Integrated performance with comfort

Hakim Hayat

The new Porsche Panamera, a new hybrid model said to be the best-in-class performance of the Panamera line, saw its worldwide virtual launch recently, and the German automaker promises the delivery of an integrated performance sports car with the comfort of an exclusive saloon.

During the Asia Pacific Media Round Table for the new Panamera models following the virtual launch, Vice President Product Line Panamera Dr Thomas Friemuth shared that the enhanced model embodies a true sports car, exclusive saloon, a hybrid pioneer – the versatility and unique symbiosis of opposites that characterised the Porsche Panamera right from the start.

The core features of the second generation, which has been on the market since 2016, have now been enhanced even further.

Supporting its claim to best-in-class performance, the Panamera Turbo S boasts a power output of 463kW (630PS) – which exceeds the performance figures of the previous Panamera Turbo by a wide margin. From zero to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds, the new Panamera Turbo S sets a benchmark of performance, offering 59kW (80PS) more power and 50Nm more torque than the previous flagship Turbo with combustion engine.

Porsche also continues to pursue its E-Performance strategy with the new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, an addition to its range of plug-in hybrids, offering a completely new drive system with 412kW (560PS) system output.

The Panamera Turbo S. PHOTOS: PORSCHE
The interior of the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid

Compared to the previous hybrid models, the all-electric range has been boosted by up to 30 per cent. Comfort and sportiness benefit from enhanced chassis components and control systems in combination with the new-generation steering control and tyres.

Developed in Weissach and built in Zuffenhausen, the familiar four-litre V8 biturbo engine has been comprehensively overhauled enabling the car to achieve a top speed of 315km/h. 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.

The new Panamera Turbo S has already proven its uncompromising performance capability on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife: test driver Lars Kern completed the 20.832 kilometre-long lap on the most demanding race track in the world in exactly 7:29.81 minutes – the new official record in the “executive cars” class.

Meanwhile, the V8 biturbo engine in the Panamera GTS was optimised with a specific focus on its power delivery. With 353kW (480PS) and 620Nm, the new Panamera GTS delivers 15kW (20PS) more power than its predecessor. The power output continuously increases up to close to the engine speed limit. The power delivery is therefore like that of a classic sports car with naturally aspirated engine. The traditional V8 sound characteristics are even more prominent than before thanks to the new standard sports exhaust system featuring asymmetrically positioned rear silencers.

The new Panamera and Panamera 4 are now equipped with the familiar 2.9-litre V6 biturbo engine in markets worldwide. Delivering 243kW (330PS) and 450Nm, the performance remains unchanged.

The new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid comes with 17.9kWh battery and an electric range of up to 54km. The intelligent combination of the 100kW (136PS) electric motor integrated into the eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission and the 2.9-litre V6 biturbo engine with 324kW (440PS) generates a system output of 412kW (560PS) and a maximum system torque of 750Nm.

The performance figures are impressive: combined with the standard Sport Chrono Package, the sprint from zero to – 100km/h is covered in 3.7 seconds. The top speed is 298km/h.

The Panamera offers an extensive range of innovative light and assistance systems, such as the now standard Lane Keeping Assist with road sign recognition, as well as Night Vision Assist, Lane Change Assist, LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, Park Assist including Surround View and head-up display.

The fuel consumption and CO2 emission values were calculated according to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) values derived from this must continue to be specified for the time being. These values cannot be compared with the values calculated on the basis of the previously used NEDC test.

Responding to queries from the media on rumours of a sedan version of the Panamera, Dr Friemuth during the virtual roundtable discussion revealed that Porsche has indeed been thinking about launching a coupe version of the Panamera for a while, but admitted that no definite conclusion has been reached so far with regard to the viability of such a project.