This feels like a long time coming, but Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) have finally brought the second generation Porsche Panamera to Malaysia. For now at least, potential buyers have the choice between two motors; the base Panamera powered by the familiar 3.0 litre V6 turbo and the Panamera 4S which gets motivation from a new 2.9 litre V6 bi-turbo motor. We know your mind is probably drawn to the sensational Transformer-esque spoiler; that belongs to the Panamera Turbo and should arrive on our shores in a couple of months.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the new 2.9 litre bi-turbo mill is new, and you’re not wrong. The 2.9-litre V6 biturbo engine of the Panamera 4S develops a maximum power of 440 hp (+20hp); it is already available at 5,650 rpm, which is just above the nominal engine speed. Peak torque is now 550Nm (+30Nm) and is delivered between 1,750 to 5,500rpm to the drive axles.
The Panamera 4S can reach 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds (4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package). With a top speed of 289 km/h, this Porsche is getting close to the 300 km/h mark. The NEDC combined fuel consumption is 8.2 – 8.1 l/100 km (186 – 184 g/km CO2). Compared to the first generation Panamera 4S, this represents a fuel saving of up to 1.0 l/100 km or 11%.
On the Panamera, the agile six-cylinder engine drives only the rear wheels. In all models, the motor is linked to an extremely fast eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK). Like all other engines of the new Gran Turismo, this V6 is also a turbo engine with direct petrol injection. It develops 330 hp between 5,400 to 6,400rpm, representing a 20hp increase over the naturally aspirated engine used in the previous model.
With the old car, many were critical with its looks. This second-generation Panamera however, looks bloody fantastic. It may not look like it, but the new car is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor. However, these gains have been camouflaged with sculpted lines, most apparent in the lower roof line. Look at the car from some angles towards the rear and you may be surprised to note many stylistic links to the iconic 911.
The Panamera has only grown six millimeters in width, but it feels like several centimeters. This effect is created by such features as the A-shaped air intake, which extends out to the sides and creates a completely new front-end design. At the same time, a precisely designed crossbar in the radiator grille emphasizes the car’s width. The arrow-shaped bonnet over the engine accelerates this visual effect further forward and lower than before – due to the prominently contoured power-dome, whose lines now reach into the bumper.
The lower front end was enabled by the new compact construction of the engines in the vehicle concept. To the left and right of the power-dome, the bonnet blends precisely into the stronger flares of the front wings – a typical Porsche design trait.
Also exuding confidence is the look of the LED headlights with their four-point LED daytime running lights, of which three versions are available. The new side body – like the bonnet, boot, roof and wings – is made entirely of aluminium, and it accentuates the silhouette of a sports car more than ever thanks to its dynamic roof line. At the rear, this roof line becomes the charismatic Porsche flyline – the distinctive lines that adorn all of the brand’s coupés.
Two precisely executed edges on the lateral roof line visually lower the silhouette’s centre of gravity. The look of the side windows has also been redesigned: its visually continuous surface, together with its lines on the rear body, creates a stylistic affinity to the Porsche 911. Three-dimensionality characterises the doors and wings, where incident light shining on their convex and concave surfaces generates muscular tension.
Integral design components there are the air exhaust ports behind the front wheels. The flared lips of the wheel arches are also powerful. The large arches provide space for the 19-inch (4S) and optional 21-inch alloy wheels.
Step into the new Panamera and you’re greeted by Porsche’s latest interior – now reinterpreted with smooth panels and interactive displays that combine a clear and intuitive user interface, similar to a modern day smartphone. Gone are the array of buttons, now replaced by touch sensitive panels and individually configurable displays which now take center stage in the new Porsche Advanced Cockpit. The instrument panel has been enhanced too, with the tachometer positioned centrally as a tribute to the 1955 Porsche 356 A.
In addition, the Porsche Panamera offers the best layout variability of any model in the luxury class, making it the most practical for everyday use with a 40:20:40 split of the folding rear bench backrests (495 to 1,304 litres of luggage capacity). Raising the comfort experience of the Panamera to an entirely new level are new equipment options such as the panoramic tilt roof, massage seats, ambient lighting and a 3D high-end sound system from Burmester.
Retail prices for the Panamera and Panamera 4S start from RM890k and RM1.1m respectively, inclusive of a four-year warranty and free maintenance package which includes service, parts and labour. These prices include all applicable duties, except registration fees, road tax and insurance. And as is always the case, the sky is the limit with Porsche options.
We’ve driven the previous generation Panamera in various guises over the years and if you didn’t already know, we loved it. Honestly, we can’t wait to finally get behind the wheel of Porsche’s latest GT and rack up some drive time. While we wait, let’s just enjoy the launch gallery below.