Porsche’s Panamera sedan and Sport Turismo wagon go under the knife for the 2021 model year and emerge with a number of powertrain improvements and subtle styling enhancements. The updates ought to help the refreshed Panamera fend off newer competition from the likes of BMW (the 8 Series Gran Coupe) and Mercedes-AMG (the GT 4-Door).
2021 Porsche Panamera: A New Entry-Level V-6 Appears
Gone is the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that powered the entry-level 2020 Porsche Panamera. In its place sits a variant of the twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 of the Panamera 4S. Although its 325 horses are down five to the prior engine’s 330 horsepower, the Panamera’s new base powerplant should improve upon its predecessor during day-to-day driving. If the 440-hp unit in the 2020 Panamera 4S is anything to go by, then the standard car’s 2.9-liter bent six will likely experience less turbo lag and benefit from a more harmonious engine note relative to that of the old 3.0-liter unit.
2021 Porsche Panamera: More V-8 Power
Sure, the six-cylinder Panamera and Panamera 4S are surprisingly fun to tool around in. However, if truly eye-watering performance is what you’re after, then the V-8-powered Panamera trims are the ones to swing for.
While Porsche’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine never left us wanting for power, the German brand still decided to toss a few extra ponies in the engine’s stable for 2021. With 473 horsepower, the 2021 Panamera GTS produces 20 horses more than its 2020 counterpart. Better yet, Porsche claims the model features a new throttle calibration that improves responsiveness to accelerator inputs.
Alas, the Turbo trim no longer holds court in the Panamera model line. This is a small loss, given it’s fundamentally replaced by the 2021 Panamera Turbo S, which makes a whopping 620 horsepower—70 more than the outgoing Panamera Turbo. Credit a number of changes to the engine’s internals for the engine’s additional grunt, including a lower compression ratio and new fuel injectors.
Porsche claims Panamera sedan and Sport Turismo (Porsche-speak for wagon) Turbo S models hit the mile-a-minute mark in 2.9 seconds with launch control engaged (3.0 seconds for the long-wheelbase Panamera Turbo S Executive), or 0.5 second more quickly than the Turbo. Considering our friends at MotorTrend managed to clock a 2017 Panamera Turbo hitting 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, we anticipate the new Turbo S will do the deed in close to 2.5 seconds; Porsche tends to be conservative with its estimates.
2021 Porsche Panamera: Hybrid Enhancements
Officially, Porsche’s keeping mum on the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid’s future. That said, we expect the model to return to the line for the 2022 model year, likely packing a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain made up of the standard Turbo S trim’s 620-hp V-8 and an electric motor, the combination of which ought to push the powertrain past the 700-hp mark—a noteworthy gain over the already stout 677-hp 2020 model.
Porsche continues to offer the Panamera with gasoline-electric power in the form of its less meaty and new-for-2021 4S E-Hybrid trim (Porsche isn’t ready to confirm or deny the return of the lesser 4 E-Hybrid). The model pairs a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor, both of which work together to pump out a combined 552 horsepower. That’s good for a 3.5-second run to 60 mph with launch control engaged, per Porsche.
A larger 18-kWh battery pack replaces the 14-kWh pack of 2020 Panamera E-Hybrid models. An official range estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency for the 4S E-Hybrid has yet to be announced, however, we expect the updated plug-in hybrid Panamera to better the 14-mile EPA-rated range of its 2020 counterparts.
2021 Porsche Panamera: See the Difference?
Despite its many performance updates, the 2021 Panamera looks largely the same as the 2020 model. Those with keen eyes, however, will spot a handful of subtle changes to the car’s interior and exterior.
Notably, the car sports a reworked steering wheel design, a revised rear fascia, and redesigned taillights, the latter of which better mimics the look and style of the Porsche 911’s full-width brow. Last year’s optional SportDesign front fascia now serves as the car’s default setup and blesses the 2021 Panamera with a more aggressively designed mug. Those in search of additional menace can spend extra on the 2021 car’s redesigned—and even angrier looking—SportDesign front fascia. Both lane-keeping assist and traffic sign recognition are newly standard across the 2021 Panamera model line.
Emphasizing its top-of-the-line status, the 2021 Panamera Turbo S boasts a trim-specific fascia with its own special lighting and larger front air intakes. The model also comes standard with the likes of rear-wheel steering, active roll bars, and carbon-ceramic brakes.
2021 Porsche Panamera: How Much Is It?
Pricing for the 2021 Porsche Panamera, which is due to arrive in the United States next spring, remains under wraps. Nevertheless, we anticipate the updated car’s cost of entry will come in close to that of the 2020 model, which starts at $88,550. Of course, even going light on the Panamera’s options menu will surely add thousands to the bottom line. Those with even more means should plan on dropping close to $200,000 for a loaded Panamera Turbo S.
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