The world has been waiting for the new Porsche Panamera for a long time. Although the Internet has a decent collection of spy photos from test drives in different countries and even videos, it is still not enough to satisfy the interest for this model. According to the company’s statement, the new Panamera will make its debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show in the late September as the 2017 model, so we have a plenty of time to wait for it. At this point, we have a little knowledge about the vehicle, but we could speculate about the features and characterize the exterior as seen in the spy photos.
What we know
According to auto experts, the new 2017 Porsche Panamera will be based on the brand new modular platform, dubbed MSB, which is supposed to make it lighter and bring more efficient setup and lower the fuel consumption (also, it allows rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations). It is expected to become approximately 200 pounds lighter thanks to the use of high-tech materials, including aluminum and high-strength steel. The MSB platform will also be used on the next-generation Bentley Continental. The current seven-speed transmission will most likely be replaced with a nine-speed unit, more efficient and favoring performance by allowing the engine always to spin in the optimal rev range.
In addition, the vehicle should be longer than its predecessors, which certainly is good news for the room inside the cabin. Some reviewers also claimed that it will be slightly wider, meaning that Porsche might pack the vehicle with the hybrid engine or even an all-electric powertrain. Although we did not hear about the plans to manufacture green models, it is fair to suggest that they might be under development as well. Let’s face it; green is a trend and Porsche will be most likely to follow it and since they already have a decent amount of experience we don’t see a reason why not to include version like this into the lineup.
Among the new features spotted on the photos of 2017 Porsche Panamera are a much sportier front bumper, round fog lights, and unique LED turn signals. These elements make the body look much aggressive and sportier, which is loved by auto fans. Also, it was evident that the model had a four-tailpipe exhaust system and lightweight alloy wheels, which are supported by a sophisticated braking system with yellow calipers.
Porsche Panamera interior
The spy shots uploaded on the Internet revealed some of the interior details, including the dashboard, steering wheel, cup holders, and gauges. Accordingly, the steering wheel looked like a standard Porsche design, and only one detail seemed to be different: center stack. Next, the cabin was reported to maintain the climate control unit and its controls in identical place or at least in the similar position, but it receives the new element just above these: a single armrest area. Also, instead of the previous version’s single unit, the new Panamera obtained cup holders for both drivers and front seat passenger.
The dashboard will most likely to feature fewer buttons than the previous model. Their number was cut to provide nicer and sleek-looking touch-sensitive buttons, but it is apparent that the conventional Porsche gauges remained. Also, the model is supposed to receive a larger infotainment touch screen display (maybe 10 inches). Unfortunately, this information is all that we know about the interior of the 2017 Porsche Panamera.
Just like with the previous version, the manufacturer will provide this model with a variety of powertrains to meet the needs of different customers. In addition to the current engine, twin-turbo V6, which was designed solely by Porsche engineers, the 2017 model might get some new ones. By the way, the current one that is offered in the 2014 Panamera and had the top 310 horsepower (it was a 3.6-liter unit, capable of generating 295 lb-ft of torque). With this engine, the 2014 model was considered as the slowest Porsche because the performance was cut; for example, the acceleration to 60 miles per hour was estimated at 4.9 seconds. Undoubtedly, the company will not make 2017 version performances worse even for the base version, so we should expect more powerful engines as well.
For example, a good candidate for addition to the lineup is a V8 unit, featured in the GTS and Turbo Panamera before. It was capable of reaching 60 miles in less than 4 seconds and topped at 160-190 miles per hour. It is sufficient to claim that Porsche will produce a hybrid variant as well: many rumors had that the company has developed a new battery technology that will help to have a longer life for the green unit. Moreover, this technology is supposed to decrease the weight and increase the carrying capacity of the vehicle but also performances and efficiency.
We do not know exactly how much weight will be lost but the current Panamera S E-Hybrid weights nearly 4,610 pounds (clearly, some weight can be lost) making it one quite heavy vehicle. This influenced handling and overall performances but with the introduction of new tech, it is possible to improve in this segment.
Another engine we might see resurrected is the diesel that was dropped from 2015 model. Same 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged powerplant could be offered, but, this time with more than 300 hp, allowing sub 6 seconds acceleration from 0 to 60 mph. We take this with a pinch of salt mainly because there were no confirmations that this might happen. We will have to wait a little bit longer to see if diesel model will be offered and to which markets it will go.
2017 Porsche Panamera release date
According to the Porsche’s chief executive for North America Klaus Zellner, the model will be available in Europe as soon as this fall, but the U.S. will not see the new Panamera until 2018. The decision for the delay for the North American market has not been explained, but the official clearly said that customers in the region won’t be purchasing the vehicle this year and next year. However, he was sure to the success of the model in the U.S. when it arrives:
“But we are confident that this car will be well received here, despite the fact that this country doesn’t really like hatchbacks or wagons,” Klaus Zellner emphasized.
Apparently, Porsche wants the new Panamera to be one of the most successful and best-selling models, especially in the U.S., where the market is certainly larger. Given that Panamera generated the poorest sales performance among all Porsche models of the last ten years, the company certainly hopes to change the situation with the latest model.
What we thought
We did not expect to see dramatic upgrades in the design of the new 2017 Porsche Panamera, which is exactly what we saw in the spy photos. It could be said that this model is a stage of evolution, rather than a revolution in the Panamera history. At this point, we know very little, but it is already clear that the vehicle will be excellent in many areas, so we are eagerly expecting it.