New Model News

Porsche adds new engines, fresh styling to next-gen Panamera for 2021

Porsche has given the Panamera a generational makeover for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche is blending performance and practicality with the 2021 Porsche Panamera. The next-gen model has design enhancements brining it into line with the rest of the modern Porsche lineup and a host of new powertrain options reflecting the company's commitment to alternative powertrains.

The exterior of the new Panamera isn't a complete departure from the old. In fact, it's just subtle tweaks. Each model now comes standard with the SportDesign fascia (previously an option). Buyers can upgrade to the SportDesign package, with or without carbon fiber. The Panamera GTS gets this fascia in Satin Black and the Panamera Turbo S has a unique take as well, including a specific front light signature.

2021 Porsche Panamera The previously available Sport Design front fascia is now standard.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

At the rear, the Panamera has Porsche's new signature light strip that spans the width of the haunch-heavy model. This is a design similar to the 911 and Cayenne. The lower rear fascia has new diffuser fins.

A new 20-inch wheel design and two new 21-inch wheel designs are available. The Panamera Turbo S gets 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels. The Panamera GTS runs on GTS-specific Satin Black 20-inch Panamera Design wheels. An Ultra High Performance Summer tire is available on Panamera models for the first time.

Porsche has given its GTS model additional enhancements including Exclusive Design tinted taillights as well as black lettering and model designations. This version of the Panamera gets the available Sport Exhaust System as standard equipment.

Two new paint options are available - Cherry Red Metallic and Truffle Brown Metallic.

2021 Porsche Panamera The Panamera now comes with a host of new engine options.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Standard Panamera models will now feature a twin-turbocharged 2.9 liter engine that makes 325 horsepower. This engine replaces the previous turbocharged 3.0-liter unit.

Porsche has replaced with the Panamera Turbo with the Turbo S. The new Panamera Turbo S gets enhancements to its crankshaft, connecting rods, timing chain drive and torsional vibration dampers, and fuel injectors. It also will have a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 at its heart making 620 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque, a significant bump from the 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque in the Turbo.

The same engine can be found in the Panamera Sport Turismo and, using launch control, it can get from zero to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds (3.0 seconds for the Panamera Turbo S Executive).That's half a second quicker than the previous Panamera Turbo. The car is speed limited to 196 mph on the track.

The Panamera GTS also gets a power upgrade. It now has 473 horsepower (up 20) and 457 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, its throttle calibration has been tuned to match a naturally aspirated engine more closely.

2021 Porsche Panamera

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

A new plug-in hybrid option will be available. The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid pairs an electric motor with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 to achieve 552 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Using launch control it can get off the line and to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top track speed of 185 mph.

Porsche has given all its Panamera E-Hybrid models a 27 percent larger hybrid battery capacity for 2021. The bump moves it u pto 17.9 kilowatt-hours from 14.1 kilowatt-hours. They also get recalibrated drive modes that are designed to maximize the performance and efficiency of the car.

Each Panamera gets the adjustable Porsche Active Suspension Management system, which features an updated calibration for its adaptive dampers that is designed to sharpen feedback.

The Panamera Turbo S also gets the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport roll-stabilization system, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV Plus), rear axle steering, and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes as standard. This equipment can all be ordered as options on other Panamera models. all of which can be optionally ordered on other Panamera models. The car's rotors are fitted with yellow or black calipers, depending on client specification.

2021 Porsche Panamera Porsche has installed a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen in the Panamera.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The interior of the Panamera gets a freshly designed multifunction Sport steering wheel with shift paddles. The Panamera Turbo S and GTS get a new, Race-Tex-covered GT Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters wrapped in leather.

Panamera and Panamera 4S E-Hybrid models come standard with eight-way electrically adjustable comfort seats with driver memory package, while the Turbo S models are equipped with 14-way electrically adjustable comfort seats with memory. The luxurious Panamera GTS comes standard with 18-way electrically adjustable adaptive sport seats. Both the 14-way comfort seats and 18-way adaptive sport seats are optional on other Panamera models.

At the center of the dashboard is a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen. The system includes navigation, real-time traffic information, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The Panamera Turbo S has a 14-speaker, 710-watt Bose Surround Sound System. A 21-speaker, 1,455 watt Burmester 3D High-End Surround System with an active 400 watt subwoofer is available in all Panamera models.

All 2021 Panamera models come standard with lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition technology. Buyers can further enhance their model with a number of available safety technologies including Night Vision Assist, Lane Change Assist, Surround View, and Porsche InnoDrive with Adaptive Cruise Control. A head-up display is also available.

The 2021 Panamera models will be available to order starting early next year, and are expected to arrive at U.S. dealers in the course of Spring 2021. Pricing will be announced once order availability starts.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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