New third-generation Porsche Panamera has magic active suspension

Published: 24 November 2023

► New-generation Porsche Panamera revealed
► Same-again looks, big improvements beneath
► Includes new optional Active Ride suspension

The new Porsche Panamera has been revealed in full. The four-door grand tourer has reached its third generation, launching with some clever new technology beneath the bodywork.

This is the new one, right?

It is. Though we likely share your sentiment that it looks almost identical to the previous model. Despite that, Porsche’s VP for the Panamera model line, Thomas Friemuth, says it’s ‘a totally new Panamera.’

Emphasising the point, he adds: ‘The new front design is mainly characterised by being more athletic with more sharp lines. The side view you will see we have the option of centre-lock wheels, which is the first time here,’ adds Friemuth. And he’s right – Turbo models now feature centre-lock wheels that ape the brand’s various GT models elsewhere in the range.

New Porsche Panamera - third-generation, centre-lock wheel and brake detail

There are new colours available, too, including this tasty orange pictured. ‘We’re working on our customers!’ Friemuth tells us when we discussed the expansion beyond sober blacks, greys and silvers usually seen with the Panamera; ‘we will try to learn to give our customers the opportunity to show some colour, not always grey.’

Friemuth also says that Porsche wants to do more to separate those who buy the hotter Turbo models. As well as those centre-lock wheels, Panamera Turbo models benefit from a more aggressive bodykit and the return of the triple-panel fold out rear wing. ‘The real big issue is what we call ‘Turbo differentiation’, this is new for Porsche,’ says Friemuth. ‘Our Turbo customers are special customers, and we now offer them differentiation which is not available for all the other customers.’

Part of that is the new ‘Turbonite’ colour scheme; a satin grey hue trimming various bits of the bodywork, as well as the interior. On top of that, Porsche has coloured its crest in Turbonite.

New Porsche Panamera - third-generation, rear, orange

The cockpit has subtly evolved, too. The new ‘Porsche Driver Experience’ control layout might look rather familiar on first glance. Porsche’s classic GT steering wheel can be seen in the supplied pictures, and details directly in front of the driver include a curved instrument display and a shifter that’s been cloned from the Porsche Taycan.

A high centre console remains, complete with physical climate controls and volume dial – as well as what look like touch panel controls similar to the last generation. Again, like the Taycan, a passenger display can be seen inset into the dashboard – affording the front passenger more infotainment functionality for themselves.

A filter on the passenger screen that blocks the driver from seeing it, as with the latest Cayenne. A head-up display is an option, and the cockpit is filled with ambient lighting.

New Porsche Panamera - third-generation model, driving position

Porsche says that, as well as the gentle evolution of technology inside, the Panamera benefits from upgraded seat foam materials and additional upholster customisation options available when the car launches. A leather-free Race-Tex upholstery will be available for the first time in the Panamera, too.

On top of that, Porsche has confirmed the return of the Executive model available in certain markets that features a more spacious second row with newly-contoured seating. Rear passengers also benefit from a small touchscreen that runs along the centre console, too.

What kind of performance can I expect from the new Panamera?

The Panamera and Panamera 4 use a 348bhp 2.9-litre V6, capable of a 4.8sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of 167mph.

Go for a Turbo E-Hybrid model (the car pictured in orange) and you’ll benefit from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, e-motor and battery pack developing 671bhp in total. Porsche says the V8 is a new-generation model (sharing only the block with the latest Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid) and the bigger battery (now 25.9kWh) means an e-range of up to 56 miles. As for performance, the Turbo E-Hybrid sprints to 62mph in 3.2sec, topping out at 196mph.

New Porsche Panamera - third-generation, black and orange

Before we get into that, Panamera models benefit from two-chamber air suspension with two-valve dampers and a semi-active anti-roll bar (called PDCC Sport in Porsche code). You can also choose another, entirely different suspension system for E-Hybrid models: Active Ride.

What is Active Ride?

‘It’s a game-changer,’ Friemuth tells CAR.

The technology uses hydraulics and those two-valve dampers, and allows those models to tilt into corners or maintain an equilibrium when accelerating or braking hard. When you pull on the door handle (when getting in or out), the car’s ride height jumps up by 550mm for easier access.

New Porsche Panamera - third-generation, side, orange

Naturally, it’s about stepping up the Panamera’s handling characteristics and improving the ride quality over the standard setup. So much so that Porsche says the system manages to be more comfortable, more refined and deliver unparalleled athleticism all at the same time.

Read our Panamera prototype review to find out what we think of Active Ride in action.

How much is a new-generation Porsche Panamera?

For now, the range starts with Panamera, Panamera 4 and Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid. The whole range starts at £79,500, stepping up to £82,500 for the 4 and £141,400 for the Turbo E-Hybrid.

Friemuth confirmed to us that the Turbo S E-Hybrid will return as the Panamera’s flagship. Other variants, like a GTS spec, are likely to follow. After a Sport Turismo? Don’t count on it – our intel suggests the body style has been canned.

You can order one now, with the first deliveries kicking off in March 2024.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches