The original Porsche Panamera arrived amid controversy: Should the legendary sports-carmaker be fielding a four-door sedan? Strong sales proved the answer to be "yes," especially considering how well the car performed — but one area of repeated criticism was the bulbous styling. For 2017, Porsche has introduced an all-new Panamera: a handsome head-turner with looks that do justice to its prodigious performance.
But the new Panamera's appeal goes beyond its appearance. We are quite fond of the new interior, which features a huge glass-look touchscreen with a smartphone-like interface for the infotainment system. The dashboard mimics the five-gauge layout of the classic Porsche 911, and all but the center-mounted tachometer are actually video images — very cool.
Of course, performance is what sets the Panamera apart from its rivals, and the new engine lineup is a speed freak's delight. Porsche is offering buyers their choice of a 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 engine that develops an astonishing 440 horsepower (no, that's not a typo, they really are getting 440 hp from a six-cylinder engine) and 405 pound-feet of torque, or a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that makes 550 hp and 567 lb-ft. Edmunds has not yet performance-tested the Panamera, but Porsche says the V6 car will get to 60 mph in as little as 4 seconds flat with launch control engaged, while the V8-powered car will do it in 3.4 seconds. Optional performance enhancements include an adaptive air suspension and a rear-wheel steering system.
One of the key advantages of the Panamera over other Porsche models is that your family can enjoy the thrills along with you: Though shaped for just two, the backseat offers reasonable accommodations, and despite a lower roofline — key to the Panamera's better looks — Porsche says there is no less rear-seat headroom in this car than in the old one. And should your kids get tired (or scared) of the ride, the Panamera offers an optional rear-seat entertainment system with twin 10-inch displays, 32GB of dedicated storage, wireless headphones, and interfaces for micro-USB devices as well as micro-SD cards, plus the ability to use the stereo system's built-in WiFi connectivity.
Porsche is introducing the new Panamera with two models: The Panamera 4S and the Panamera Turbo. (Porsche's modus operandi is to add more models over time.) Both are well equipped, but Porsche believes in customization and they offer a list of options as long as the car itself, including a multitude of choices for interior colors and trim. How best to equip your Panamera? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Porsche Panamera for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.