The 2013 Shanghai Auto Show is not until later this month, but Porsche has given its loyal fans an early present by unveiling the 2014 Porsche Panamera which bestows Porsche’s popular four door with several updates for the new model year.
The exterior of the 2014 Porsche Panamera retains much of the old car’s basic shape but Porsche stylists have added several new touches such as a revised front end which is cleaner in appearance thanks to new headlamp assemblies, and larger air intakes to draw more air into the engine. The rear fascia has also been tweaked and features revised tail lamps, a rear window that is more swept back than the old car, and a new trunk lid which is equipped with a wider rear spoiler. Xenon headlights are standard equipment on all Panamera models but new all-LED units are available as optional equipment.
Porsche engineers have also reworked the performance hardware of the Panamera for 2014 and have added a pair of new engines to the Panamera’s list of powerplants. The first of these engines is a new 3.0 liter twin turbocharged V6 which replaces the old 4.8 liter V8 found in the S and 4S variants of the Panamera. While the new engine is slightly smaller than the old V8, the dual turbochargers help the V6 produce 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque (which is a gain of 20 horsepower and 15 lb-ft respectively versus the figures wielded by the old V8). While Porsche has not released official fuel economy estimates for this engine, expect a significant increase when it is paired with the company’s familiar seven speed dual clutch automatic and auto stop/start technology.
The star of the lineup though is the company’s newest green offering, the 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid. Unlike the previous generation Panamera S Hybrid model, the new E-Hybrid is a plug-in-hybrid which is capable of driving up to 84 mph on electric power only, and also achieves a 20 mile driving range before the battery needs to be recharged. Porsche claims that the entire recharge process takes only two and a half hours to complete when the vehicle is hooked up to a 240-volt outlet, which is impressive for a vehicle in its class. As a neat bonus, owners can keep track of charging progress and other vehicle related data via a new Porsche Car Connect app which will be available to Android and iOS phone users.
Porsche enthusiasts that are wondering if raw performance has been shelved in favor of maximum fuel economy will be pleased to hear that is not the case. Total system output is a healthy 416 horsepower and an equally stout 435 lb- ft of torque which allows the Panamera S E-Hybrid to make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 5.2 seconds before reaching a final top speed of 167 mph. All of this power is routed to the rear wheels through a eight speed Tiptronic S transmission which should help the new plug-in deliver exceptional fuel economy.
While the company did not reveal any detailed information about what interior tweaks are in store for 2014, Porsche did reveal that it will be offering buyers new extended wheelbase versions of the Panamera 4S and Turbo. Known officially as the “Executive Model”, both versions stretch the overall length of the Panamera’s wheelbase by a whopping 5.3 inches for maximum rear legroom which should please Chinese buyers that routinely use vehicles like these as limousines. In addition to the improved rear legroom, Porsche also says that the Executive models will coddle buyers with “an extensive range of standard features” which should make these variants perfect modes of transportation for top executives.
Look for the 2014 Porsche Panamera to make its official debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show later this month with sales expected to begin in Europe sometime in July. Sales in the U.S. market expected to begin later this year with official U.S pricing starting at $78,100 for a base Panamera model. The mid level 4S will have a slightly higher base price of $98,300 with the E-Hybrid close behind at $99,000. The top of the line GTS and Turbo variants have an even higher cost of entry with both models starting at $113,400 and $141,300 respectively while extended wheel base Executive models begin at a wallet-busting $125,600 for the 4S Executive and an equally pricey $161,100 for the loaded Turbo Executive before the $975 destination charge and options are factored in. Despite the high price of entry, the 2014 Porsche Panamera should continue being a hit with customers and if anyone from Porsche is reading this, we here at Autosavant look forward to perhaps evaluating the 2014 Panamera on our favorite back roads in the near future.