The 2017 Porsche Panamera is Reborn 6

Could the acclaimed Porsche Panamera get any better? 2017’s second generation says yes.

The Porsche Panamera filled a major void in the world of automobile enthusiasts upon its official unveiling in 2009. Further solidifying its historical, brain-engraving slogan, “Porsche. There is no substitute,” the German automobile superpower debuted its first four-door, luxury sports car named after the renowned Carrera Panamericana race during the early ‘50s. It aimed to embrace its famed 911 Carrera, while stretching out the body with an additional pair of second-row entrances made to truly pamper a quartet of adults. It worked. Of course, there was the backlash of the automaker’s purists who feared Porsche’s prestigious reputation of making rear-engine performance cars primarily for a driver and a lucky passenger would be compromised by the addition of this new, elongated family member. Throughout the years, however, the noise from naysayers became virtually inaudible due to the critical acclaim and booming demand of the Panamera.

Certainly, subtle augmentations to its numerous trims including the S, 4, 4S, Hybrid, Diesel, Turbo, Turbo S, and GTS have been made during its lifespan. The latest model of the first-generation Panamera—the 2016 Panamera 4—maintains its life-long wow factor, boasting 310 horsepower thanks to a seven-speed, 3.6-liter engine. Extras including the Premium Package Plus ($2660); 20-inch 911 Turbo Design Wheels, front seat ventilation and an overall mind-blowing driving experience seemingly make every penny of the $84,300 price tag worth it.

And even then, Porsche found ways to significantly improve the Panamera to date with their second generation—the 2017 models that are now entering the market. Shawn Evans, General Manager at Porsche of San Diego, was among the lucky few present in Leipzig, Germany for the launch of the new Panamera. “Cruising down the Autobahn at slightly over 250KPH, with the Burmester sound system playing and the massage front seats was an unforgettable moment. Tried to be extremely critical of the new car, but couldn’t find a flaw!”

The most immediately noticeable alteration could be loosely termed a butt lift. The original hatchback designed to create more trunk space and better accommodate its four passengers was consistently criticized for its overly rounded appearance, further distancing it from the Carrera’s frame. The 2017 addressed this with a sleeker, more creased backside; raised bumper; and a sexy LED light bar embedded between the taillights. But that was just the beginning. Other body enhancements feature a longer wheelbase, lowered roofline, and with certain models, an expanded retractable rear spoiler.

Inside, there is a redesigned dashboard embellished with two 7-inch screens swapping out the dials, a centrally located 12.3-inch touchscreen to operate infotainment, and Apple CarPlay to mention a few tech upgrades. Along with its improved physical features, the all-new transmission and engine configurations will truly bring the Panamera the closest it has ever been to a bonafide luxury sports car for four.