• 2018 Porsche Panamera

The Panamera has finally evolved, and is a welcomed improvement over the previous generation

The Panamera has been around since 2009, when it arrived as Porsche’s first four-door sedan. Much like the Cayenne SUV, the Panamera was developed to help the brand expand into new segments, attract a new category of buyers, and finance the costly development of range-topping supercars such as the 918 Spyder. For the 2017 model year, Porsche is ushering in a new generation for the Panamera, complete with a new exterior design, new interior design, a new engine lineup, and plenty of little goodies like LED headlights, safety assistance systems, an innovative chassis system, a 21-speaker Burmester 3D sound system, and plenty of available equipment and personalization options. Porsche has unveiled two models today – the Panamera 4S with a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that delivers 440 horsepower and the Panamera Turbo that uses a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 that delivers 550 horsepower.

According to Porsche, the Panamera is “proof on four wheels” that sportiness and comfort can come in the same package. Dr. Gernot Döllner, the Head of the Panamera Model Range, said, "This diversity is what makes the vehicle unique, and that is what guided us with the new Panamera as well. Nevertheless, we took many courageous steps and developed not only the new body, new powertrain and new chassis but also a completely new overall vehicle. Through all the changes, however, the Panamera remains faithful to its original conceptions."

And, that is what Porsche says the Panamera is all about – Courage. It took courage to change, and change is what the Panamera did. A new look, new engines, and new approach should all make the Panamera even more marketable for the 2017 model year. We’ve seen the spy shots, and the leaked photos, but now we’re finally getting to look at the official release images. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the new Panamera.

Updated 07/19/2016: Porsche dropped details on its new "Connect" system that will be offered as standard equipment on the new generation Panamera. Check the "Interior" section for the full details on it.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Panamera.

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Exterior

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior
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2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
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The new Panamera brings a welcomed and much-needed update for the 2017 model year. The front fascia has a decidedly sportier feel thanks to a lowered nose with more 911-like features. The lower grille carries a new design and LED turn signals brighten up the front end. It also appears as if the air dam is a bit wider, and those LED turn signals are now integrated into the corner air inlets, which are a bit taller than on that outgoing model.

The front fascia has a decidedly sportier feel thanks to a lowered nose with more 911-like features

Around the side, there are changes to the front door, which now features more prominent creases that fade off the fender vent. That vent, by the way, is also more open on the new model. The rear door looks like it might not be as long as on the outgoing model, but that is thanks to the revamped quarter window. On the outgoing model, the quarter glass was part of the door, but on the new Panamera, the door is cut farther inward at the top with the glass mounted to the C-pillar.

Changes at the rear of the car include a larger, more squared-off hatch, which changes the way the rear looks, including the taillights, bumper, and lower fascia. The taillights and bumper are also heavily based on the 911’s, especially the former, which are thinner and are joined by a red-colored transparent stripe.

All told, the new Panamera is 198.78-inches long, 76.26-inches wide, 56.02-inches tall, which computes to an increase in length to the tune of 1.34 inches, an increase in width by 0.23 inches, and an increase in height by 0.19 inches. Due to the drop in height above the rear passenger compartment, about 0.79 inches, the car actually looks to sit lower than before. The wheelbase was increased to 116.14 inches, which represents an increase of 1.18 inches. Furthermore, the front wheels have been shifted further forward, which gives the car a more aggressive look and stance.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 2,950 MM (116.14 Inches)
Length 5,049 MM (198.77 Inches)
Width 1,937 MM (76.25 Inches)
Height 1,423 MM (56.02 Inches)

Side-by-side comparison

2018 Porsche Panamera
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Interior

2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Interior
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2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Interior
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2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Interior
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The interior serves as yet another big welcome change, as the interior has been reworked pretty well. First off, the steering wheel has been redesigned and looks to feature gesture control buttons on the left and right spokes. The center of the wheel is now a little smaller, and the bottom spoke is now open in the middle. The spokes and center hub are outlined in chrome. The design of the door trim panels and seats haven’t changed much, but the doors do feature a larger storage area. The center console now features two cup holders instead of one – you know; in case you trust your wife to bring her $8 coffee with her as you bend some corners.

The interior, in a weird kind of way, brings together old and new and blends it all together in the best way possible

Ahead of the center console’s armrest, the layout of the central command area is pretty familiar. There is a host of buttons and switches on each side of the gear shifter. These buttons now look to be touch sensitive, and the shifter bezel itself is now much thinner than before. Up on the center stack, there is a new 12-inch display screen that replaces the smaller screen on the outgoing model. The center vents that were on each side of the display screen are now very thin and positioned just to the outside edges of the screen. The instrument cluster has been reworked, but still features the same center-mounted tachometer with the smaller circular gauges on either side.

The rear seating area is quite similar to the outgoing model, but that center console has now been heavily revised. It looks like the armrest is now built into the center seatback and the rear-seat command area is now a little taller and features the same glossy black finish as the center console up front. Furthermore, it looks like it is also adorned with touch-sensitive buttons. All told, the interior, in a weird kind of way, brings together old and new and blends it all together in the best way possible. Not bad, Porsche; not bad.

Porsche Connect

2018 Porsche Panamera
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When Porsche pull the sheet off of the Panamera, it also pulled the sheet off of its Porsche Connect infotainment package that comes as part of the next-gen Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system. Now that the Porsche Connect system has officially launched, customers are able to stay in almost constant contact with their Porsche anytime they wish. Before we go into the details, let me assure you that the current functionality of the system – like the support center calling and the 24/7 concierge (In China and Japan) – carry over to this new system.

On top of that, customers will now be able to reach a better level of connectivity with the vehicle via a smartphone or Apple Watch. Customers will be able to control various vehicle functions remotely like locking and unlocking the doors, using GPS to locate the vehicle, and on E-Hybrid models, customers can event activate auxiliary heating and cooling or retrieve hybrid-specific data as needed.

There is a total of three packages available for the Porsche Connect system. The Navigation and Infotainment package includes features like online search for local restaurants or attractions, real-time traffic information, and Google Earth and Street View functionality. Another available service is the ability to recall flight information, car park vacancies and pricing, as well as operating hours of certain businesses and parking facilities.

Apple CarPlay comes standard as does a special smartphone storage compartment that Porsche claims to be optimized for mobile phone reception. The system makes use of Apple’s app Siri, which will read and send text messages, answer the phone, or play music on your command. There are a total of two SD card ports and multiple USB interfaces that can be used to stream downloaded music or upload music to the 10-gigabyte jukebox. Needless to say, the system is pretty sweet.

Side-by-side comparison

2018 Porsche Panamera
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Drivetrain

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Porsche is using the updated MSB platform for the new Panamera, which means it had to build these new engines to fit within this platform. So far, we’ve seen the Panamera Turbo and the Panamera 4S. The 4S uses a newly developed 2.9-liter, twin-turbo, V-6 that delivers 440 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. The Panamera Turbo gets a 4.0-liter, twin turbo, V-8 that delivers 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque. The 4S will also be offered in some markets with a diesel engine that delivers 422 horsepower and a whopping 627 pound-feet of torque.

The Panamera Turbo gets a 4.0-liter, twin turbo, V-8 that delivers 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque

Furthermore, the new Panamera will prove to be more fuel efficient in the long run as well. The 2.9-liter gasoline mill is now capable of pulling 29.03 mph, which represents an 11-percent increase over the outgoing model. The 4.0-liter V-8 is said to achieve around 25.29 mpg, which is also an improvement over the outgoing model. Moving over to the oil burner, you can manage to get 35.10 mpg to go with its 422 horsepower.

On the performance front, the 2.9-liter gasoline mill pushes the Panamera 4S to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds or 4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package. Moving up to the V-8-powered Panamera Turbo will get you the 62-mph benchmark in 3.8 seconds, or 3.6 with the Sport Chrono Package. Top speed for these models is said to be 179 mph and 190 mph, respectively.

All versions of the Panamera can be equipped with an eight-speed PDK transmission with permanent all-wheel drive. The latter of which is a feature that can be had for the first time with a diesel. The new PDK has an interesting setup, with the first six gears using a sports ratio, and top speed being available in sixth gear. Seventh and Eighth gear are longer ratios that accommodate lower engine revs and better efficiency at high road speeds. Porsche says the precise gearshifts take place in milliseconds and lead to zero disruption in the flow of power to the wheels.

For the record, the Panamera Turbo has already proven is worth by nailing a lap at the Nurburgring in just 7 minutes and 38 seconds, which technically Panamera Turbo the fastest luxury sedan on earth. How about that?

Drivetrain Specifications

Panamera 4S Panamera Turbo
Engine 2.9-litre V6 4.0-litre biturbo V8
Output 440 HP @ 5,650 RPM 550 hp @ 5,750 RPM
Torque 405 LB-FT 567 LB-FT @ 1,960 - 4,500 RPM
0 to 100 km/h 4.4 seconds
(4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package)
3.8 seconds
(3.6 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package)
Top Speed 289 KM/H (180 mph) 306 km/h (190 mph)

Prices

The new Panamera is already available for ordering and will hit dealers by November 5, 2016. Here in the U.S., the Panamera 4S starts out at $99,900 while the Panamera Turbo starts out at $146,900 – both of which are before options, taxes, and delivery.

Panamera 4S $99,900
Panamera Turbo $146,900

Competition

Maserati Quattroporte

2014 - 2015 Maserati Quattroporte High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2014 - 2015 Maserati Quattroporte High Resolution Exterior
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This Italian super sedan is a fantastic answer to the Panamera. It offers several versions ranging in power, performance, and prestige. The standard S model has 3.0-liter V-6 that puts out 410 horsepower, moving the hefty sedan to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds. If performance is what you’re after, the Quattroporte GTS is the better choice. Its 3.8-liter V-8 offers up an impressive 530 horsepower and will hit 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds. Those who are fuel conscience can opt for the diesel version.

Prices for the Maserati Quattroporte start at $99,000 for the S and grows to $141,500 for the GTS.

Read more about the Maserati Quattroporte here.

BMW 7 Series

2016 BMW 7 Series High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW 7 Series High Resolution Exterior
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The 7 Series has long been hailed as the best all-round luxury sedans. It combines all of BMW’s driving dynamics with an ultra plush interior with all the latest gadgets. Now for 2016, the 7 Series is all new, having moved into its sixth generation. The new sedan brings an updated look, updated powertrains, and all the attitude it’s known for.

AWD, inline six and V-8 engines, and a plug-in hybrid version allow the 7 Series to compete step for step with the Panamera.

Prices for 2016 have increases by $7,300, meaning it now carries a base price of $81,300. Check all the option boxes, and the sticker price jumps well over $100,000.

Read more about the BMW 7 Series here.

Conclusion

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior
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The Panamera’s update comes at a perfect time, trailing the BMW 7 Series’ update by one model year and well ahead of the next Quattroporte update. Its long lines, wide variety of engine and drivetrain options, and its luxurious interior should keep the Panamera rolling off dealer showrooms. It might not be the Porsche the purists want, but the Panamera helps bring large profits that help pay for 911 and Cayman development – something everyone can be happy about. On top of that, this latest generation brings out the best-looking Panamera yet. And, while it isn’t exactly pretty to everyone, it will certainly make current fans of the car happy.

  • Leave it
    • More expensive
    • Special edition models will be years away

Update History

Updated 06/28/2016: Porsche dropped the official details on the new generation Panamera.

Updated 06/24/2016: The first images of the new generation Panamera leaked online with just three days before the car’s official debut. We’ve also created a new video to highlight the newly exposed details. Check it out in the videos section.

Updated 06/23/2016: Porsche dropped a new teaser video for its new generation Panamera. Described as "the fastest luxury sedan on earth," the new Panamera will be making its world debut on June 28, 2016. Hit "play" for the new trailer video.

Updated 06/08/2016: Based on the recent spy shots and speculations we decided to create a rendering for the upcoming Panamera. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it.

Updated 06/07/2016: After our spy photographers caught the upcoming Panamera almost free of camouflage, Porsche decided to drop the first teaser video for the second generation luxury sedan. As you probably expect it, the video show pretty much nothing on the next Panamera, but it is indeed a great watch! Hit "play" to check it out!

Updated 06/06/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Panamera out for a new testing session, and this time the luxury sedan is almost completely undisguised.

Update 05/05/2016: Porsche has unveiled a new twin-turbocharged V-8 loosely based of Audi’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The new engine will power the Panamera and likely the Cayenne SUV. Check the "Drivetrain" section for the full details.

Updated 03/22/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Panamera testing on the Nürburgring with pretty much all of its camouflage removed.

Updated 03/14/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Panamera out for a new testing session, and it looks like the car continues its stripping session. This can mean only one thing: official debut should happen shortly.

Updated 01/29/2016: The upcoming Porsche Panamera was caught out for a new testing session. Hit "play" to have a glimpse at Panamera’s new navigation/hybrid screen.

Updated 10/29/2015: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche Panamera out for a new testing session. As you can see the luxury sedan begun stripping, meaning an official debut is getting closer. We expect to see it at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Updated 09/29/2015: The guys over cvdzijden caught the next generation Porsche Panamera testing on the roads near the Nürburgring race track.

Spy Shots

June 6, 2016 - Porsche Panamera caught almost naked

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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March 22, 2016 - Porsche Panamera caught testing at Nurburgring

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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March 14, 2016 - Porsche Panamera caught almost naked

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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October 29, 2015 - Porsche Panamera starts loosing camouflage

2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
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January 22nd, 2015 - Porsche Panamera Goes Winter Testing

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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November 4th, 2014 - Porsche Panamera spied up close

2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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September 24, 2014 - First testing session

Spy Shots: Next-Generation Porsche Panamera Caught Testing for the First Time Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Porsche Panamera Exterior Spyshots
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Rendering

2018 Porsche Panamera
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Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - Robert.moore@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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