Less money, less choice – the second-generation of Porsche’s large sedan is starting small.
JUST three derivatives of the second generation Porsche Panamera will initially stand in for the nine current editions available in New Zealand.
Unveiled overnight in Berlin, the new model is set to land from the first quarter.
Porsche New Zealand has announced it will take turbocharged 4S derivatives, one each in petrol and diesel – respectively for $275,300 and $284,900 - and continue with a flagship Turbo, for $346,400.
The current range spans a broader price band, engine and specification choice, with nine models starting at $195,000 and topping off at $400,300 for a Turbo S.
However, the second gen family is set to broaden, with Porsche suggesting cheaper and more expensive derivatives will come over time. Yet to be seen is a much anticipated plug-in hybrid that Porsche promises will be a significant improvement on the current $264,300 S E-Hybrid, which is modestly represented in NZ.
Also, the launch variants are all available with either optional or standard permanent all-wheel-drive, and an eight-speed dual-clutch (PDK) transmission.
Porsche NZ has yet to spell out its exact specification choices or suggested which of the variants might be the sale leader.
Though it unavoidably continues the general styling ethos of the original, the next car has a fresh platform and engines – the flagship 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol mill is brand-new and Porsche-developed while the others are from Audi, but new to its performance cousin.
It employs on the latest version of Porsche’s MSB modular standard platform that employs higher levels of aluminium and high-strength steel to slice weight.
A shell that adopts stronger styling reference with the 911 is marginally larger than the car it replaces.
Measuring 5049mm long, 1937mm wide and 1423mm tall, it is 34mm longer, 6mm wider and 5mm taller than the first-generation car, while the wheelbase has grown by 20mm to 2950mm.
Boot space is rated 495 litres with the rear seats in place, growing to 1304 litres when the backrest is laid down.
The top engine produces 404kW of power at 5750rpm and 770Nm of torque at 4500rpm, which is 22kW and 70Nm than before. Porsche claims 0-100kmh in 3.8 seconds in standard format, or 3.6s if the optional and cost-extra Sport Chrono package is chosen. The latter also enhances the top speed to 306kmh.
Fuel consumption is cut by 1.1 litres per 100km on the European combined driving cycle test, down from 10.2L/100km to 9.3. Porsche says the fuel saving is partly attributed to the new twin-scroll, counter-rotating turbochargers that are said to generate maximum torque at lower speeds, as well as a cylinder deactivation system that switches the engine into four-cylinder operation under low loads.
The V8 diesel is a first for Panamera. Also of 4.0 litres’ capacity, in creating 310kW at 3500rpm and 850Nm or torque between 1000rpm and 3250rpm, this mill becomes the most powerful production diesel ever released, but only for a short while. Audi has a 320kW version coming for the SQ7.
Porsche says the diesel, which has sequential turbos, can optimally sip fuel at just 6.7L/100km and yet also provides the oomph to hit 100kmh in 4.5s – 4.3 with Sports Chrono.
The petrol 4S comes with a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that puts out 324kW at 5650rpm and 550Nm between 1750 and 5500rpm. This is 15kW and 30Nm more than the superseded 3.0-litre engine.
Fuel consumption has also been improved, by 1.0L/100km, to 8.1L/100km.