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Porsche details new Panamera, here December

Porsche updates Panamera, Turbo S sets new executive car Nurburgring lap record

26 Aug 2020

PORSCHE has ripped the covers off its new Panamera luxury sedan, taking its performance credentials to the next level with the flagship Turbo S darting from zero to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds and having already set a new ‘executive car’ lap record at the Nurburgring.


Having undergone what Porsche describes as a “comprehensive revamp”, the new Panamera not only ups the performance ante but also ushers in new styling across the range as well as revised chassis and suspension tunes.


Far from unexpectedly, the eye-watering performance figures quoted above belong to the new range-topping Turbo S and come courtesy of the familiar but “comprehensively overhauled” twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, producing a monstrous 463kW of power and 820Nm of torque.


These figures cannot quite match the eye-watering 500kW/850Nm outputs of the outgoing Turbo SE-Hybrid flagship – the rabid hybrid has been dropped from the updated line-up – but they easily surpass those of the outgoing Turbo (404kW/770Nm), another variant not included in the new line-up.


That said, Porsche did a similar thing with the current 911 range; initially offering the ballistic Turbo S first with the ‘regular’ Turbo following a few months behind.


Regardless, once 0-100km/h has been dispatched in the previously mentioned 3.1 seconds, the Panamera Turbo S will keep pulling all the way to a 315km/h v-max.


“In order to transfer the enormous power to the road in a controlled manner and maximise cornering performance, the three-chamber air suspension, the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the roll stabilisation system Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) including Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) have been customised to each specific model and optimised accordingly,” Porsche said in a statement.


This sheer amount of firepower, channelled to ground via an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system, combine with the optimised chassis and suspension systems to propel the Panamera Turbo S around the Nurburgring in a scorching 7:29.81.


Visually, the Turbo S distinguishes itself from the rest of the Panamera range by means of its bigger intakes, body-coloured chin elements, uniquely spaced light modules and revamped rear light strip.


Brandishing a $409,500 plus on-roads asking price, the Turbo S is not only the fastest Panamera but also the most expensive, sitting almost $93,000 clear of the $316,800 GTS Sport Turismo.


As with the rest of Porsche’s model line-up, the GTS nameplate denotes the second-tier performance variants with the Panamera GTS once again available in both hatch ($309,500) and Sport Turismo (wagon) body types.


Just like the Turbo S, power in the GTS twins has risen compared to its predecessor with the force-fed V8 now churning out 353kW/620Nm – 20kW more than before.


While the Turbo S is all about outright performance, Porsche seems to have taken a different route with the GTS to make it more about the driving experience, specifically tuning the engine to be as linear as possible in its power delivery as a nod to the naturally aspirated sportscars of yesteryear.


The aural pleasure has been turned up too thanks to the fitment of a new sports exhaust system, designed to prioritise “the traditional V8 sound characteristics”.


Compared to the rest of the range, the GTS duo carries a few of its own unique styling cues, the most notable of which being the darkened ‘Exclusive Design’ tail-light clusters and the 10mm lower ride height courtesy of its sports suspension.


Below the GTS on price but not on power is the $292,300 4S E-Hybrid – the only electrified Panamera being offered from launch.


Under the bonnet resides the familiar Audi-shared twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine good for 324kW.


The force-fed petrol unit has then been paired with a 100kW electric motor – fed by a 17.9kWh battery – to produce a combined 412kW/750Nm, enough to launch the big four-door from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds.


In all-electric mode, the 4S E-Hybrid can hit 140km/h and cover up to 54km on the WLTP city cycle.


Compared to the outgoing model, the new plug-in hybrid’s battery capacity has increased by 3.8kWh while the different drive modes have all reportedly been optimised “for even more efficient energy utilisation”.


At the entry point of the range is the Panamera ($199,500) and Panamera 4 ($209,700) duo, each motivated by the same force-fed V6 underpinning the 4S E-Hybrid, albeit in a lower state of tune.


In base Panamera guise, the powerplant produces the same 243kW/450Nm as in the outgoing 3.0-litre single-turbo V6, with the only difference between the duo being the all-wheel-drive setup of the 4 – the entry-level Panamera is rear-wheel-drive.


For those chasing something a little more exclusive or bigger, the 4 is also available in ‘Executive’ (long-wheelbase) and Sport Turismo body styles, with the former carrying a $9500 premium over the regular 4.


Just like with the GTS, the 4 Sport Turismo is priced $7300 north of its standard sibling.


Standard kit across the Panamera range includes leather upholstery with variant-specific embroidery, ventilated front seats, head-up display, push button start, adaptive cruise control, soft close doors, ambient lighting, Park Assist, Porsche Communication Management, Connect Plus with Apple CarPlay, 710W Bose surround sound system, DAB+ digital radio and power tailgate.


Safety features meanwhile consist of lane keep assist, lane change assist, active bonnet, Porsche’s side impact protection system and myriad of airbags.


The new Panamera range is due to touch down on Aussie soil in December.


As for the current model, Porsche 13 examples so far this year ending July, accounting for 3.1 per cent of the $100,000+ upper large car segment, 24 less than it managed over the same period last year (-64.9%).


2020 Porsche Panamera pricing*

Panamera (a) $199,500
4 (a) $209,700
4 Sport Turismo (a) $217,000
4 Executive (a) $219,200
4S E-Hybrid (a) $292,300
GTS (a) $309,500
GTS Sport Turismo (a) $316,800
Turbo S (a) $409,500

*Excludes on-road costs

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