Porsche brought the Panamera in for its garage makeover and drove it out looking almost exactly the same. Turns out it was one of those fancy German refreshes where everything happens in places you can't immediately see, as we found recently on the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The marquee revision across the lineup is under the hood, where every engine gets, at the very least, more power. Such is the case for the naturally aspirated V6 in the entry models, fitted with an increase of 10 horsepower for a total of 310. The same goes for the naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V8, which lives only in the Panamera GTS now, and gets 10 more hp for a total of 430. That same V8, twin-turbocharged in the Turbo model, is graced with 20 more ponies for 520 hp. The mightiest marquee revision is saved for the S models, which surrender their use of the 4.8-liter V8 and get a 3.0-liter, all-aluminum, twin-turbocharged V6 in its place. It's a brand-new engine designed in-house and related to the 3.6-liter V6 in the base models, but with new features like a magnesium timing chain cover, variable camshaft timing for the intake and the exhaust valves, and a new fuel- injection system. Putting out 420 hp and 384 pound-feet of torque, it's got 20 more hp and 15 more lb-ft than the V8 it replaces. What's more, torque used to peak from 3,500 to 5,000 rpm, but the new torque curve maintains maximum twist from 1,750 to 5,000 rpm. It is less thirsty as well, posting an estimated fuel economy of 17/27 miles per gallon city/highway, besting the 16/24 city/highway of before. An improved stop-start mechanism contributes to this, as it cuts the engine earlier, and the coasting function benefits from a new disc clutch that can decouple the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission from the driveline. As we wrote in our Panamera S E-Hybrid review, you'd need to be obsessed with the Panamera to notice the sheet metal changes around that engine. It's the perfect car to ask, oh so coyly, "Notice anything different about me?" while you stand there dumbfounded, silently thinking, "No." Here is your cheat sheet: the front and back ends are "tighter," meaning faintly more squared off, the front intakes are larger, the tailgate gets wider rear glass over the same-sized opening, the rear spoiler is wider, and the rear license plate bracket has been mounted lower. But even now that you know what the changes are, odds are still 200-to-1 against you actually noticing. Then there are changes that you genuinely can't see, like the placement of its steel, aluminum, and magnesium materials: the sedan has gained 22 pounds compared to pre-facelift, but Porsche said it has put more lightweight materials at the edges of the car to improve its responses. Bi-xenon headlights make the grade as standard equipment, while dynamic LED headlights get a place on the options list. Inside, platinum grey leather is replaced by agate grey as the standard …
Hide Full Review
Smart Buy Price
|MPG||18 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||310 @ 6200 rpm|
Savings without having to haggle for it.
Switch to State Farm and save an average of $536* on your car insurance.