Russian tuner is back with a fresh take on the second-generation Porsche Panamera

It’s been a while since we last saw a prominent aftermarket company develop a program for the Porsche Panamera. In fact, ever since the Porsche unveiled the second-generation Panamera this time last year, the tuning world has been surprisingly quiet on this front. Well, consider this one of the first tastes of a heavily modified, second-generation Porsche Panamera. And to the shock of no one, it comes from TopCar, one of the most prominent Porsche tuners in the business.

The Russian tuner has worked on Porsche models longer than most tuners have been around. It’s responsible for the Stinger program for the 911, the Vantage program for the Cayenne, and a host of other works for other Porsche models, including the Macan, the Boxster, and the Cayman. Now, TopCar is setting its sights on a next-generation program for the next-generation Panamera. The kit is what you’d expect from TopCar. It’s got extensive aerodynamics that borders on over-the-top. It’s got a lavish interior offering that includes all the premium materials a customer can think of, including 24-karat gold. And it’s got a significant engine upgrade. In other words, it’s a TopCar tuning kit for the Panamera that owners of the luxury saloon will have a hard time saying no to, provided that TopCar’s tuning methods are in sync with what they’re looking for.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Porsche Panamera by TopCar.

Exterior

2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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If you’re aware of TopCar and what it’s tuning style is, you’d know that it doesn’t always develop programs that are pleasing to the eyes. It’s done some good designs in the past, sure. But just as often, we’re treated to something a little too campy like, say, that Vantage 2 Red Dragon kit for the Porsche Panamera back in 2013.

2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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This new kit for the Porsche Panamera falls somewhere in the middle, which is probably the best place for TopCar to be in.

This new kit for the Porsche Panamera falls somewhere in the middle, which is probably the best place for TopCar to be in. I may find resistance in that opinion, but that’s okay. I understand the rationale of either liking or not liking this particular kit because I’m in the same place. Take the exterior upgrades, for example. TopCar went heavy on the aerodynamic modifications with a wide and aggressive body kit that accomplishes its goal of adding layers of aggressiveness to the super saloon, but does so at the cost of stripping away the design elements that make the Panamera what it is from a design perspective.

The front section looks completely different now, thanks in part to an aggressive front bumper with even bigger air vents than the ones on the standard version. The result is eye-catching, to say the least, but probably not in the way some Panamera owners would prefer. Even the sedan’s hood is now different with those air vents put in place of the clean sheet metal on the standard Panamera.

2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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Move to the sides and you’ll immediately notice how the body and shoulder lines are now more pronounced. It’s particularly more evident in the area of the rear doors, which themselves are completely different now, right down to the unusual use of recessed door handles. It’s the same story at the back where there’s an absurdly large diffuser that’s flanked by a pair of exhaust tips. The Russian tuner also added a rear wing, one that appears to be made from carbon fiber because, well, this is TopCar. Rounding out the exterior upgrades is a new set of 21-inch alloy wheels, although the tuner does offer plenty more options in that regard.

Porsche can fill in the gaps

The lack of any notable aftermarket programs for the new Porsche Panamera means that there are little options in the way of the tuning scene. Fortunately, Porsche has that covered with a vast array options and packages to choose from. For instance, there are plenty of exterior colors to choose from, including Carrara White, Jet Black, Volcano Grey, Rhodium Silver Metallic, Sapphire Blue, Night Blue, Agate Grey, and Mahogany. These shades come with an extra cost of $830. The price isn’t cheap, but it’s much better than having to pay $3,300 to get the special Carmine Red and the GT Silver Metallic paint finishes.

Interior

2018 Porsche Panamera
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Note: standard Panamera interior shown here.

History tells us though that when we’re talking about the Russian tuner, there’s no material, premium or otherwise, that’s too far out of reach for this company.

TopCar didn’t dive into the specifics of what it’s offering in the way of interior upgrades. History tells us though that when we’re talking about the Russian tuner, there’s no material, premium or otherwise, that’s too far out of reach for this company. Whether it’s premium materials like fine leather, Alcantara or carbon fiber, or more exotic items like animal skin, fancy wood, and actual 24-karat gold, TopCar will find a way to get them into the cabin of the Panamera, for as long as the owner wants to pay for them.

Porsche has plenty of options, too

2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo High Resolution Interior
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Note: Standard Porsche Panamera pictured here.

Just like in the exterior, Porsche has a lot of interior options available to Panamera owners. The most “basic” of these options is in the upholstery where Porsche is offering as many as nine full leather interiors on top of the three standard upholstery colors of Black, Agate Grey, and Black/Luxor Beige. Should any of these three colors not be to your liking, premium options like Marsala and Saddle Brown cost $3,790, while two-tone options like Black/Bordeaux Red, Marsala/Cream, Black/Chalk, Brown/Luxor Beige, and Black/Saddle Brown all retail for $4,320.

Upholstery aside, the German automaker is also offering options like 14-way power seats with memory, 18-way adaptive sport seats with memory, four-zone climate, seat ventilation, steering wheel heating, Alcantara roof lining, and fancy wood trim in Dark Walnut, Anthracite Birch, or Sweetgum, among others.

There are plenty of options to choose from in terms of packages. For instance, there’s the Premium Package that adds Comfort Access, Lane Change Assist, 14-way power seats with memory, and the BOSE audio system. Go for the Premium Package Plus and you’ll receive soft close doors, front and rear seat heating, front seat ventilation, and LED headlamps with PDLS. Then there’s the Carbon Fiber Interior Package, which is made up of a carbon dashboard decorative trim, door trims front and rear, and decorative elements on the center console. Last but certainly not least is the Brushed Aluminum Interior Package that adds elements of aluminum in the interior.

Drivetrain

2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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The Panamera’s 4.0-liter turbo V-8 engine is now able to produce 650 horsepower, 100 horses more than the standard model.

As focused as some people may be on TopCar’s treatment of the Panamera’s exterior and interior, it is worth noting that the tuner’s engine upgrade for the super saloon provides an impressive upgrade over its stock output of 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque. TopCar didn’t say how it was able to bump up the output, but signs do point to a software upgrade being at the heart of all of it. In the end, the Panamera’s 4.0-liter turbo V-8 engine is now able to produce 650 horsepower, 100 horses more than the standard model. Updated torque numbers have yet to be announced, but we can expect it to fall somewhere in the vicinity of 650 to 670 pound-feet of torque.

Put these figures in mind and you’re looking at slight performance improvements as well. Once more, we’re left guessing here since TopCar didn’t say how much faster the Panamera is with the kit in tow. At the very least though, we’re looking at an acceleration time to 60 mph of about 3.3 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than usual, and a top speed that could conservatively reach 198 mph.

What do past Panamera programs tells us

2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo by Mansory Drivetrain
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To put into perspective the work TopCar put into the Panamera’s V-8 mill, it’s best to line it up with some of the most impressive works we saw from tuners for the first-generation version of the performance sedan. One of these tuners is Mansory, which actually built a handful of kits dedicated to the previous Panamera. One, in particular, is this work from 2014, which not only featured exhaustive work on the exterior and interior of the car, but more importantly, an engine upgrade program that netted an output of 680 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. Those are similar numbers to what TopCar was able to get out of the new Panamera.

Count Gemballa in as another tuner that’s shown an affinity for Porsche models. In fact, it’s done multiple kits for the saloon over the years and one of the more recent ones included an engine upgrade program that put 700 horsepower into the Panamera.

The range of extra power the saloon gets often sits somewhere in the vicinity where TopCar and other tuners like Mansory and Gemballa have hit. It would be interesting though how the tuning programs for the second-generation Panamera will evolve as more of them become available. For now, TopCar’s offer of 680 horsepower is as good as it gets, but soon enough, I expect more tuners to start developing kits for the new Panamera that will comfortably exceed 700 horsepower and maybe even go up to as high as 800 or 900 ponies. Stay tuned for that one.

For now, check out how TopCar’s new kit for the second-gen Panamera matches up with the (older) competition.

Model Power Torque 0 to 60 MPH Top Speed
Porsche Panamera (second-generation) by TopCar 650 horsepower 660 pound-feet* 3.3 seconds* 196* mph
Porsche Panamera (first-generation) by Mansory 680 horsepower 663 pound-feet 3.6 seconds 198 mph
Porsche Panamera (first-generation) by Gemballa 700 horsepower 680 pound-feet* 3.5 seconds 200 mph

Pricing

2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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Prepare to spend a lot for TopCar’s program for the second-generation Porsche Panamera. The total cost isn’t out yet, and there’s going to be some differences on the final amount depending on what interior upgrades are chosen. What the tuner did say is that the body kit alone costs €24,556, which converts to a shade under $28,000. That’s just the body kit, mind you. Prices for the interior and engine upgrades will likely be based depending on what a tuner wants to put into the car, but a safe estimate would be for the whole program to average anywhere from $50,000 to quite possibly $80,000. Add on the cost of the Panamera, which starts at around $80,000 and you’re looking at costs amounting to at least $160,000.

References

2018 Porsche Panamera High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Panamera.

Competition

Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar

2014 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar High Resolution Exterior
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2014 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar High Resolution Exterior
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We’ll take a slight detour from our traditional competitor’s section by showcasing TopCar’s past works on the Panamera. If you want to see what the tuner is capable of in the interior of the sedan, this past work featuring solid gold and genuine crocodile leather. The dashboard itself is covered in crocodile leather while a number of components inside, including the pedals, knobs, and the transmission are all made from gold.

Read more about the Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar here.

Conclusion

2018 Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR by TopCar Exterior High Resolution
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This is a tough one to judge because there aren’t a lot of programs available for the second-generation Porsche Panamera. I do expect more tuners to come out with their new kits so we’re inevitably going to end up with plenty of comparisons in the future. While I do like what TopCar did to the saloon, the aerodynamic upgrades are a bit too excessive for my liking. It’s the same with the interior although I am a little more open to the possibilities in that section. The engine upgrade program though is impressive for a first-offering from TopCar. I’m going to expect more with succeeding kits for a first salvo, this one is pretty good in it of itself from the Russian tuner.

  • Leave it
    • * Not for everyone
    • * Could be expensive
    • * Aero upgrades border on too much
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