Porsche’s sports limo has noticeable improvements to driving comfort and cornering stability.
Porsche’s sports limo has noticeable improvements to driving comfort and cornering stability.
Image: Supplied / Business Day

Porsche’s Panamera sports limo has been refreshed for 2020 with increased power, a tweaked chassis and updated styling.

It is a range-wide upgrade for the second-generation Panamera which was launched in 2017, but the most exciting news is at the top of the line up with the new Turbo S model replacing the Turbo as the pinnacle model.

With outputs of 463kW and 820Nm — 59kW and 50Nm better than before — the new car has blitzed the Nurburgring Nordschleife in a lap time of 7:29.81. That’s a full 13 seconds quicker than the Panamera Turbo and sets a new record for the executive-car class around the German circuit.

The familiar 4.0l V8 biturbo engine has been overhauled to shunt the car to a 315km/h top speed and cover the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.1 seconds.

Lower down in the ranks the 4.0l V8 biturbo engine in the Panamera GTS gets a 15kW boost to 353kW while the 620Nm torque output remains the same. Porsche says the engine has been tuned to deliver its power like a naturally aspirated engine, with the output continuously increasing up to near the engine speed limit. The car also blurts a more sonorous V8 sound thanks to a standard new sports exhaust system.

The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid is a new performance-orientated plug-in petrol-electric model joining the range. The 2.9l V6 biturbo engine and electric motor develop a combined 412kW and 750Nm, good enough for a 298km/h top speed and 3.7 second 0-100km/h sprint. It also has a claimed all-electric range of up to 54km.

There has been no engine tweaking at the bottom end of the range with the Panamera and Panamera 4 powered as before by a 2.9l V6 biturbo with outputs of 243kW and 450Nm, and capable of reaching 270km/h.

All versions are all-wheel drive with the exception of the baseline Panamera, which is rear-wheel driven.

Harnessing the pace is a three-chamber air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) roll stabilisation system, and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) — all of which have been customised to each specific model in the Panamera range.

The chassis and control systems across the line-up have been updated for both improved cornering prowess and better ride comfort.

As before the Panamera will be available in three body styles: the sports saloon, the Sport Turismo and the Executive with a lengthened wheelbase for the chauffeur-driven contingent.

As part of a styling update all versions now come standard with the previously optional Sport Design front end with more striking air intake grilles, large side cooling openings and a single-bar front light module. The front end of the Panamera Turbo S is differentiated by larger side air intakes.

The rear has a revamped light strip and newly designed LED tail lights (GTS models have darkened tail lights), and three new 20- and 21-inch wheels have been added to the range.

The Porsche Communication Management system incorporates new digital functions and services including upgraded Voice Pilot online voice control, Risk Radar, Radio Plus, wireless Apple CarPlay.

The local introduction date of the revamped Panamera range has not yet been confirmed.

 This article was originally published by the Business Day. Read more content like this at the Business Day website.

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