New Porsche Panamera gets sharper styling, handling and performance

26 August 2020 - 15:01 By Motoring Reporter
The new 463kW Porsche Panamera Turbo S has a claimed maximum speed of 315km/h.
The new 463kW Porsche Panamera Turbo S has a claimed maximum speed of 315km/h.
Image: Supplied

Porsche on Wednesday whipped the silken covers off its fresh new 2020 Panamera.

Basically an updated version of the second-generation model that launched back in 2017, this newcomer hits the road with a number of exterior styling revisions: the most noticeable of which has to be the previously optional "Sport Design" front end with its striking air intake grilles, large side cooling openings and a single-bar front light modules.

In keeping with its jaw-dropping performance, the new flagship Turbo S model benefits from an even more aggressive visage, differentiated by even larger side air intakes and its model-specific double-bar front light modules now being set much further apart. 

The rear of the 2020 Panamera sees a revamped light strip that follows seamlessly the contour of the luggage compartment lid to connect the newly designed LED tail light clusters. GTS models sport darkened “Exclusive Design” tail light clusters as standard with dynamic “coming/leaving home” function. On the wheel side of things you might be interested to hear that three new 20- and 21-inch alloys have been added to the range, meaning that customers now have a choice of no less than 10 different wheel designs. 

Under the skin, all 2020 Panamera models come with revised chassis and control systems to enhance both handling and ride. A revamped “Porsche Active Suspension Management” (PASM) system results in a noticeable improvement in damping comfort, while the control of the electric roll stabilisation system “Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport” (PDCC Sport) ensures improved body stability when driving at the limit. Porsche's chassis engineers also introduced a new equipment generation for the steering control and tyres.

Engine wise nothing has changed on the Panamera and Panamera 4 models that still come equipped with Porsche's 2.9-litre biturbo V6 engine tuned to deliver 243kW and 450Nm.

With regards to the 4.0-litre biturbo V8 in the Panamera GTS, power output stands at 353kW – an increase of 15kW. Torque is unchanged at 620Nm. This model now also comes standard with a sports exhaust system featuring asymmetrically positioned rear silencers.

Those seeking even more muscle can opt for the range-topping Panamera Turbo S variant that replaces the outgoing Turbo model and comes armed with a specially developed 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine that twists out a whopping 463kW and 820Nm.

Porsche claims that this asphalt shredder will blaze its way to 100km/h in 3.1-seconds and onwards to a top speed of 315km/h. Though don't for a second think that the Turbo S is some dumb muscle car. It's more than capable of handling itself through the twisties, as evidenced by Porsche test driver Lars Kern who managed to whip it around the gnarly Nürburgring Nordschleife in  7:29.81 minutes – the new official record in the “executive cars” class.

The upgraded Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system offers additional digital functions and services such as the improved 'Voice Pilot' online voice control, 'Risk Radar' for up-to-date road sign and hazard information, wireless Apple CarPlay and many other Connect services.
The upgraded Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system offers additional digital functions and services such as the improved 'Voice Pilot' online voice control, 'Risk Radar' for up-to-date road sign and hazard information, wireless Apple CarPlay and many other Connect services.
Image: Supplied

Last, but not least, is the new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid that marries rapid performance with reduced CO2 emissions. The combination of the 100kW electric motor integrated into the eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission and the 324kW 2.9-litre biturbo V6 biturbo generates a total system output of 412kW and 750Nm. Expect the 100km/h dash to be dispatched in a claimed 3.7-seconds. Maximum speed? You're looking at 298km/h.  

According to Porsche the new E-Hybrid models benefits from an increase in gross battery capacity – 17.9kWh, up from 14.1kWh in the outgoing model. This gives it an all-electric range of up to 54km in accordance with WLTP EAER City (NEDC: up to 64km). 

Porsche has also spent some time fettling things on the technology front and as such all 2020 Panamera models feature an upgraded Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system packed with additional digital functions and services such as the improved “Voice Pilot” online voice control, “Risk Radar” for up-to-date road sign and hazard information, wireless Apple CarPlay and many other Connect services.

Customers can also look forward to an extensive range of innovative light and assistance systems, such as the now standard “Lane Keeping Assist” with road sign recognition, as well as Porsche “InnoDrive” including adaptive cruise control, “Night Vision Assist,” “Lane Change Assist,” LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, “Park Assist” including “Surround View” and head-up display.

The new 2020 Porsche Panamera saloon and Sport Turismo models will arrive in SA during the first quarter of next year. Pricing will be confirmed closer to that time. 

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