Fresh off setting a record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife back in the fall, one that has since been surpassed, the 2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S headed closer to Porsche Cars North America’s home in Georgia, eager to set a local record that could stand for quite some time. The Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta served as the setting for the road talents of the Panamera Turbo S a few weeks later, in November last year, with the sleek fastback sedan with 620 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque on tap achieving a benchmark lap time of 1 minute 31.51 seconds with professional race car driver Leh Keen behind the wheel.
“The engineers found a perfect balance,” Keen noted. “They really made it feels small and sporty. The stability gave me a ton of confidence to use every bit of the asphalt and curbs. And yet the car has a completely different and more refined and relaxed character on the highway – an amazing combination.”
The record lap by the Panamera Turbo S late last year followed another benchmark lap set by the Taycan Turbo S at the same track in 2020. The Panamera wore the optional Michelin Pilot Sport cup 2 ND0 ultra-high performance tires, which were just developed and are road-legal, sized 275/35 ZR 21 103Y XL at the front and 325/30 ZR 21 108Y XL at the back. These tires were tuned at the Nürburgring just for the Panamera, and in addition to Porsche dealerships they will be offered at TireRack here in the States.
And of course, the Panamera Turbo S will be available here as well, not just its tires, with the refreshed 2021 Panamera lineup scheduled to go on sale this Spring after a few updates.
We covered the changes to the Panamera menu in detail a few months ago, noting that the biggest changes are under the skin with several versions of the model gaining power thanks to redesigned engine components, including the Turbo S itself whose 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 has received new connecting rods, crankshaft, timing chain and a set of new fuel injectors, now sending 620 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed PDK. That’s a gain of 70 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque over the Panamera Turbo, which it has now eclipsed as the most powerful non-hybrid version in the lineup with its debut. The Panamera GTS has gained power with this update as well, with 20 extra horses bringing the horsepower output up to 473 hp.
Just about the only flavor of the Panamera to actually lose some power was the base model, which received a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine in place of the 3.0-liter V6 with a single turbo, good for 325 hp instead of 330 hp. That twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 will produce far more power in the Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, with the hybrid setup generating a combined 552 hp and 552 lb-ft of torque.
But how much will the Turbo S set you back, in case you want to take a stab at Keen’s time around Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta?
This particular version will start at $179,050, certainly toward the higher end of the Panamera pricing spectrum. But it will still be possible to get into the refreshed 2021 Panamera for under $100,000 these days, with the lineup now stretching from $88,550 for the base model all the way up to $199,450 for the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive. The Panamera GTS, meanwhile, will start at $130,650, while the Panamera 4S will be more affordable a little further down the price ladder at $106,350.
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