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 camouflaged prototypes 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.
The prototypes have new fascias front and rear. The taillights have also been tweaked and feature a new design for the center strip joining the individual light clusters, which will likely be similar to the design used on the latest versions of Porsche's Cayenne and Macan SUVs.
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 a 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.