Porsche’s freshly unveiled 2024 Panamera introduces a revolutionary active, hydraulically-powered suspension system promising uncompromised ride comfort without bouncing or rolling. But can its eerily flat cornering alter the sports sedan’s trademark handling poise?
Called Porsche Active Ride, the high-tech suspension utilizes electronic pumps to actively counteract forces like acceleration squat and dive under braking, enables exceptionally stable body control whether cruising straight or attacking winding backroads.
Sophisticated sensors and software adapt damping at each wheel almost instantly based on conditions, leaving the Panamera glued to the pavement regardless of driving style. Stability reigns supreme thanks to software-controlled hydraulics negating physics.
Under more relaxed acceleration, Porsche’s tight reign over the chassis aims at pure luxury ride isolation. Owners can even enable a handy feature to raise ride height for easier ingress and egress. Aerodynamic height lowering at speed further optimizes efficiency.
However, seasoned Porsche enthusiasts may question whether eliminating traditional dynamic weight transfer overly sterilizes the tactile sensation that’s defined the marque for decades.
Can a large Porsche sedan lacking conventional suspension travel and natural chassis movement still deliver satisfying engagement? Thankfully engineers left some wiggle room for driver fun, keeping the radical Active Ride tech deactivated in Sport Plus mode to preserve a modicum of old school road feel at the limit.
While early impressions laud the system’s disconcerting ability to resist body roll like no four-door sedan before, the biggest praise is for its transformational everyday comfort bringing magic carpet serenity to the Panamera.
By harnessing software-defined hydraulics to virtually eliminate vertical deviations under acceleration or cornering, Porsche steers its luxury cruiser into a space age where speed bumps and potholes gracefully disappear. Eyes often perceive motion even when absent. It’s brilliance through wizardry.
Although outfitted with the latest interior opulence befitting its price, the Panamera’s most revolutionary upgrade lies tucked discretely below, selectively replacing springs in favor of algorithmic anti-gravity.
Some traditions cede reluctantly to progress. But Porsche embraces the dichotomy between clinical control and driver connection with customary grace. What’s lost tangibly may soon be missed less thanks to what’s gained in stabilized speed and supple stability never before associated with a 5,000 pound autobahn luxury liner.