- There's a new fast-reacting Active Ride suspension.
- New PDK transmission features a built-in electric drive motor.
- Reworked interior more closely aligns with the Cayenne's.
- New hybrid system and larger battery offer more EV range.
The 2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid Is a Seriously Spicy Four-Door
One of the best somehow gets even better
Porsche's Panamera has really come into its own after a rocky introduction back in 2010, with the first iteration suffering from seriously awkward styling. The second-generation Panamera leaned into its predecessor's strengths and smoothed its faults, becoming even faster, more attractive and sharper from behind the wheel. Now, with Porsche's introduction of the third-generation 2024 Panamera, the automaker ratchets all that up again with an added dose of technology and comfort. We traveled to Porsche's factory in Leipzig, where we hit the roads in a still-camouflaged 2024 Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid to see if the newest iteration cements the Panamera as the king of the four-door luxury performance cars.
What's under the Panamera's hood?
The Panamera will launch in rear-wheel-drive Panamera and all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 forms, both powered by a 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 producing 348 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque.
But the one we drove is the Turbo E-Hybrid, which launches a little later. While its drivetrain is one area that doesn't look different on paper, the truth is that it's a whole new kettle of fish. Its internal combustion engine continues to be Porsche's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but it's received considerable work under the skin. Combined with the new oil-cooled electric motor that is now completely integrated into the revamped eight-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, the total system outputs 670 horsepower and 685 lb-ft of torque. Porsche has also increased the size of the Panamera's traction battery to 25.9 kWh (up from 17.9 kWh), which means that the EV range has increased but it's unclear by how much.
How does the Panamera drive?
One of the Panamera's strongest selling points is that it has always driven like a Porsche. It never felt like the big, heavy luxury car that it is, and the third-generation Panamera only improves on that. The motive force provided by the Turbo E-Hybrid's V8 and electric motor, paired with the lightning-quick PDK, is breathtaking. It's not quite big-power-EV violent (see: Lucid Air Sapphire or Tesla Model S Plaid), but with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds, leaving every traffic light should be a grin-inducing affair.
The Panamera's new suspension almost overshadows that mighty drivetrain. The single-chamber Active Ride units are hydraulically linked to one another, offering great comfort and composure. That composure comes from some interesting features baked into the system, such as dynamic wheel load balance combined with dynamic ride height, as well as active compensation for acceleration and brake dive. Oh, and the comfort access feature raises the car's ride height by 2.14 inches to make getting in and out easier. The speed with which it does this is astonishing.
How comfortable is the Panamera?
With the previously mentioned Active Ride suspension, the Panamera is incredibly comfortable. The ride feels well insulated from the road surface, and combined with the excellent multi-way adjustable seats and ample sound deadening; the experience is overall very luxurious. As befits something with the Porsche crest on the hood, the car never feels sloppy or floaty, even in the softest suspension settings, but it feels like the perfect car for a cross-country drive — a typical Panamera strength.
How's the Panamera's interior?
The interior of this third generation of Panamera has seen a substantial overhaul. The instrument cluster now mimics the one you'll find in the newest Cayenne, as does the dash-mounted toggle switch for the shifter. The seats are supportive, if not overly relaxing, but I like this. The center console looks similar to the previous generation's but features new screens for climate control as well as a few physical knobs and buttons for frequently used features. The cabin is truly a nice place to spend time.
How's the Panamera's tech?
The Panamera's interior tech is class-leading. The 12.6-inch curved driver's instrument screen is bright, highly legible and easily configurable. The available 10.9-inch passenger screen is responsive and actually useful with the car's built-in Wi-Fi connection. A privacy coating prevents the driver from seeing anything on the passenger's screen, and it's extremely effective. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard and users can link their My Porsche account to the car via a QR code, which is handy.
Safety tech is also excellent, though, as is common for Porsche, a lot of the really good stuff will be available as options. The high point is Porsche's InnoDrive driving assistant. It takes features like adaptive cruise control and adds a new lane keeping assistant, evasive maneuver assistant and crossroad assistant, making for a robust suite of advanced driver assistance systems. Also very cool is the ability to remotely park the vehicle from outside the car via the My Porsche app.
The 2024 Porsche Panamera is meaningfully improved over previous versions and offers deeply impressive performance to match its peaky price tag. It's not a car for everyone, with its unique styling and four-seat interior layout, but then again, it never was.