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Porsche's Brand-New Active Ride Suspension System Costs an Arm and a Leg; Is It Worth It?

Porsche spent six years developing a brand-new suspension system and wrapped it as a gift for the third-generation Panamera. However, only buyers who are willing to spend more money will be able to experience it. Here's how much it costs over the pond and what it can do. Be warned, though: it's not for the faint of heart!
2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid "Sonderwunsch" 9 photos
Photo: Porsche / autoevolution edit
Porsche Active Ride Suspension in ActionPorsche's New Active Ride Suspension2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid in Chalk2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid in Chalk2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid in Chalk2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid in Chalk2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid in Chalk2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid in Chalk
Many people argued that the first-generation Porsche Panamera looked like a beached whale, a beluga whale, or a whale on roller skates. Some even went as far as to compare it with Captain Ahab's arch nemesis Moby Dick. Though it may sound demeaning or even outlandish at first, this was more of a compliment than criticism. People just wanted to emphasize the size of a Porsche sedan that completed the automaker's impressive lineup.

Keep in mind that the Panamera was launched six years after the "off-road-ready" Cayenne was introduced. Purists were already angry, but the automaker's executives understood what they had to do to ensure profitability and they pushed forward.

Twenty years later, the Panamera is reborn in true Porsche fashion. Little has changed visually, but the ideal four-seater looks better than ever and is as advanced as any vehicle can be today.

One of the most exciting novelties brought forward with this iteration is the Active Ride suspension system. It can put well over 2,000 lb of force into action in every corner thanks to four hydraulic motor-pump units hooked to the plug-in hybrid's high-voltage 25.9-kWh battery.

Porsche's New Active Ride Suspension
Photo: Porsche

Absurdly impressive

In a way, it reminds us of Citroen's Xantia Activa solution. That '90s hatchback was able to pass the moose test with flying colors. But the main disadvantage of that implementation was the stiff ride. Still, over thirty years ago, the French's hydropneumatic trickery was hailed as a near-perfect setup.

But Porsche's effort brought forward a solution that offers the all-new Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid an unrivaled duality; the sedan can waft along beautifully but also maintain its composure when the driver intends to put the V8 to work. And that's despite the single-chamber air spring! The V6-powered Panamera and Panamera 4 still have the two-chamber solution.

The beauty of it? No more squatting when launching the thing! At the same time, cornering becomes a breeze because the suspension can control body roll impeccably. It also rapidly raises the vehicle by around two inches when you open the door to get behind the steering wheel.

The optional suspension system with no traditional anti-roll bar can improve grip, too! Thanks to the adaptive roll compensation, there's less pressure on the tire sidewall when cornering. That keeps the contact surface at an optimum level and ensures better traction. Theoretically, the driver should be more confident on the track.

2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E\-Hybrid in Chalk
Photo: Porsche
We can see Porsche's British relative Bentley borrowing this discovery and making the next-gen Continental GT an unrivaled grand tourer. But maybe that idea makes more sense when we look at the Active Ride's cost.

Over the pond, people can already order the 2024 Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid. The vehicle has a price of €192,500 ($210,407). That figure comprises the German value-added tax (VAT). While it may include the European equivalent of the American sales tax, the unit can still be optioned with many extra features.

To tick, or not to tick this box, that is the question

One of those optional pieces of equipment is the Active Ride suspension. It has a price tag of €8,086 ($8,840). No matter how you look at it, there's no escaping the "expensive" stamp. The cost can even become a tad bit controversial when you realize that the base chassis didn't change.

Porsche's technicians developed this special suspension system for the automaker's upcoming all-electric models. But once executives had a taste, they wanted it on the market as fast as possible. That's why the plug-in hybrid Panamera got it. It may have a V8 as a center piece, but that's not the only great thing about it.

2024 Porsche Panamera Turbo E\-Hybrid in Chalk
Photo: Porsche
So, is it worth it? Well, nobody can say for sure. The system is undoubtedly important for Porsche since it was developed in-house. But will customers appreciate it enough to spend 4% of the Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid's base price? It remains to be seen. The Stuttgart-based automaker is certainly invested.

At the end of the day, we must remember that Porsche is all about customizing your vehicle. That's why the most expensive Panamera can be equipped with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree parking camera, soft-close doors, rear sun blinds, and four-zone climate control.

You would think such a pricey sedan would include at least some of these options as standard equipment. But, no. Not with Porsche.

Getting the brand's best vehicles is synonymous with splurging, and that's okay. There aren't many car companies out there that can bring legendary vehicles to the market. And, if we are to be honest for a second, well-off buyers will be more than happy to spend more money on a novelty that took Porsche years to develop. For them, it might be worth it.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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