Porsche has turned the wick up so much with the new Panamera so much it’s given it a new name.
What was previously known as the Panamera Turbo is now the Panamera Turbo S thanks to significant upgrades to its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. While retaining the same engine, Porsche’s boffins tweaked it to now produce a whopping 463kW of power and 820Nm of torque.
That’s a leap of 59kW and 50Nm from the old ‘Turbo’ so the German brand decided it was worthy of the new badge. And on paper it sounds deserving with the four-door, five-seat sedan capable of doing the 0-100km/h sprint in a supercar-like 3.1 seconds.
Porsche also gave the chassis an overhaul, making tweaks to the air suspension, Porsche Active Suspension Management, roll stabilisation system, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport and Porsche Torque Vectoring to improve the handling.
The net result is a new Nurburgring lap record, a massive 13 seconds faster than the out-going model. Porsche test driver Lars Kern tamed the 20km circuit in 7:29.81 seconds for what the company claims is the new record for the “Executive Car” class; although it must be added Jaguar claims it’s track-focused XE SV Project 8 sedan managed a 7:18.36 second lap in 2019.
But the Turbo S is just the headline attraction of a completely overhauled Panamera range.
Hybrid boost too
Another new Panamera model for 2020 is the 4S E-Hybrid which builds on the success of the petrol-electric hybrid launched in 2017 with a new battery that the company claims offers a longer range.
According to Porsche the new 17.9kWh battery (replacing a 14.1kWh version) provides an extra 30 per cent more electric-only driving range.
As with the previous Panamera 4 E-Hybrid the powertrain uses a combination of a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine and a 100kW electric motor integrated into the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s more powerful than it’s predecessor too, with 412kW and 750Nm of total system output.
Porsche claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.7 seconds for the model, to underline it’s both a hybrid and a performance car.
GTS and the rest
The Panamera GTS also gets a 15kW upgrade to its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 now making 353kW and 620Nm.
Importantly, in keeping with the original positioning of the GTS as a pure ‘driver’s car’, the brand claims that the engine is now tuned so that power increases as the engine speed builds to better resemble a naturally-aspirated engine. It also gets a new sports exhaust system as standard to create a more “traditional V8 sound” reportedly.
The entry-level Panamera and all-wheel drive Panamera 4 are still powered by the same 243kW/450Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine. However, in a big change for the model Porsche Australia has got the opening price for the range below $200k, with the Panamera starting at $199,500; a significant drop from the previous $218,600 cost of entry.
The new Panamera range is available to pre-order now with first deliveries expected in December.
2020 Porsche Panamera pricing
Panamera – $199,500
Panamera 4 – $209,700
Panamera 4 – Executive $219,200
Panamera 4 – Sport Turismo $217,000
Panamera 4S E-Hybrid – $292,300
Panamera GTS – $309,500
Panamera GTS Sport Turismo – $316,800
Panamera Turbo S – $409,500