The 2021 Porsche Panamera, which recently set the “executive car” lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, is getting ready to hit the market officially. The new Panamera has updated styling and significant performance enhancements that helped it set that new record. There’s a host of powertrain choices, and the body has been tweaked. As you would expect, there’s tons of safety and infotainment tech along for the ride too.
First and foremost, there are the updates found in the engine bay. The Panamera Turbo S engine has changes to the crankshaft, con-rods, timing chain drive, torsional vibration dampers, fuel injectors, and, curiously, a reduced compression ratio.
The updated 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 puts out an extremely healthy 620 horsepower and 604 lb-ft. of torque in the new Panamera Turbo S, which replaces the previous Panamera Turbo. With Launch Control active, this new engine enables the Panamera Turbo S sedan and Sport Turismo models (that’s the near-wagon like variant) to hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and top out at 196 mph.
Performance upgrades are also found in the twin-turbo V8 powering the Panamera GTS. It gets a 20 horsepower increase versus the previous model, up now to 473 horsepower and 457 lb-ft. of torque.
The powertrain in the new plug-in Panamera 4S E-Hybrid now has an electric motor paired with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for a total system output of 552 horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque. The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid can do a zero-to-60 run in 3.5 seconds, topping out at 185 mph. This is pretty close to the previous 550-horsepower Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, but now you get all that performance while burning less dino juice.
The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid has a 27 percent larger hybrid battery capacity (up to 17.9 kWh from the previous 14.1 kWh). Additionally, Porsche engineers recalibrated the drive modes further to maximize the performance and efficiency of the powertrain.
The chassis of the latest Panamera has been fine-tuned specifically for each model, according to Porsche. The adjustable Porsche Active Suspension Management system, standard on every 2021 Porsche Panamera, features new calibrations for the adaptive dampers and steering.
The Panamera Turbo S is fitted with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport roll-stabilization system (PDCC Sport), Porsche Torque Vectoring (or PTV Plus), and rear-axle steering. The 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels are kept under control by the standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB). Those PCCB rotors are monstrous, 420 mm in front and 410 mm in the rear, and come with yellow or black brake calipers.
The latest-gen Panamera gets a bunch of styling updates. All Panamera models now feature the SportDesign front fascia. The SportDesign package as a whole, either with or without carbon fiber, will also be an available upgrade. A new light strip fans out across the rear of the car, while the lower rear fascia sports new diffuser fins. A new 20-inch wheel design and two new 21-inch wheel designs are available.
The Panamera GTS stands out with a satin black, front and rear fascia, satin black 20-inch wheels, tinted taillights, and black lettering and model designations. The Panamera Turbo S has a model-specific front fascia with larger air intakes and a new, Turbo S-specific front light signature.
Lastly, there are two new colors available for the 2021 Porsche Panamera: Cherry Red Metallic and Truffle Brown Metallic.
The Panamera Turbo S comes standard with a new, leather-wrapped GT Sport steering wheel with shift paddles (it’s optional on other Panamera models). As is typical for GTS cars, the interior of the Panamera GTS is slathered in Porsche’s Race-Tex material.
Both the Panamera and Panamera 4S E-Hybrid have standard eight-way adjustable seats with driver memory. The Turbo S is equipped with 14-way adjustable seats with memory, while the Panamera GTS comes with 18-way adjustable sport seats.
The center console features a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, real-time traffic information, and a Wifi hotspot. The Turbo S comes with a standard 14-speaker, 710-watt Bose stereo with a subwoofer. A 21-speaker, 1,455-watt Burmester system with a 400-watt subwoofer is optional.
All 2021 Porsche Panamera models are equipped with Lane Keep Assist, including Traffic Sign Recognition as standard. Like the previous model, the new Panamera is optional with a heads-up display, Night Vision Assist, Lane Change Assist, Surround View, and Porsche InnoDrive with Adaptive Cruise Control.
2021 Porsche Panamera: Pricing & Availability
The new Panamera will be available to order in the early part of 2021. Porche says we can expect the vehicles to arrive at U.S. dealers in the spring. Pricing information will be released when the order books open early next year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.