If you’ve never driven a Porsche Panamera, you’ve been missing out on one of the best performing four-door luxury conveyances available. It epitomizes the term sport sedan, although it’s so long, so low and so lean that we’d best refer to it as a four-door coupe.
Porsche just announced that its largest car will power into 2021 with some subtle styling enhancements and important drivetrain improvements. Starting with the visual changes, all three body styles, which include the regular wheelbase liftback, longer wheelbase Executive, and more wagon-like Sport Turismo, receive the previously optional SportDesign front fascia design as standard equipment, complete with its single-bar front light module, bigger air intake grilles, and larger, more aggressively styled corner cooling vents.
From behind, the 2021 model’s single horizontal light strip features new contours while seamlessly spanning the entire deck lid before visually connecting with a smart set of reworked LED taillights, these appropriately darkened via a new standard Exclusive Design package for GTS trim. A new Turbo S trim (more on that in a moment) features an exclusive front fascia design sporting even larger corner ducts along with special exterior paint offerings. A trio of new 20- and 21-inch wheels are available too, rounding out the new Panamera’s styling updates.
The interior remains mostly unchanged, but the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system adds a number of functions and services, including enhanced Voice Pilot online voice control, Risk Radar for real-time road sign and hazard info, wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, plus additional connectivity services.
Additionally, the 2021 Panamera offers optional Lane Keeping Assist with road sign recognition and the Porsche InnoDrive suite of advanced safety and convenience systems including Lane Change Assist, LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, Night Vision Assist, Park Assist including Surround View, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display that projects priority information on the windshield ahead of the driver.
It’s critical to have good clear controls, optimal visibility and top-tier safety features when powertrain performance ranges from 325 to 620 horsepower. The lesser engine output is from the Porsche Canada’s most basic rear-wheel drive Panamera, a car that once again starts at just $99,300 (plus freight and fees) and can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a mere 5.6 seconds thanks to 330 lb-ft of torque. Impressive straight-line performance for sure, but it may seem like you’re standing still when being passed by the new Panamera Turbo S that catapults from zero to 100 km/h in a scintillating 3.1 seconds in Sport Plus mode.
The new Turbo S is not only quick off the line and capable of a 315-km/h top track speed, but it improves on the Panamera’s well documented record through the corners too. In fact, it’s already proven its mettle on the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife race track, where Porsche test driver Lars Kern completed a single lap of the 20.832-kilometre course in precisely 7:29.81 minutes on July 24, 2020, which is a new official record in the “executive cars” class.
Achieving such record-setting pace was no small feat, with Porsche’s engineers having specially tuned the Panamera Turbo S’ three-chamber air suspension, as well as the car’s Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system and roll stabilization system, which the automaker’s dubs Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport). Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) was also optimized to make the big four-seat luxury model handle like a sports car. This said, upgrades to the just-noted systems aren’t exclusive to the top-tier Turbo S, but improve control and comfort across the entire 2021 Panamera lineup.
The Panamera line recently grew to include a new 473 horsepower twin-turbo V8-powered GTS (with pricing also unchanged), up 20 horsepower from its predecessor and featuring a new standard sports exhaust system with asymmetrically positioned rear silencers that sound better than ever, so Porsche will smartly allow the regular Panamera Turbo to phase out for 2021 (see it here in our inventory) now that the Turbo S is on the way. Pricing remains the same for 2021 at $147,400, as does its sub-four-second (3.9) zero-to-100 km/h sprint time.
All but the base Panamera above benefit from Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive, incidentally, while the model’s entry-level four-wheel-powered Panamera 4 remains priced at only $104,600 and scoots to 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds (we have a special Panamera 4 10 Year Edition in our inventory), its efficient yet potent 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 thoroughly upgraded when Porsche introduced this second-generation Panamera just three years ago.
Also notable, last year’s $117,800 4 E-Hybrid and $214,00 Turbo 4S E-Hybrid models are discontinued for 2021 (make sure to get a 2020 4 E-Hybrid while you can, and stay tuned for an even more powerful Turbo S E-Hybrid), but those wanting a plug-in electrified E-Performance powertrain can opt for the all-new $202,400, 552 horsepower 4S E-Hybrid that zips from standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds and on to a top track speed of 298 km/h.
The 4S E-Hybrid’s drive system has been comprehensively changed from its predecessor’s, with an all-electric range that’s been increased by up to 30 percent thanks to increased battery capacity from 14.1 to 17.9 kWh. Porsche has upgraded the new hybrid’s chassis components and control systems in concert with new-generation steering control and new tires, improving both comfort and sportiness.
Notably, three of these four powertrains are available in each of the 2021 Panamera body styles, other than the sporty GTS engine that can’t be had with the longer-wheelbase, more luxury-oriented Executive model.
The new 2021 Porsche Panamera is now available to order from Porsche Centre Vancouver by calling (604) 736-7911 or dropping by our showroom at 688 Terminal Ave, Vancouver, with deliveries starting in the first quarter of 2021.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Date Posted: August 31, 2020
To see the new 2021 Panamera in action (including the new Panamera Turbo S on the track), check out these three videos: