The current version of the Porsche Panamera is many things, but above all else, it's fast. Even the basic version you can buy these days packs 330 horsepower from a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, blitzes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds, and slices up corners with typical Porsche panache — and the performance only gets better as you climb the model tree.
But the good folks at Porsche didn't get where they are by resting on their laurels. So when the facelifted version of the second-generation Porsche Panamera arrives later this year, it'll do so with a revised range of powertrains that deliver more power, according to the lucky folks at Motor Authority and Car and Driver who were invited to get a sneak preview of the new models before they're revealed in late August.
That 3.0-liter turbo six in the base model? It's gone, replaced with a detuned version of the twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 found in the Panamera 4S (and the Cayenne S, and the Audi S6 / S7 / RS 5). Horsepower should remain at 330, though the 4S might see its ouput rise to 450 to create a little more distance between it and its new engine twin. If you're worried that'll put it too close to the twin turbo V8-powered Panamera GTS, fear not; that model is expected to climb to 473 hp.
The big news, though, is the departure of the Panamera Turbo. That 550-hp super-sedan is kaput for 2021, replaced by a new Panamera Turbo S that uses the same twin-turbo V8 but dials it up to 630 horsepower. That doesn't mean the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is gone, though; the PHEV range-topper will reportedly be dialed up to 700 horses from the current 670-hp output.
Plug-in Porsche fans will be interested to know that a new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid model will allegedly join the range, slotting between the 457-hp Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and the Turbo S E-Hybrid. The new 17.9-kWh battery pack should offer about 30 percent more electric-only range than the old 14.1-kWh version, according to the reports, so expect the cars to pack around 18 miles of EV range.
The chassis tuning and steering have reportedly been played around with to make the new Panamera handle even more sharply than the previous version, difficult as that may be for anyone who's been lucky enough to toss a PDCC-equipped Panamera through a couple turns. Blame — or give credit to — the likes of the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, according to C/D, which moved the bar for how aggressive super-fast sport sedans can be. Still, the active suspension should be even more relaxed in the comfort-minded modes, to keep the butts in those fancy seats from being thumped by rough road surfaces when the driver wants to take things easy.
In terms of design changes, don't expect a revolution. From the reports, the front and rear will be ever-so-slightly tweaked, with the Sport Design appearance package that's currently an option becoming standard for a more aggressive look. Inside, there's a new steering wheel like the one found in the latest Porsche 911, as well as a faster infotainment screen.
And thankfully for those of us who like our speedy family cars in a wide variety of body styles, Porsche will continue to offer the Panamera in three different shapes: the regular fastback sedan, the extended-wheelbase Executive version, and — our favorite — the Sport Turismo station wagon.