The Porsche Panamera recently got a refresh but it appears the car is getting a second nip and tuck. Spy photographers caught a sedan prototype undergoing cold-weather testing in the Arctic Circle. Changes appear to be limited, though. The most visible ones are the wider lower air intakes in the front fascia and the vertical LED daytime running lights.
Spy photographers also noted that this particular Porsche Panamera prototype had most of its dashboard covered up. That suggests Porsche could be working on giving the cabin a revamp, especially the dash and center console layout. The rest of the car appears untouched, retaining the same silhouette and taillight design features as the current model. There are three configurations currently available for the Panamera, the standard sedan, the long-wheelbase Executive, and the practical Sport Turismo wagon.
In typical Porsche fashion, the exterior tweaks are extremely subtle. However, under the skin, the Panamera could get some major updates, especially on the powertrain front. The larger front lower air intakes suggest that more improvements are coming. Having all that extra air entering the engine bay hints that something in there needs more cooling, further pointing to a new powertrain or improved versions of the current offerings.
With all signs pointing to a second refresh, we suspect Porsche is doing the same thing to the Panamera that it did to the Macan. That means the current lineup will stick around for some time after getting another styling redo. It will likely be sold alongside the next-generation Panamera, which will arrive in the middle of this decade. Like the second-generation Macan, the third-generation Panamera will be a battery-electric vehicle and will likely be on the Volkswagen Group’s PPE architecture. That platform will launch first in the Macan and will also be used by Audi for the Q6 e-tron.
Among full-size luxury cars, the Porsche Panamera currently has one of the broadest range of options. In addition to the two body styles and two wheelbase lengths, there’s a wealth of powertrain options available. On the entry-level end of the lineup, there’s a new 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that’s offered in RWD or AWD layouts. Then there’s the 443-hp Panamera 4S, which uses an updated version of the same six-cylinder mill as the base car. If those aren’t enough for you, there are versions powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 at the top of the range. The Panamera GTS is good for 473 hp while the Turbo S makes a healthy 620 hp.
Looking for something electrified? Well, the Panamera has three plug-in hybrid variants available. At the entry point is the 455-hp Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, which will also be offered in the new Platinum Edition version for 2022. Slotting above that is what we believe is the sweet spot of the lineup, the 552-hp Panamera’s 4S E-Hybrid, the latest addition to the range. Sitting at the top is the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, an Autobahn cruise missile with nearly 700 hp, a top speed of 196 mph, and supercar levels of acceleration.
Power isn’t an issue with any variant of the Porsche Panamera. This second refresh, however, seems to hint that Porsche isn’t done with extracting the most out of its flagship luxury car. We’re looking forward to seeing what it has in store for the Panamera as the model moves into the transition phase before it becomes an EV for its next iteration.