The 620-HP Porsche Panamera Turbo S (2021) Best Sports car. Following a teaser campaign that involved setting a new Nürburgring lap record for executive cars, the 2021 Porsche Panamera is finally here. The most important change is the launch of a Turbo S model serving as a replacement for the regular Turbo while adding some serious power in the process. The twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 has been massaged to deliver 620 horsepower and 604 pound-feet (820 Newton-meters) of torque or 70 hp and 37 lb-ft (50 Nm) more than before.
The newly added muscle has shaved off a tenth of a second from the 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprint, which now takes only 2.9 seconds or half a second quicker than the old Panamera Turbo. The slightly heavier Executive version with the extended wheelbase is a tad slower, requiring three seconds to complete the task. Whether it’s the regular liftback, the more practical Sport Turismo wagon, or the LWB version, all Turbo S models top out at 196 mph (315 km/h).
The Turbo S is not the only change made to the lineup for 2021 as Porsche is also introducing a Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid model combines a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 with an electric motor for a grand total of 552 hp and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm). Turn on launch control and the 0-60 mph run will take three and a half seconds en route to a top speed of 185 mph (298 km/h), which makes it just about as quick as the now-defunct Panamera Turbo.
The 2021MY switchover brings a larger-capacity battery (from 14.1 kWh to 17.9 kWh) for the plug-in hybrids and enables the newly launched 4S E-Hybrid to cover 34 miles (54 kilometers) based on the WLTP cycle, with EPA numbers not available yet.
As far as the base Panamera is concerned, Porsche is dropping the previous single-turbo 3.0-liter engine to make room for a twin-turbo 2.9-liter producing 325 hp and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm).
Beyond the changes underneath the hood, the 2021 Panamera gets a series of subtle design tweaks. The most obvious change is at the back where there’s now a full-width LED light strip to mirror other recent Porsche models. At the front, all versions come as standard with the SportDesign look that was previously offered as optional equipment. A SportDesign package available with or without carbon fiber accents can be had at an additional cost.
Porsche is also adding a few 20- and 21-inch wheel designs while making the air intakes of the Turbo S larger. The newcomer gets a model-specific front light signature along with a reworked sport exhaust system promising to offer a “more pronounced V8 rumble.” The beefier exhaust also comes as standard on the GTS, which gets an array of black accents as well as tinted taillights and its own set of 20-inch alloys.
Rounding off the changes on the outside are two new colors – Truffle Brown Metallic and Cherry Red Metallic.
Stepping inside the cabin, the 2021 Porsche Panamera boasts a new steering wheel with shift paddles along with a GT Sport steering wheel in the case of the Turbo S. Optionally available for the other trim levels, the GT Sport wheel has the shift paddles wrapped in leather. Depending on the version, the front seats can be electrically adjusted in 8, 14, or 18 ways, while a 21-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with 1,455 watts of power and a 400-watt subwoofer can replace the standard 14-speaker, 710-watt Bose setup in the Turbo S.
Porsche has made some changes underneath the familiar skin as each and every trim level benefits from recalibrated adaptive dampers to improve ride quality. The engineers have also sharpened up the steering and installed new tires bringing increased grip and lower rolling resistance. Ultra-high-performance tires are debuting on the Panamera, with the Turbo S getting ceramic composite brakes as standard with a choice between black or yellow calipers.
In the United States, all 2021 Panamera models will come as standard with lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition. At an additional cost, the car can be equipped with an array of other driver assistance systems, varying from a head-up display and night vision to adaptive cruise control and lane change assist.
Porsche North America will begin to take orders early 2021 when pricing will be announced. The updated Panamera will start hitting dealers next spring.