With Porsche’s new Panamera sedan set to make its official world debut at the Shanghai Motor Show in just a few weeks, we thought it was time to take a closer look at the car and some of its features. The Panamera will debut with no less than five technological firsts for Porsche, and with more innovative variants due in coming years, such as a rumored hybrid and diesel, the technological breakthroughs are set to keep on coming.

Some of the new features found on the Panamera include the company’s first engine stop-start system in conjunction with a dual-clutch transmission, air-suspension with additional air volume on demand, and an active aerodynamics package with an adjustable rear spoiler.

For the Panamera’s powertrains, Porsche engineers have installed latest-generation direct-injection systems, lower resistance internals, and a new electronically controlled cooling management system. While we’ve seen the PDK dual-clutch transmission debut already in Porsche’s sports cars, the unit in the Panamera has been fitted with a special, extra-long “overdrive-like” top gear to help improve fuel economy.

Further fuel saving features include the aforementioned engine stop-start system and low rolling resistance tires. The end result is that the V8-powered Panamera S, which develops 405hp (302kW) and weighs in at roughly 1,800kg, returns a claimed fuel economy of 22mpg (10.8L/100km).

The car’s chassis and suspension are also worth mentioning, with the system offering drivers a blend of sporting performance and comfort. At the push of a button, the driver can vary the level of air supporting the car and adjust the stiffness and level of body-roll to suit their own personal taste.

Finally, to optimize performance, Porsche engineers focused on making the Panamera’s body as light as possible while maintaining strength and rigidity. Advanced production methods and materials are used on the body of the Panamera, geared in all cases to specific requirements and functions. These include all kinds of steel grades, light alloys such as aluminum and magnesium, as well as plastics.

The lightweight doors feature a load-bearing structure made of laser-treated pressure-cast aluminum, an aluminum outer skin, and door window frames made of thin-walled pressure-cast magnesium.

To aid aerodynamics, the Panamera comes with a complete cover on the under-floor also extending all around the drivetrain tunnel and rear-end silencers. This helps to reduce both air resistance and lift forces on the axles, which has the added benefit of lower fuel consumption.

Check out our previous story for more details about the full powertrain lineup for the Panamera as well as pricing.

2010 Porsche Panamera