If you thought ugly ducklings magically turning into beautiful swans are the stuff of fairy tales, here’s proof that that’s not the case. The Panamera, which was a heck of a good car to drive, was nonetheless the ugly duckling of Porsche’s line-up, which isn’t full of stunning beauties anyway. However, the all-new 2017 iteration of Stuttgart’s sports saloon has received a major makeover that it’s now arguably the sleekest model in the German carmaker’s portfolio.
The refreshed exterior styling is very much in line with the 911’s, but the profile is much sharper. It’s also 34 mm longer at 5,049mm, 6mm wider at 1,937mm and 5mm taller at 1,423mm. However, the designers have deftly masked the slight increase in overall height by reducing 20mm from the rear passenger compartment’s elevation. And better still Porsche claims this has been done without affecting headroom at the back. The front overhang has been shortened thanks to the wheels being moved further forward, while the rear overhang is a touch longer, adding to the Panamera’s overall athletic stance.
While the front design mostly is carried over from the outgoing model with mild modifications such as refreshed headlights and a re-shaped bumper, the rear haunch has been redrawn completely and gains new LED rear lights with integrated four-point brake lights and connected in the middle by a narrow LED strip. The rear also sports an integrated, electrically extendible spoiler finished in body colour. On the Panamera Turbo, the rear wing also splits as it extends, providing additional surface area, while a diffuser with integrated dual stainless steel exhaust pipes on either side round out the rear.
Inside, the instrument binnacle features an analog tachometer flanked by a couple of 7.0in information displays, while a 12in touchscreen on the centre stack acts as the infotainment interface. And the multitude of buttons that used to be crammed into the centre console are all gone, replaced by touch-sensitive controls, lending the cockpit an infinitely cleaner, more elegant look.
Under the bonnet, the choices will be between a 2.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 in the Panamera 4S, and a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 in the Panamera Turbo. The 4S will be good for 440 horsepower, while the Turbo’s V8 will churn out 550 horses.
Both the model variants are expected to go on sale sometime between the last quarter of this year and early next year with a starting price of approximately Dh460,000