Hard to believe it’s been 14 years since we first laid eyes upon a Porsche Panamera, right? Looks were questionable on arrival, but its capabilities were never in doubt. Well, two generations on from the original (including a marked design improvement), there’s a new one.
The headline news is the arrival of an uprated version of the Turbo E-Hybrid. With 681bhp and 686lb ft of torque on tap from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo hybrid V8, it’s only 9bhp shy of the outgoing Turbo S E-Hybrid while offering 44lb ft more torque.
That’s largely courtesy of a newly-developed motor, itself producing 187bhp. Rather than driving the wheels directly as before, the component is now integrated within a reworked version of the eight-speed PDK gearbox, said to save 5kg by comparison.
As a result of all this, 0-62mph is taken care of in 3.2 seconds and the top speed is 196mph.
For the eco-boffs, there’s more electric-only range available from the system too. With a 25.9kWh battery (about the same size as that in the electric-only Dacia Spring) with Porsche quoting 56 miles on a charge. 11kW AC charging allows that to be replenished in a stated 2 hours 29 minutes.
Two 2.9-litre V6 cars will be available at launch too - the Panamera and Panamera 4 - both with 348bhp. The former drives the rear wheels with the latter all-wheel-drive.
Visually, it’s still recognisable as a Panamera - although we’re big fans of the 911-esque front bumper.
Chassis improvements compared with the old car include dual-champer air suspension as standard on all versions of the saloon, though you can opt for Porsche Active Ride on the E-Hybrid. This uses self-adjusting dampers that’ll keep the car level through hard cornering and saves a bit of weight with a single-chamber system air system.
The interior has been subject to an overhaul, too. Just as with the Taycan and the new Cayenne, the new Panamera swaps out part-physical, part-digital instrument clusters for a curved display - here measuring 12.6 inches. No surprise, you’ll also have a huge infotainment system sitting in the centre but notably, there’s now an optional screen for the passenger’s side. There’s also the option for leather-free upholstery for the first time on the model.
You can order the new Porsche Panamera now, with prices starting at £79,500. A Turbo E-Hybrid will set you back £141,400 - though it may be worth seeing just how bonkers an inevitable Turbo S could be…