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Restyled 2014 Porsche Panamera Adds Size, Power, Efficiency, and Safety

Characterizing its 5-door sports sedan as a second-generation model, Porsche announced changes for the 2014 Panamera lineup in advance of the car's unveiling at the Shanghai Auto Show. Highlights include new styling, extended-wheelbase Panamera Executive models, a new plug-in hybrid variant, and a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine for Panamera S versions of the car.

Starting with the exterior styling, Porsche says: "Exterior design changes...are extensive." The 2014 Porsche Panamera has new front and rear styling, new lighting elements, a new trunk with wider rear glass, and a reshaped rear section designed to emphasize the car's width. The automatically deploying rear spoiler is larger than before, and new LED headlights are optional. New extended-wheelbase versions of the Panamera will also debut for 2014: the Panamera 4S Executive and the Panamera Turbo Executive, which boast a 5.9-inch stretch to provide extra room in the rear seat.

For 2014, the Panamera S models have a new twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine, replacing the formerly standard 4.8-liter V-8. The new engine has 20 more horsepower and 15 lb.-ft. of additional torque, compared to the old V-8, for totals of 420 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. Porsche says the torque is available across the majority of the engine's operating range, and that the car accelerates to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

All 2014 Panamera models except one are equipped with a standard 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission. For 2014, the PDK is paired with an improved automatic stop/start system that shuts the Panamera's engine off sooner than the previous system to conserve additional fuel. All models except the Panamera GTS--which continues to offer a normally aspirated, 440-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 engine--also have a coasting function that allows the engine to idle while the car coasts freely, thereby improving highway gas mileage.

The model that does not have a standard PDK transmission is the new 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid. Instead, this model is equipped with an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, which manages the power generated by the car's new plug-in parallel full hybrid powertrain. This is the first time Porsche has offered plug-in hybrid technology for one of its models.

Compared with the discontinued Panamera S Hybrid, the new Panamera S E-Hybrid is equipped with a 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine, a more powerful electric motor, and a more powerful Lithium-ion battery, which Porsche says can be fully recharged in 2.5 hours using a 240-volt power source. Three driving modes are offered: electric-only, gasoline engine-only, and hybrid with a boosting mode for maximum acceleration and performance. A coasting feature shuts the gasoline engine off when the accelerator pedal is released, allowing the system to capture the kinetic energy generated from vehicle momentum and store it in the battery.

Combined, the powertrain generates 416 horsepower and 435 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter available between 1,250 rpm and 4,000 rpm. When operated as an electric vehicle, the new 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid provides approximately 20 miles of range and a top speed of 84 mph, Porsche says. When operated as a gas-electric hybrid vehicle, acceleration to 60 mph takes 5.2 seconds, and the car can travel at 167 mph.

Porsche Car Connect is a new mobile application offered for all Panameras. When it comes to the Panamera S E-Hybrid specifically, the technology allows the car's owner to check charge status, remaining driving range, and vehicle location, as well as to pre-condition the cabin for driving, all from a remote location using a smartphone with an Android or iOS operating system.

Additional changes for the 2014 Porsche Panamera include a new camera-based lane-departure warning system, and a revised adaptive cruise control system that now includes Porsche Active Safe (PAS). Porsche's PAS technology identifies dangerous closing rates with objects ahead, warns the driver, readies the braking system for maximum braking power, and can intervene to reduce speed prior to impact.

Porsche says the new 2014 Panamera goes on sale in late 2013, with prices ranging from $79,075 for a standard Panamera to $162,075 for a Panamera Turbo Executive. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid lists for $99,975. Prices include the $975 destination charge.

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