For the Porsche Panamera's mid-life facelift, Stuttgart has tweaked the looks, added a long-wheelbase option, and upped the performance and economy of the hybrid version, thanks to a new plug-in capable powertrain. Read on for the full details of Porsche's monster Panamera refresh.
What are the vital stats of the new Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid?
The new Panamera S E-Hybrid is 56% more efficient than the outgoing Panamera Hybrid, according to Porsche's figures. The jump from 37mpg to 91mpg (and drop from 159g/km of CO2 to just 71g/km) is down to the new car's plug-in charging and 9.4kWh battery, which has five times the capacity of the old model's cells. Charging the battery from a household socket takes four hours, and you can monitor the car's charge level remotely via a smartphone app. Does a 91mpg Porsche sound too good to be true? Skeptics will point to the holes in the current EU testing procedures, which count electric-only running as part of the overall cycle, allowing that crazy efficiency figure.
If the numbers seem familiar, you'll remember this powertrain from the Panamera Sport Turismo concept shown at the 2012 Paris motor show. The supercharged 3.0-litre 316bhp petrol V6 and 94bhp electric motor drivetrain develops 410bhp (just 14bhp less than the 4.8-litre petrol V8 in CAR's Panamera GTS long-termer!) It'll propel the new Panamera S E-Hybrid to 62mph in 5.5sec (half a second quicker than the old car) and top out at 168mph. Porsche quotes an 84mph EV-mode top speed, and a realistic range of 11-22 miles on battery power alone.
Enough hybrid nonsense – what else is new underneath the 2014 Porsche Panamera?
The Panamera S and 4S have binned the existing naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 in favour of a new 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6. Despite losing two cylinders, power is up by 20bhp and torque rises by 15lb ft, giving 418bhp and 383lb ft. The V6 engine is also 18% more efficient than the old V8. The V8s live on in the GTS and Turbo as before, while a new top-spec Turbo S model will go on sale in 2014.
Quietly, Porsche has dropped the manual gearbox option in the new Panamera too. All cars are dual-clutch PDK-'box only, aside from the eight-speed Tiptronic auto in the Panamera Diesel and S E-Hybrid. Uptake of the stick-shift was only a tiny fraction of worldwide Panamera sales, so it's no surprise to see the resale-unfriendly three-pedal model bite the dust. Let us know in the comments if you think Porsche should've let the manual live on.
Pleasing the chauffuer-orientated Chinese market is a new long-wheelbase version of the Panamera. Called the Panamera Executive, the 15cm-stretched car sticks with a four-seat layout, but offers extra legroom. It'll be unveiled along with the rest of the tweaked Panamera range at the Shanghai motor show on 21 April 2013, but don't expect to see the Panamera Executive on sale in the UK. It's for left-hand drive markets only, and Porsche UK has no plans to lobby HQ for a right-hooker conversion.
Talk me through the Panamera's facelift
The Panamera's looks have always divided opinion, and the facelifted one won't change that. Reshaped headlights, larger front air intakes, new taillights, and a new flared rear bumper incorporating the numberplate are the chief changes, along with new alloy wheels designs and slightly aftermarket-looking LED running light strips. Panamera Turbos have integrated LEd running light strips in the larger intakes, and new 'four-dot' LED headlights. Do you like the revamp? Let us know by clicking 'Add you comment' below.
The facelifted Panamera range is on UK sale from July 2013. Prices for the British market haven't yet been confirmed, though German-spec pricelists suggest only a very slight rise over current models.