Last week we were eulogising the decade-long life span of the Panamera; this week, we bring you the very first spy shots of the 'new' version, expected to go on sale next year. Such is the way with automotive life cycles - especially Porsche's, which rotate with the certainty of the earth's orbit around the sun.
Thus we know not to get too excited about the forthcoming model; the second generation, after all, is barely three years old, so we're likely talking gentle mid-life facelift rather than boat-rocking wholesale change. Still, who doesn't love another excuse to reappraise the appearance of Porsche's one and only saloon?
Certainly the earliest test mule suggests that none of the Panamera's divisiveness is going away. As ever it was, the car is about the physical limits of its maker's 911-fixated design language. Whether or not it suits a large, four-door family car is still open to lengthy and subjective interpretation. Whatever you think though, Porsche is gamely sticking with it.
It must do so now in the light of one salient fact: that soon the Panamera will not be alone thanks to the arrival of the slightly smaller and much more hushed Taycan. From what we've seen of the EV-only model, it bears more than a passing resemblance to its petrol-burning stablemate - not least because it draws from a similarly limited stockpile of Porsche styling cues - yet the manufacturer will be keen to distinguish between the two in showrooms.
For now though the most notable thing about the development car in question is that the only part to receive any camouflaging is the boot lid, which suggests that the designers have likely busied themselves with the task of bringing the new Panamera in line with the rear end of the 992. Which sounds about right, frankly.
Elsewhere you can expect much the same lineup of combustion engines and combustion engines with hybrid bits attached. The far juicier rumour circulating the internet concerns the oft-mooted two-door Panamera, which has a venerable history of appearing on drawing boards and thereafter in the imagination of motoring journalists. Whether it makes it further than either, we wait to see.