Following the release of the purely electric Taycan back in 2019, the Panamera's future seemed bleak for a while as many wondered whether Porsche would keep the ICE model in its lineup. The peeps from Zuffenhausen have committed to one final generation of the sedan (it's technically a five-door liftback). When the first spy shots emerged, many were tempted to believe it was just a facelift but the German luxury brand says it's a true next-gen car.

Autocar had the opportunity to take a ride in an early prototype of the 2024 Panamera and discover some of the preliminary technical specifications. The new model is getting a longer wheelbase and bigger rear doors for making it easier to get in and out of the back seats. Newly developed foam-filled steel elements have made the car stiffer than before, with extra rear bracing elements serving the same purpose.

Thomas Freimuth, Vice-President of the Panamera model line, says changes have been made to the chassis, body structure, drivetrain, and software. The third-gen car rides on an evolution of the MSB architecture and boasts rear-wheel steering as well as fully variable all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. A two-chamber air suspension will come as standard while an optional single-chamber inherited from the 2024 Cayenne boasts quicker-reacting twin-stage dampers.

Conventionally powered V6 and V8 versions will stick around, complemented by no fewer than four plug-in hybrid models. Replacing the Turbo S E-Hybrid will be a new range-topping trim level called "Turbo E-Hybrid" with a combined output of 650 horsepower. It'll have a significantly updated V8 with a pair of single-scroll turbos and an electric motor built into the dual-clutch, eight-speed automatic transmission. The e-motor will be good for 188 hp or an additional 54 hp than on the outgoing car.

This flagship is getting a 25.9-kWh battery (up from 17.9 kWh) with 70 percent more electric range, so expect around 53 miles (85 kilometers) in the WLTP cycle. This new battery can be charged at 11 kW and tips the scales at 661 pounds (300 kilograms), making it 49 lbs (22 kg) heavier than the old one.

The Turbo E-Hybrid prototype sat on 20-inch wheels with meaty 275/40 front and 315/35 rear Michelin Pilot Sport tires. It weighed over 5,070 pounds (2,300 kilograms) and had a combined torque exceeding 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters). The electrified punch should be good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in an estimated 3.1 seconds and a projected top speed of 196 mph (315 km/h).

Porsche plans to unveil the new Panamera near the end of the year.

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