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 PanameraThe 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 PanameraThe 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

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 PanameraPorsche 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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This gorgeous 911 sports a rebuilt title.

Cars and Bids

Values of even less desirable Porsche 911 models have skyrocketed in recent years, but the early- to mid-1990s cars have always been special. This one falls well within the parameters, though it's got a backstory that will turn many buyers away. This 1991 Porsche 911 has a rebuilt Texas title, and as one commenter noted, the issue could be the result of a collision with a deer.

Rebuilt title or not, this car's quite the looker. It wears Grand Prix White over black leather, and it feature power windows and exterior mirrors, a sunroof, and a unique Turbo body kit. It has been modified, although lightly, with 18-inch wheels, power front seats, and a new stereo system. Under the rear engine cover lies a turbocharged 3.3-liter flat-six that makes 315 horsepower. It's connected to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.

1991 Porsche 911This is one of the most iconic sports car silhouettes ever.Cars and Bids

This car's apparently flaw-free appearance hides the rather nasty fact that it has a rebuilt title. A detail-oriented commenter on the auction mentioned finding information on the car's damage, including repairs performed after a collision with a deer and subsequent hair removal. We'll let you decide how that impacts your feelings on the car.

1991 Porsche 911The interior looks untouched, though those are replacement seats.Cars and Bids

If it's any indication of how valuable a good condition example of this car would be, it was bid to $95,000 with a rebuilt title and still didn't meet the reserve price. While it's a bummer for those hoping their bid would be the one, cars like this do occasionally pop up without deer damage, so it's worth keeping your eyes open.

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The CX-50 is surpsingly capable off-road.

Mazda

I have driven all of the Mazda vehicles that have been sold in the US market over the past three decades. On everyday roads and on racetracks. I’ve appreciated their “zoom-zoom”. Good power. Punchy torque just where it was needed. Well-balanced and sporty handling. A bit of growl for the versions that called for it. Plus, tasteful-but-modest styling and more or less elbow room, depending on the model. Mazda’s have been made for sports-car enthusiasts and to ferry families. But, I had never known a Mazda called an “overlander”. Until now.

2023 Mazda CX-50Towing capacity extends to 2,000 pounds.Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 moves this traction-sophisticated automaker into the lands where the pavement ends and now takes the brand ‘off-track’. Although it’s not a new thing for many of today’s carmakers to add a backcountry model or two to their lineup, it’s new for Mazda. I traveled to Santa Barbara, California to check out this all-new crossover built on Mazda’s seventh-generation small SUV platform that is shared with the smaller CX-30. This 5-passenger utility is longer, lower and wider than the CX-5 that rides on the previous generation’s underpinnings. The CX-50 has been crafted with a roomier second row and more cargo room for the goods and gear that weekend warriors and adventurers want to carry.

The CX-50 comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation that gets 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbo-charged powerplant with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque; both shift through a six-speed automatic transmission. The sport ute can tow up to 2,000 lbs. with the naturally aspirated motor and up to 3,500 lbs. with the turbo-charged mill and Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) that brings a tow mode as well as Normal, Sport and Off-Road. The newest Mazda model has been made for North America only and is built in Alabama. It is the first Mazda vehicle with auto start/stop that can be deactivated.

2023 Mazda CX-50Mazda is a master of upscale interiors. Mazda

The new crossover starts at $26,800 and comes in S, S Select, S Preferred, S Preferred Plus, S Premium, and S Premium Plus with the base motor. Turb-charged versions come in Turbo, Turbo Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus that tops out at close to $42,000. A long list of technology and safety features are standard or available. Mazda says that Meridian, a fourth turbo trim will arrive soon with even more off-road cred; it will be set up with 18-inch black wheels AT, hood graphics and other backcountry goodies.

When you look at the CX-50, the first thing you’ll notice is exterior styling that speaks to its adventure-ready mission. Muscular bodywork, such as extra cladding, wide fender flairs and larger, more aggressive tires mean that this crossover has been designed not only to give a nod to the looks of a rugged crossover but to provide enhanced traction and a tad more suspension stretch for motoring over uneven terrain and along bumpy dirt roads. Planted on its haunches with functional air vents, it eschews minivan styling with a low and wide footprint that allows owners to have easy access to high-strength roof rails for loading gear on top; the roof has been made stronger than other Mazda crossovers to accommodate heavier loads, such as a roof-top tent. A panoramic moonroof- a first for Mazda- and attractive antiglare hood graphics and are tasteful additions.

The interior is attractive and roomy, with horizontal lines and “cleanable” surfaces as a nod to outdoor endeavors. Our Turbo Premium Plus model had bright orange reverse stitching that popped the cabin that has been crafted with uplevel trims and materials and brought heads-up display. A 7-inch infotainment screen is standard, while the top models get a 10.25-inch version. A wireless charging pad and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims. Of note, is the rear power and programmable liftgate to the wide and deep rear cargo compartment, with a load floor that flush with the liftgate opening to help slide heavy items in and out of the back. An available line of cargo accessories makes stowage easier.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is family roadtrip ready.Mazda

How did it handle over the 200-plus miles of our ride and drive? The Turbo Premium Plus CX-50 offers a lot like; many of its driving attributes are consistent with Mazda’s tuning and handling priorities across its product line. Traveling along coastal highways, carving mountainous twisties with tight turns and accelerating on flat and straight well-graded pavement, it has great Mazda manners: i.e., there is enough power and torque in the right bandwidth to move it well; precise steering with a slightly heavily-weighted leather-wrapped steering wheel and well-modulated brakes, especially with towing a 3,500-lb. load. We enjoyed using Sport mode for carving corners, as it brings elongated shifts from the six-speed automatic; a crisp response comes when sport shifting in “manual mode” and provides a quick throttle response.

We tried out the Off-Road mode on a course that included flat and uneven dirt roads, as well as hill climb and descent. Although there is no downhill descent control system, the brakes worked well, along with manual gearing. Of note, Mazda would be wide to add downhill descent engineering for steeper and slicker terrain. We were able to test the difference between Normal and Off-Road over a special section of the course with sandy corners and a winding track at a speed of 30 mph showing the improved traction in the Off-Road programming and the aid of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that brings a bit of magic to transfer torque to the wheels where it is needed to keep the intended track-think of it like an enhanced traction control program that helps with steering and yaw control.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 comes with off-road driving modes. Mazda

Other aids for off-road and backcountry travel are: the i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system that is standard equipment on all CX-50s, with a 50/50ish power transfer front to back; 8.6 inches of ground clearance; an 18-degree approach angle and a 24-degree departure angle; and an optional 360-degree camera system.

*EPA reports: base motor fuel economy 24 city/30 highway mpg, while the turbo option gets 23/29 mpg and can run on regular or premium fuel.

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