It was in 2016 that the second-generation Porsche Panamera made its world premiere. Now, four years later, Porsche has rolled out a midlife update for the Panamera, which brings a host of subtle yet key additions for its sports sedan, including a new plug-in hybrid variant and an even more powerful Turbo S variant.
- Styling changes include redesigned front bumper, new wheels
- 630hp Turbo S variant introduced; does 0-100kph in 3.1s
- 4S e-Hybrid has a larger 17.9kWh battery; 54km electric-only range
What’s the biggest talking point of the Porsche Panamera facelift?
As before, the 2021 Panamera will continue to be offered in three body styles – standard, Executive (long wheelbase) and Sport Turismo (estate).The highlight of the facelifted Porsche Panamera range has to be the addition of a new Turbo S variant. It packs the same 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 as the outgoing Turbo model, but cranks power up to 630hp – a jump of 80hp – and 820Nm of torque, which is about 50Nm more than the Turbo.
This massive power hike enables the Panamera Turbo S to go from 0-100kph in a scant 3.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 315kph – 9kph faster than the Turbo. As standard, the Turbo S gets three-chamber air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) roll stabilisation systemandTorque Vectoring Plus.
In the hands of test driver Lars Kern, the Panamera Turbo S clocked a lap time of 7m 29.81s at the Nurburgring, which Porsche claims is a new record at the track in the ‘executive cars’ category. However, one of its chief rivals, the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupe, has a quicker Nurburgring lap time – 7m25.41s.
Similarly, the Panamera GTS, too, receives a power hike – the 4.0-litre V8 now makes 480hp, which is a jump of 20hp over the pre-facelift GTS, and 620Nm of torque. Porsche says it has worked on spreading power delivery more evenly across the rev range, and has enhanced the sound of the GTS’ V8 by adding a standard sports exhaust system with asymmetrically-positioned silencers.
Another important addition to the model line-up is the Panamera 4S e-Hybrid. It pairs a 440hp, 2.9-litre V6 with a 136hp electric motor, both of which produce a combined 560hp and 750Nm of torque. 0-100kph takes a claimed 3.7 seconds and top speed for the 4S e-Hybrid is rated at 298kph. Providing energy to the electric motor is a larger 17.9kWh battery, a step up from the 14.1kWh battery present in the pre-facelift Panamera 4 e-Hybrid. Electric-only range for the Panamera 4S e-Hybrid is pegged at 54km (WLTP cycle).
While the standard Panamera and Panamera 4 continue with the same 330hp, 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6, Porsche says it has improved damping comfort as well as control of the electric roll stabilisation system for better stability.
What’s changed with the Porsche Panamera facelift outside and inside?
At first glance, most would be hard-pressed to tell the 2021 Porsche Panamera from the pre-facelift model. A closer look reveals the updated Panamera gets a new ‘Sport Design’ front bumper with redesigned air intakes and a single-bar light module. Porsche has also tweaked the design of the LED tail-lights and LED light strip connecting the tail-lights, and the quad tailpipe exits are now circular instead of squared-off, like on the pre-facelift Panamera.
Three new 20- and 21-inch wheel designs mean buyers will now have up to 10 options to choose from, and Porsche has added a few more colours to the palette for the Panamera. All in all, the changes to the 2021 Panamera’s exterior are subtle, in true Porsche fashion.
The interior of the Panamera facelift is largely identical to that of the pre-facelift model, but now packs more features as standard. Lane keep assist with road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, night vision assist, LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, a 360-degree camera and a head-up display are all standard on the 2021 Panamera, and the infotainment system features improved voice control.
When will the Porsche Panamera facelift be launched in India?
Before the Panamera facelift, another Porsche four-door – the all-electric Porsche Taycan – will be launched in India. The introduction of the Taycan was originally set for earlier this year, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expect the Porsche Panamera facelift to be launched in India sometime in 2021, with prices likely to start a little above Rs 1.5 crore and exceeding the Rs 2 crore mark for the Turbo S models. Rivals-in-chief for the Porsche Panamera facelift will be the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-door Coupe, BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, Audi RS7 Sportback and the Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo, which is also set for an India launch in the coming months.
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