The 2021 Porsche Panamera welcomes two new trims to its model line: the 552-hp 4S E-Hybrid and the 620-hp Turbo S. In turn, however, the large Porsche four-door bids adieu to the plain-old Turbo trim. Why? Well, it seems the automaker got so much power out of the old Turbo’s gas-fed V-8, it deserved Turbo S status—and besides, the new 4S E-Hybrid steps neatly into the performance shoes of the outgoing, 550-hp Panamera Turbo. At least, that’s what the German brand’s vice president of the Panamera model line, Thomas Friemuth, told MotorTrend in a recent interview.
“In terms of power and torque, the new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid gets into the range of the old Panamera Turbo,” Friemuth said. Good thing, too, because Porsche realized it had truly turned up the heat on its most powerful, strictly gas-powered Panamera model in preparation for the Panamera’s 2021 refresh.
After tinkering with the outgoing Turbo’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 (including altering the crankshaft, connecting rods, fitting new fuel injectors, reducing the compression ratio, and more), the Panamera team found itself with an engine putting out north of 600 horses—a hearty sum that requires equally hearty hardware to “make this car driveable for everyone.”
To achieve that goal, Porsche complemented the powerful powertrain with features such as carbon-ceramic brakes with massive 16.5-inch front and 16.1-inch rear rotors, a torque-vectoring rear end, rear-wheel steering, and active anti-roll bars, all of which puts the top-dog gas-powered Panamera firmly in Turbo S territory. (You have to pay extra for these items on the 2020 Panamera Turbo. )
“When you talk in the Porsche language about a Turbo S, this is a car that has everything,” Friemuth explained. Well, everything from a performance perspective. Surely, the options menu of the Turbo-cum-2021 Panamera Turbo S will include plenty of costly comfort, convenience, and style-related items.
Still, the Panamera Turbo’s demise may only be temporary. As Friemuth shared, “I will never say there will be no [Panamera] Turbo. ”