The Porsche Panamera is a five-door executive car available since 2009.
Porsche Executive Cars
The roots of the Porsche Panamera can be traced back to 1988, when Porsche developed the 989 model, the first four-door sedan. While the 989 never made it to productive, Porsche had a desire to enter the executive luxury car segment for some time. While some Porsche enthusiasts weren’t too pleased that the carmaker was choosing to go outside of their usual two-door race-focused sports car lineage, others could see that it was a wise move into a high demand market. Porsche had already proved their ability to enter the SUV market with the Cayenne, and now was poised to keep the creativity flowing. The Panamera gets its name from the Carrera Panamericana race, keeping one thing close to the Porsche legacy. But in many other ways, this was a groundbreaking move for Porsche. The Panamera is not only a five-door fastback sedan, it’s also a front-engine design that weighs in at almost 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg). The exterior styling is heavily based on the 911, with a stretched out rear end, allowing for rear doors and a more spacious interior.
Models, Engines, and Performance
The first generational Porsche Panamera (970) was available in three models, the Panamera S, 4S, and Turbo. All models featured a 4.8L V8 engine, producing 395 horsepower in the S and 4S models, and the twin-turbocharged version produced 493 horsepower and 516 lb ft of torque in the Panamera Turbo, showing that even though Porsche was reaching into a new segment, it was also keeping performance as a main priority. In 2010, Porsche unveiled two new models, the Panamera and Panamera 4, which utilized a smaller 3.6L V6 engine, producing 296 horsepower. And then in 2011, the Panamera S Hybrid with a supercharged 3.0L V6 and an electric motor produced a combined 375 horsepower. Also in 2011, a diesel version of the Porsche Panamera was released, using a turbocharged 3.0L V6 diesel engine with 247 horsepower and 406 lb ft of torque. That same year, an even more powerful top-tier Panamera Turbo S was produced, with the same twin-turbo 4.8L V8 engine in the Turbo, now tuned to a whopping 542 horsepower and 553 lb ft of torque. A GTS model hits the middle between the S/4S and the Turbo models, featuring the 4.8L V8 with 424 horsepower.
Transmission and Features
Most of the Panamera models featured a 7-speed ZF dual clutch transmission, with an optional Sport Chrono package providing slightly improved acceleration. The package also adds a Sport Plus mode that increases the stiffness and lowers the suspension for improved handling. The Hybrid and Diesel models used an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission. While the exterior of the Panamera looked quite similar to the Porsche 911, the interior was fitted with more luxuries overall, including enhanced technology and premium leather upholstery. The vehicle was designed to hit the mark with exterior styling and performance, while also featuring a more upscale interior to fit in among the executive car competitors.
Second Generation Porsche Panamera
The second generation Porsche Panamera (971) was released in 2016. The wheelbase is 1.2 inches (30 mm) longer, while the body is also slightly larger in every dimension, 1.4 inches longer, 0.2 inches wider, and 0.2 inches taller. All available Panamera models, from the base up to the Turbo S and all of the Hybrid options (4 E-Hybrid, Turbo S E-Hybrid, and 4S E-Hybrid) use forced induction. The base model, 4, 4 E-Hybrid, an 4S used a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine producing anywhere from 325 horsepower in the base up to 456 horsepower in the 4 E-Hybrid. The other available models use a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine. The GTS produces 454 horsepower, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid produces a whopping 671 horsepower and 627 lb ft of torque combined, thanks to the addition of a 100kW (134 horsepower) electric motor.
Features and Later Updates
The interior of the second generation Porsche Panamera was heavily redesigned, with most of the physical buttons being replaced by touch-screen displays. One 12.3-inch display controls the infotainment system and navigation with Apple CarPlay integration, while two additional 7-inch displays control most other functions. The exterior retained much of its shape, but the fastback design was more clearly styled to remove the hatchback rear end look. At the same time, a shooting-brake body type, more closely resembling a wagon, was unveiled in 2017 as an Europe-only variant of the Panamera, available as a Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo with 604 horsepower. The Panamera received a slight redesign and performance increase in 2021, with the top of the line Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid now producing an incredible 690 horsepower and 642 lb ft of torque combined between its twin-turbo V8 and a 100 kW electric motor.