Porsche's second-generation Panamera is set to come in for a subtle facelift as it reaches the midway point in its life cycle, as evidenced by a lightly camouflaged prototype spotted near the German automaker's headquarters.
The current Panamera arrived in 2016 as a 2017 model, so we'll likely see this updated one in 2020 as a 2021 model.
This is a very early prototype, so the only noticeable change is a makeshift panel covering the center section of the trunk lid. The panel is likely hiding a new design for the center strip joining the individual taillight clusters, likely similar to the design used on the latest versions of Porsche's Cayenne and Macan SUVs.
2019 Porsche Macan
There aren't any changes at the front but more advanced prototypes could include tweaks to the headlights and new front fascias. Note, whatever changes appear should also feature on the Panamera's Sport Turismo wagon body style.
We should also see more power added to the various models in the Panamera line, which is usually the case with any Porsche mid-cycle facelift.
The range currently starts with a 330-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 in the base Panamera and tops out with a 680-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 and plug-in hybrid setup in the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
2021 Porsche Panamera facelift spy shots - Image S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
One possibility is the addition of 48-volt mild-hybrid system and perhaps even the use of electric compressors.
More and more automakers are starting to introduce mild-hybrid systems. This is essentially a beefed-up starter motor that can aid the engine during high loads and recover energy under braking and coasting. In some cases, it can also power an electric compressor that helps build boost pressure in force-fed engines before revs rise and a conventional supercharger or turbocharger takes over.
Underpinning the current Panamera is a modern platform developed by Porsche and shared with Bentley. The platform in shortened form is utilized in Bentley's Continental GT, and there are rumors that this shortened version could eventually underpin a modern successor to the Porsche 928 to take on the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso and Aston Martin DB11. Stay tuned.