers an even wider range between comfort and sportiness. In addition, the innovative Porsche Active Ride active suspension system is available as an option for the E-Hybrid models of the new Panamera.
Availability and pricing
The new Porsche Panamera will be produced at the automaker’s Leipzig factory. Porsche South Africa hasn’t confirmed local availability yet. That said, pricing is as follows:
Panamera – R2,216,000
Panamera 4 – R2,292,000
Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid – R4,127,000
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