If you look up what the most beautiful sedan in the world is, you won’t find a picture of a Porsche Panamera. Still, that didn’t stop Porsche from figuring out visual weighting and hard contours and finally making a handsome sedan for the 2017 model year. Unfortunately, the second-generation Panamera’s time is up, and the third-generation 2024 Porsche Panamera is set to be a mildly shocking sight in your rearview mirror. Still, try to keep its face in the back of your mind, because behind that vent-laden front bumper sits some impressive go-fast tech.
First, a bit of sad news for wagon fans: There is no new Panamera Sport Turismo, nor will there likely ever be one. British car magazine Autocar reports that “This new-generation model marks the end of the Sport Turismo estate, which made up less than 10% of sales.” From now on, it seems like Porsche will only field the Taycan in the ultra-quick wagon segment, so if you’ve always wanted a Panamera Sport Turismo, act now before it’s too late.
Anyway, back to the new 2024 Porsche Panamera (whose press release you can read here). It’s still a five-door liftback, it’s still primarily powered by gasoline, and it still has the potential to be monstrously quick. However, we need to talk about the way this new car looks, because it’s arguably a step backwards.
Let’s start at the front, where there’s a lot going on. An extra intake in the bumper conjures up hints of first-generation Cayenne Turbo, which I don’t think anyone was looking to emulate anytime soon. A European number plate definitely mitigates some of the weirdness, but the result is a fishy appearance, with the rather far back hood shut line certainly not helping. Oh, and then there are the headlight silhouettes, rounded up top and pointy at the bottom. Top-weighted headlights don’t typically look good, and overall, I’m a little bit amazed the new Porsche Panamera made it out of the studio with this face. Then again, the original Cayenne is starting to look decent, so who knows? Maybe this front end will age in.
Around the back, things are also a little bit challenging. The new 992-inspired full-width taillight treatment sits in a massive glossy black plastic bezel that just looks heavy. Also, while the old Panamera’s taillights blended that blunt horizontal trim piece with the curved top of the bumper, that’s a hard division on the new car. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if one could infer a single curved line from rear glass to bumper, but the surfacing is set up in a way that you can’t quite do that. The result is a slightly awkward rear end, albeit not nearly as awkward as the face of this Panamera.
The base Panamera is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6, and it should get out-dragged by a BMW M340i. Sure, 348 horsepower isn’t anything to sneeze at, especially knowing the size of German horses, but Porsche quotes a zero-to-62 mph time of 5.1 seconds. Given a long enough runway, the base Panamera will out-run a Kia Stinger GT with a top speed just two mph faster than the Korean liftback, but we’ll need to figure out where the plane scene from Fast & Furious 6 was filmed if we ever wanted to test that out. The Panamera 4 pairs the same engine as the base model with all-wheel-drive, shaving three tenths of a second from its zero-to-62 mph time but losing 1.24 mph from the two-wheel-drive model in the top end.
Want more power? For now, you’ll have to wait. Porsche will slowly roll out the typical lineup of more powerful models including a 670-horsepower Turbo E-Hybrid PHEV model, but those aren’t ready quite yet. However, in due time, the new Panamera will gain the pace you’d expect from a Porsche, with the quickest models running from zero-to-62 mph in the low three-second range. Oh, and that Turbo E-Hybrid gets a whole bunch of extra cosmetic and performance goodies, from center-lock wheels to new grey badges in line with Porsche’s new Turbo branding.
However, the suspension underneath the Panamera is far more intriguing than the powertrain lineup. Standard fitment is two-chamber air suspension with adaptive dampers for improved compression and rebound control, but things get really interesting on E-Hybrid models where active suspension joins the party. On these electrified variants, each damper is connected to a hydraulic pump using a hydraulic line. The pump can then pre-pressurize each damper, theoretically providing more effective damping over everything from frost heaves to potholes. Plus, it should effectively flatten out body roll, squat under hard acceleration, and dive under hard braking without the need to lean on anti-roll bars. The tradeoff is that this suspension setup comes with single-chamber air suspension, but that doesn’t sound like a bad deal to make.
On the inside, the 2024 Porsche Panamera has a whole lot of shiny black stuff going on. However, once you take your eyes off that fingerprint-attracting center console, you begin to notice a few things. Firstly, that all-digital instrument cluster is similar to what’s seen in the current Cayenne and Taycan, so don’t be surprised to see it in more upcoming Porsches. Also downloaded from other mainstream Porsches? Check out the dashboard-mounted electronic gear selector freeing up center console space for cupholders and whatnot, and the passenger screen because everyone has goldfish-like attention spans these days.
Luxurious, brimming with interesting go-fast parts, and unquestionably challenging to look at, the 2025 Porsche Panamera is a proper Panamera indeed. Expect base models to go on sale in the spring, starting at a strong $101,550 for the base two-wheel-drive model. Will the eventual S E-Hybrid model feature an electrified turbo V6? We’ll just have to wait and see, but whatever powertrain that model lands with, I have a feeling it might be the sweet spot.
(Photo credits: Porsche)
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