Wednesday, July 27, 2016

15 Tech Tidbits on the All-New 2017 Porsche Panamera

Porsche is claiming that the second-generation Panamera that goes on sale in January will share only its badge and its name with its predecessor. An entirely new platform dubbed MSB underpins the new Panamera, and the exterior design certainly looks less like an aquatic mammal and more like a 911 this time around. But there’s more than just a vague 911 roofline to the new Panamera, as the sedan now borrows a lot of chassis technology from the 911.Porsche calls its new platform the Modular Standard Drivetrain (Modularer Standardbaukasten in German), or MSB. Created as a new rear- and all-wheel-drive platform for the entire Volkswagen Group, Porsche’s MSB launches in the new Panamera. Porsche claims it can be adapted for two wheelbases on the Panamera; a total of four wheelbases are available for other, future models. Presumably, the platform will underpin the next Cayenne and likely is the basis for future Bentleys as well.Nearly a third of the 737-pound body-in-white (the naked unibody structure with body panels) is composed of aluminum. Previously, the Panamera had an aluminum hood, doors, and front fenders. The new car’s entire body-side stamping and roof are now aluminum. In front, the front crash structure and suspension mounting points are aluminum to reduce front-end weight. The engine compartment is designed to accommodate a variety of engines. In the U.S. market, we’ll get a 440-hp, 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 and a 550-hp, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8.Moving backward from the engine compartment, the floor stampings are aluminum. Much of the passenger-cell structure is steel. Attaching aluminum parts like the entire body side to the steel skeleton requires a process that uses adhesive to bond and separate the two materials to avoid corrosion, along with a rolling process that crimps the aluminum skin to the steel skeleton. Porsche claims that its laser-welded roof panel and aluminum skin contribute to a 68-pound weight reduction. --Unfortunately, the lighter structure doesn’t translate into a lighter curb weight. The new car’s additional equipment and features cancel out any savings; the new Panamera will weigh the same as the outgoing model. Structural rigidity, never a source of complaint in the Panamera, is up by eight percent.There are two new engines available for U.S. Panamera buyers. There’s a diesel, too, but we won’t be getting that engine. Both of the gas burners have two turbochargers in the valley of the V, a configuration known as a “hot V.” All Panameras are turbocharged, but the Turbo-badged model will get a 4.0-liter V-8. The engine makes 550 horsepower from 5750 to 6000 rpm and 567 lb-ft of torque from 1960 to 4500 rpm. ---Engineers hint at a higher-horsepower version, so don’t be hugely surprised to see a 600-hp Panamera Turbo S. When you don’t need all of that power, the engine will run as a four-cylinder as long as the engine is turning between 950 to 3500 rpm and the torque requirement is less than 184 lb-ft. This engine is Porsche’s first foray into cylinder deactivation.Porsche places a catalytic converter just off the exhaust side of the turbochargers. To control the heat, there is a large heat shield that covers the valley between the heads and runs down the back of the engine. It wraps the hot exhaust, turbos, and catalytic converter in what looks like an aluminum sleeping bag.Acceleration is expected to be fierce. Porsche’s numbers are usually conservative and put the Panamera Turbo at 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The time drops to 3.4 seconds with the Sport Chrono option that adds launch control to the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Top speed is an ungoverned 190 mph, achieved in sixth gear.Derived from the V-8 is a 2.9-liter V-6 that powers the Panamera 4S. The V-6 shares the V-8’s 90-degree angle and also has two turbochargers in the valley of the V. This V-6 is 10.3 pounds lighter than the Panny’s last-gen V-6 turbo.---To combat the shake inherent in a 90-degree V-6, the engine has a balance shaft. Porsche denies that the engine’s displacement has anything to do with Chinese regulations that tax engines 3.0 liters and larger, but the automaker insists that the 2.9-liter displacement is because the V-6 uses iron-sleeve cylinder liners instead of the thinner plasma-sprayed iron coating in the V-8. ---The bore size between the V-8 and the V-6 is different, but the stroke is the same. The new engine makes 440 horsepower at 5650 rpm and 405 lb-ft of torque from 1750 to 5500 rpm. The previous Panamera’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 made 420 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. Porsche touts a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.2 seconds for the 4S. Order the Sport Chrono package, which comes with launch control, and that time falls to 4.0 seconds. Top speed comes in at 179 mph.The only transmission available will be a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that also will serve duty in all other vehicles spun from the MSB architecture. Built by ZF but tuned and programmed by Porsche, the transmission features a larger spread of gears and can be adapted for rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations, which hints at a possible rear-drive Panamera. ---Like the current Panamera, the transmission has the ability to perform launch-control starts when the car is equipped with the Sport Chrono package. Porsche tells us that the transmission can handle up to 738 lb-ft of torque and can be easily adapted to accept an electric motor, which leads us to believe that another Panamera hybrid is on its way. In our brief ride in the Panamera, the gearbox clipped off instant shifts and performed a 911-like launch-control start.Although a longer-wheelbase version is coming, the Panamera Turbo and 4S will get a 116.1-inch wheelbase, up from 115.0 inches. Rear-seat legroom is good for adults, and the rear seats are as comfortable as the fronts, but don’t try to squeeze three across in a Panamera’s back seat. All Panameras are four-seaters.A control-arm front and multilink rear suspension comes standard with steel springs and electronically adjustable shocks; a three-chamber air-spring chassis is optional. The three chambers correspond to the three suspension settings (Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus). In Normal mode, all three chambers are used. Hit Sport, and one of the chambers closes, leaving two to spring the car. In Sport Plus, two chambers close, leaving the smallest chamber. With the air suspension, the body can be raised 0.8 inch and lowered 1.1 inches in the front and 0.8 inch in the rear to improve stability at speed.Like the 911, the Panamera can be ordered with PDCC Sport (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport) that consists of electronically controlled anti-roll bars that are twisted by electric motors to combat body roll. An electronically controlled locking differential is part of the PDCC Sport package.Also like the 911, the Panamera can now be ordered with electronically actuated rear-wheel steering. At speeds below 30 mph, the rear wheels can turn 2.8 degrees in the opposite direction of the front axle to reduce the turning circle. At higher speeds, the rear axle will steer in the same direction as the fronts to stabilize the chassis. On our brief ride around the Lausitzring near Dresden, the Turbo would go into nicely controlled power drifts when coaxed. Body control remained tight, and the optional 21-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires gripped with sports-car tenacity.Braking power is not in short supply. On 4S models, the 14.2-inch steel front rotors are clamped by six-piston calipers. The 4S’s rear axle has four-piston calipers grabbing 13-inch rotors. Turbo versions have huge 16.1-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers and 15-inch rotors with four-piston calipers in the rear. Carbon-ceramic brakes borrowed from the Cayenne Turbo S are optional; these have 10-piston calipers in front that cover nearly half of the rotors. In back, the system features six-piston calipers.Front and center of the driver is an analog tachometer, the only real gauge. The rest of the gauges are part of two configurable 7.0-inch TFT displays flanking the tach. Above the shifter is a 12.3-inch touchscreen that controls the audio system, the climate control, the navigation system, and a host of other minor controls.---Equipped with Active Cruise Control (ACC), the Panamera will now use map data to automatically slow for corners when the cruise control is set. Similar to what’s used in the Audi Q7 and A4, Porsche’s InnoDrive system will brake, downshift, and set the speed through corners. Unlike Audi’s system, InnoDrive has the ability to go through corners more quickly or more slowly depending on whether the car is in Normal, Sport, or Sport Plus mode.
from Car and Driver Blog http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/15-tech-tidbits-on-the-all-new-2017-porsche-panamera


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