The 2021 Porsche Panamera range may not look very different from the outgoing generation. However, there are some significant changes beneath the skin.
Porsche has pulled the wraps off the 2021 Panamera range and you too, like us, would be a little confused when you see the images for the first time. Well, that's because, at first glance, the 'all-new' Panamera isn't really new! It looks pretty much like the outgoing generation. But, look through a magnifying glass and you'll see the subtle design elements that have been updated on the 2021 model.
A quick & closer look at the new Panamera reveals the new front section, a modified LED bar taillight and new alloy wheels. The front gets an additional louvre on either of the side air intake grilles and the lower half of the grille gets a single slat running through the width instead of the earlier dual-slat design.
The light strip in the LED bar has also undergone a discreet change, with a new full-width light signature running through an adapted contour. It provides a continuous & flowing connection between the two newly-designed LED tail light clusters. Three new 20- & 21-inch wheels designs have been added to the wheel range, making it a total of 10 different designs.
While the cosmetic upgrades are quite subtle and easy to miss, it's the innards that have undergone thorough revision and beg our attention.
Coming to the specific models now, the erstwhile Panamera Turbo has become the Panamera Turbo S for 2021. This name change isn't a hollow gesture though. The additional 'S' means that the 2021 Panamera Turbo S develops a heart-stopping 621bhp & 820Nm of torque (0-100km/h in 3.1s) from the same four-litre V8 Biturbo motor, which is 79bhp & 50Nm more than the outgoing Panamera Turbo. To achieve these gains, the V8 engine has been overhauled extensively, along with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) roll stabilisation system as well as the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus). To prove it's worth, the 2021 Panamera Turbo S, at the hands of test driver Lars Kern, completed the 20.832km Nürburgring lap in 7min 29.81sec – the new official record for an 'executive class' vehicle.
Similarly, the 2021 Panamera GTS also sees a bump in power, up from 453bhp to 473bhp. The torque developed by the 4.0-litre V8 in the GTS though remains unchanged at 620Nm. Further, a new sports exhaust system featuring asymmetrically-positioned rear silencers works to improve the 4.0-litre V8's engine note.
The Panamera and Panamera 4, on the other hand, are powered by the 2.9-litre Biturbo V6 gasoline (petrol) engine in all markets worldwide. While the V6's power & torque figures remain unchanged at 326bhp and 450Nm, the PASM, PDCC Sport have also been optimised on the standard Panamera models for sportier performance and more dynamic handling than before.
Porsche has also expanded its range of plug-in hybrid offerings with a completely new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. Equipped with a 434bhp version of the 2.9-litre Biturbo gasoline V6, the 4S E-Hybrid features a 134bhp electric motor that's integrated into the eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. As a result, the new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid offers a combined system output of 553bhp & 750Nm of torque, putting it just below the Panamera Turbo S in terms of performance.
With the Sport Chrono Package fitted as standard, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid can sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in just 3.7s, all the way up to 298km/h. Plus, with a bigger battery than before (up from 14.1kWh to 17.9kWh), the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid offers an all-electric driving range of up to 54km (WLTP), which is a 30% increase.
In terms of the infotainment features, the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) has been updated with additional features & services like wireless Apple CarPlay, improved Voice Pilot online voice control, etc.
In addition to the standard sports saloon body style, all 2021 Panamera models can also be ordered in Sport Turismo or Executive body styles/trims with a longer wheelbase.