The Porsche Panamera enters its third generation with some subtle but important tweaks. It continues to rival vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG GT, Audi A7, and, most importantly, the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. The six-figure sedan market is niche but still relevant, and Porsche hopes to captivate customers with classic selling points like dynamic handling and eye-catching designs. But how does the new design compare to BMW’s 8 Series Gran Coupe?
Exterior: 2024 Porsche Panamera vs. BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
From the outside, the next-generation Porsche Panamera simply doesn’t change very much. The new details include a small air intake above the front license plate holder that increases airflow. Porsche says the new Panamera gets a “fundamentally revamped appearance,” but we’re not seeing it. Small changes to the windows push them further toward the flared fenders, and the hood lines are slightly more pronounced. A redesigned single taillight stretches the width of the rear end. Turbo E-Hybrid models get center-lock wheels (a weird choice for a luxury sedan), chrome-plated tailpipes, a painted diffusor, and Turbonite (grey) accents that set it apart from more pedestrian models.
The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is around 7 inches shorter and two inches narrower than the 2024 Porsche Panamera. An optional long wheelbase Panamera dwarfs the 8 Series even more. The current 8 Series gets M Sport design cues standard, lending it an aggressive appearance. Despite minimal changes to the Panamera and the 8 Series now being on sale for almost six years, they both look good. But the more aggressive design of the BMW 8 Series (especially on the range-topping M8) makes it the clear winner.
Interior: 2024 Porsche Panamera vs. BMW 8 Series
The new Panamera interior is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, bringing the luxury sedan in line with the competition. You can now add a 10.9-inch passenger-side display, providing streaming and infotainment controls. Non-leather options are available – notably, not the case in the BMW 8 Series. Both vehicles get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, app integration, and configurable ambient lighting.
Choosing between the interior of the BMW 8 Series and the Porsche Panamera is largely a taste decision. Both offer refined and luxurious cabins and impressive standard features like glass sunroofs, heated seats/steering wheel, and front and rear parking assistance systems. We think the 8 Series interior is classic BMW, and even though it misses out on the big, curved display found elsewhere in the BMW lineup, it holds up well. Plus, some of the standard equipment handily bests what you’ll find in the Porsche. For example, you get a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system compared to a 10-speaker system in the Porsche. The 8 Series gets 4-zone automatic climate control standard instead of the Porsche’s 2-zone system. We’ll see how the two stack up from behind the driver’s seat soon.
Performance: 2024 Porsche Panamera vs. BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
So far, Porsche has only confirmed three trim levels of the 2024 Porsche Panamera. You can opt for a base rear-wheel drive variant, the all-wheel drive Panamera 4, and a Turbo E-Hybrid trim level. Both non-Turbo variants are powered (ironically) by twin-turbocharged V6 engines making 348 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 23 horsepower and 37 pound-feet over last year’s model. The Turbo E-Hybrid offers 670 horsepower and 685 pound-feet of torque from a twin-turbo V8 with new hardware improvements, including new pistons and a new valvetrain.
Most BMW fans don’t need an introduction to the 8 Series, which gets a turbo-six or twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine. At each level, the 8 Series gets less power than the Panamera. No hybrid variants are planned for the 8 Series, either, while Porsche plans to bring as many as four hybrid variants of the Porsche Panamera to market. We’ll have to wait and see how the various trim levels of the Porsche Panamera perform before declaring a winner. But it certainly promises a little bit more versatility than the current BMW 8 Series.
Overall: Which Luxury Sedan Would You Take?
Deliveries of the new 2024 Porsche Panamera should begin in March 2024 in Europe. By then, the BMW 8 Series will enter into a new 2025 model year, but few – if any – changes are expected. Right now, we think the 8 Series offers more bang-for-the-buck performance for a little less badge appeal. Especially considering the range-topping E-Hybrid will almost certainly command a $200K+ price tag – far more than even the most heavily optioned M8 Competition Gran Coupe, which starts at $138,800. But, we are excited by the prospect of a high-powered hybrid variant of the BMW 8 Series. Which high-dollar sedan do you think looks better?
[Photos: Porsche and BMW]