The second-generation Panamera, unveiled in 2016, improved on its predecessor’s hunchback looks, upped the horsepower, and brought us a handsome wagon variant known as the Sport Turismo Now, Porsche’s sedan-and-wagon pair is due for a mid-cycle refresh, headlined by the riotously fast Turbo S, which just lapped the ’Ring in 7:29.81. What’s in store for the revamped 2021 Panamera? In short, some gentle visual updates, a new hybrid variant, and a wallop of horsepower for the new top-dog Turbo S.
The Panamera Turbo exits stage left for 2021. Replacing it in the lineup is the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. Above that niche sits the 620-hp Panamera Turbo S.
Among the plug-in hybrid Panameras, the 4S E-Hybrid slots between the 457-hp 4 E-Hybrid and the 677-hp Turbo S E-Hybrid. A 2.9-liter V-6 pairs with an electric motor to generate 552 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, putting the 4S E-Hybrid on par with the outgoing Turbo model and its 550 hp. The more exciting kid on the Panamera block is the Turbo S, which is king of the hill with its 620 German horses.
Give me the numbers
Thanks to new fuel injectors, a reduced compression ratio, and a tweaked crankshaft and connecting rods, the Turbo S’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 generates 620 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough for a sub-3.0-second 0–60 sprint. (Half a second faster than the previous Panamera Turbo, for those taking notes.) For a large luxury sedan, that’s just plain absurd. Even Porsche’s current Carrera S needs 3.5 seconds to do the deed.
The black-badged, sport-oriented Panamera GTS gets a 20-hp bump from its twin-turbo V-8 to 473 hp. The standard V-6 Panamera powerplant loses a smidge of displacement (2.9 liters, instead of 3.0) and gains an additional turbocharger for 325 hp (down slightly from the 2020 model’s 330 horses).
Alright, it’s fast. Does it look cool?
If you like the 2020 model, you’ll like the 2021 Panamera; Porsche isn’t changing much. The SportDesign front fascia now comes standard, and the lights on the rear now extend in an unbroken strip, much like the 992-gen 911. Porsche’s adding a new 20-inch and two 21-inch wheel designs, as well.
For the first time ever, the Panamera will offer a ultra-high performance summer tire. If you’re a prospective Turbo S or GTS customer, have at it—but please, please, swap something weather-appropriate come winter.
The GTS (shown above) continues as the overtly sporty configuration—despite playing second fiddle to the almighty Turbo S—with dark-tinted taillights, satin-black wheels, and black lettering smattered everywhere. It shares a standard Sport Exhaust with its bigger brother.
So, should I wait for the 2021 model?
If you’re content with a base Panamera, there’s no reason to hang around for the 2021 models; in fact, if that 5-hp decrease really bothers you, that’s all the more reason to stick with a 2020. Eyeing a GTS model? The 20-hp bump might be worth it. Overall, though, the 2021 updates cater most to those shopping the top-tier Panamera models. If you want bragging rights to Porsche’s most powerful sedan (we’re partial to the Sport Turismo wagon version ourselves) and are happy to shop deep into the six figures, the 2021 Panamera is calling your name.
2021 Panameras will be available to order in early 2021, and Porsche expects them to arrive at dealerships that spring. Pricing will most likely be announced later this year.