It’s almost four years since the Panamera first appeared on the scene, offering Stuttgart’s first Gran Turismo model since the 928. The new Panamera is more of a mid-life facelift than a whole new car – we’ll have to wait until 2017 until we see a design which reflects the Sport Turismo concept.
Meanwhile, the headline news behind today’s reveal is the introduction of what Porsche describes as “..the world’s first ‘luxury’ plug-in hybrid”, in the form of the Panamera S E-Hybrid.
The E-Hybrid replaces the previous ‘Hybrid’ model which now features a 94bhp electric motor – more than double that of its predecessor – thanks in part to a new lithium-ion battery, which at 9.4 kWh has over five times the 1.7 kWh energy capacity of the previous nickel metal hydride battery.
As well as greater power density, it also charges more quickly – in 2.5 hours via the integrated on-board charger when connected to an industrial outlet, or less than four hours when connected to a conventional household electrical outlet (in Germany).
Fuel consumption of the E-Hybrid has been reduced by 56 per cent, dropping from 41.5 mpg to 91.1 mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions of 71 g/km are less than ‘half’ of BMW’s Active Hybrid 5 and a significant reduction from the outgoing Hybrid’s 159g/km. In all-electric mode, the Panamera E-Hybrid can travel for up to 23 miles emitting zero emissions (although Porsche say a realistic range is somewhere between 18 and 23 miles).
Top speed in zero-C02 mode is around 84mph, but once its turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine is engaged this rises to 169mph. Acceleration from zero to 62mph is quoted at 5.5 seconds, while mid-range acceleration (when overtaking) is aided by the electric motor during kick-down. Porsche offers a “coasting” function at higher speeds, which allows the petrol engine to ‘shut off’ and recovery energy to the batteries by generating electricity.
Porsche also announced two luxurious long-wheelbase versions, plus significant changes to the Panamera S and Panamera 4S powerplant – the 4.8 litre V8 engine has been replaced with an entirely new biturbo three-litre V6 engine with 20 bhp more power and 20 Newton metres more torque.
The new Executive models are based on the Panamera 4S and feature a 15 cm longer wheelbase – improving ride comfort and increasing rear seat space. All Executive models come with the Panamera’s air suspension.
With 384lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque spread over a wider rev range the new ‘S’ models consume 18 per cent less fuel while providing a more relaxed driving gait. It remains to be seen whether the biturbo V6 compensates for the loss of the previous model’s V8 sound, but that’s the inevitable consequence of the efficiency drive being made by all car makers.
There are now ten models in the Panamera range, which along with its revised engine range now sports tighter lines, more pronounced contours and newly shaped body elements. The rear has been redesigned and features a new boot lid, widened rear window, wider spoiler with a tighter transition into the rear lights.
At the front, there are larger air intakes and a distinctive transition into the new bi-xenon headlights.
The new generation of Panamera models will be launched in July 2013, with prices starting (in Germany) at €81,849 for the Panamera Diesel and €83,277 for the Panamera, while the Panamera 4 is priced at €88,513, Panamera S at €101,841, Panamera 4S at €107,196, Panamera S E-Hybrid at €110,409, Panamera GTS at €121,595 and the Panamera 4S Executive at €132,662. The Panamera Turbo will cost €145,990 and the Panamera Turbo Executive tops the range at €163,364.
The new Panamera makes its world premiere at Auto China in Shanghai on the 21st of April 2013.