The third-generation Panamera will break cover on November 24, and in the meantime, Porsche is doing some last-minute testing. A (presumably) production-ready prototype has been spotted while roaming the streets of sunny California with deceiving camouflage.
The mascara wants to trick you into believing the car is undisguised. We’re not just talking about the stickers on the headlights and taillights as there's also a fake side air intake on the fenders along with a blacked-out quarter glass. Porsche is going all-out on the trickery this time.
Next-gen Porsche Panamera interior
Since the new Cayenne doesn’t look all that different compared to the old one, we don't expect the next-gen Panamera to stray far from the tree, either. To the untrained eye, this prototype looks a lot like the outgoing model, and that’s because the real changes will occur inside. Zuffenhausen is giving its BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe competitor a Taycan-esque cabin loaded with screens, including one for the front passenger.
As to which version of the Panamera can be seen in this spy video, it looks an awful lot like the one we tested earlier this year. Provided it's the same flavor, we're dealing with a Turbo E-Hybrid, which will be the initial range-topper before a potential Turbo S E-Hybrid arrives. Set to flaunt a new Turbo badge finished in a gray shade that Porsche calls "Turbonite," the electrified machine will have around 650 horsepower on tap. It'll combine a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with an electric motor, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a 25.9-kWh battery.
If you're worried it's going to be a porker what with all the hybrid bits, you have a valid reason. The one we drove weighed somewhere in the region of 5,380 pounds (2,440 kilograms), but then again, the Panamera is a big car. The lithium-ion pack we mentioned will have juice for around 25 miles (40 kilometers), which might be just enough for a short drive within the city.
This may very well be the final Panamera generation to offer combustion engines. Porsche projects more than 80 percent of annual deliveries will be represented by EVs by the end of the decade. To get there, the German luxury brand has already confirmed the next-gen Cayenne will be electric and is going to be positioned below a larger SUV with zero emissions. Meanwhile, the next Macan and 718 models will also do away with the ICE. As for the 911, a hybrid is coming soon, but a purely electric derivative is not due until after 2030.
Porsche hopes to give the ICE a new lease on life by developing and producing synthetic fuels, but we'd reckon only sports car owners will care about it. Buyers of the Macan, Cayenne, Panamera, and that three-row SUV are likely to switch to EVs and call it a day.