Porsche Panamera: Large Luxury Car Electrified
The Porsche Panamera, a large four-door offered in a bewildering array of variants, has become one of the top-selling high luxury sedans in the U.S., and a credible alternative to the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The German sports car maker is putting the finishing touches on the latest generation of the Panamera, and provided a behind-the-scenes look at the latest model – and the biggest surprise may be that there will be four different plug-in hybrid versions available.
Four Plug-In Hybrid Choices
Interestingly, some of the most popular Panamera versions worldwide have been plug-in hybrids, which offer customers the option of zero-emissions driving in city centers and for daily commuting, while still providing the flexibility and quick refueling Porsche customers want for long distance driving. In some countries in Europe, plug-in hybrid also qualify for tax breaks, or are exempt from toll charges in built-up urban areas. In some countries, plug-in versions account for almost all Panamera sales, though the proportion in the U.S. is considerably lower.
The next-generation Panamera is doubling down on plug-in hybrid technology, and Porsche will offer four plug-in hybrid models. While the company is not yet sharing all of the details of these new versions, Porsche says that the top Panamera will be a high-performance model that can also be plugged in. Given that the current Panamera Turbo S already offers 620 hp, we expect that a new top model with plug-in tech will top 700.
Porsche Panamera: Battery and Range
All of the new plug-in Panameras will incorporate a new, more powerful electric motor that is integrated directly into the housing of a new dual-clutch automatic transmission. A battery with a capacity of 25.9 kWh will provide significantly more electric-only range than prior models, and in fact Porsche claims that up to 70 percent of all driving in Panameras will be completed purely on electric power – a huge jump over the existing model. Level 2 charging at up to 11 kW will also shorten charging times on home or public chargers, despite the battery’s increased capacity.
Porsche says the new Panamera will also feature significant revisions to their gasoline engines that make them more efficient as well as better-performing. All gasoline engines are not only future-proofed for future emissions standards, but are ready to accept electrification in the future.
Porsche: Torture Testing Around the World
A team of Porsche engineers recently completed final validation drives of the new Panamera in both hot and cold climates. In the area around Barcelona, Spain, test drives checked out the ride and handling balance on European roads. In the U.S., engineers tried out the various drivetrain options at high altitudes and low oxygen levels – as well as testing their resistance to the extreme heat of Death Valley in California.
Cold-weather testing of the new Panamera was conducted in Scandinavia at very low temperatures, while rough roads in South Africa put the new car’s suspension to the test. In China, high humidity and hours of stop-and-go traffic posed particular challenges for the complex drivetrains.
“We test every new car intensively in order to meet our demands,” said Porsche development manager Marcel Hönemann, “and of course those of our customers all over the world. The standard we set is always the development targets defined in the specifications. The new Panamera must excel here and now, in particular in terms of performance, comfort and acoustics.”
Innovative New Air Suspension
In addition to highly electrified drivetrains, Porsche says the new Panamera will have many other enhancements that make it even better to drive. A new high-end active suspension offers active damper control which is said to be more comfortable than ever, while also giving the Panamera a more sporting edge on winding roads – all at the same time. Lower-end models will feature a semi-active suspension with new two-valve shock absorbers, which also broaden the car’s performance envelope.
The production version of the next-generation Panamera will debut in late November 2023, at the Porsche Festival in Dubai. Expect to see it on American roads early in the new year.