Porsche Panamera review – design
Imposing, substantial and well detailed, this is not a delicate design, but it is a resolved one
While the Panamera has always been popular, it hasn’t always been noted for its soundness of design. This second-generation model has a more agreeable look, not least because of its more pleasing proportions due to its MSB platform, shared at this stage with the Bentley Continental and Flying Spur. Like the interior, the second-gen Panamera also templated much of Porsche’s other models, with sleek, rounded surfaces and a full-width rear light bar.
A retractable rear wing features on all variants, but GTS and Turbo S models upgrade this to a three-piece folding arrangement that is as entertaining to watch in the rear-view mirror as it is for people in the car behind.
There are three basic styling variations available, with standard 4 and 4S models having a simple, understated look. Turbo S models have larger front openings and the typical double-bar running lights, as well as a more assertive rear valance. But it’s the GTS with its standard Sport Design pack that has the most aggressive look, with a combination of gloss black elements and tinted lights all around. Hybrid models feature acid green elements on the badging and brake calipers, but are otherwise identical to pure IC models, save for the charge-point cap.
Sport Turismo models apply the same principles to a long, low estate-like body, although ironically boot space on paper is identical between the two. Turbo and GTS models also pick up a tiny active roof spoiler, making it look sort of like a demon Integrale with its little tail pointed straight up.
The changes made during its 2022 refresh were very subtle, with new rear lights with a more three-dimensional light bar, fresh wheel options and some subtly revised lower bumpers. Porsche will happily let you customise the crap out of your Panamera, too, with paint-to-sample options outside, and a vast collection of interior and detail choices, such as gold wheels, black or carbonfibre body styling and even a full range of stripe and decal sets.
Yet, overall we can’t help but notice how old-fashioned the Panamera’s beginning to look, especially when compared to the electric Taycan. Yes, the Taycan’s EV platform gives it a very different look to the larger Panamera, but its minimalist detailing and slim lighting doubles down on its concept car-like look, one that Porsche’s hoping to tap into when the Panamera’s given its next big update in the next 12 months.