Ta-dah! There it is, the long speculated, rumored, spy photo’ed and fussed over Porsche Panamera. Long in its gestation, the Panamera is Porsche’s first four door. Much can and will be said about this car. People will talk about its combination of functionality and performance. Porsche is already saying it can hit 60 in the fives, and God knows what it’ll top out at (once that limited is circumvented). The Panamera can bee seen as a good example of German engineering some will say, but a wise man once said, “Those responsible should be hunted down with dogs and saps,” and who am I to argue?
Look, there’s no doubt this is going to be an impressive sedan. This car will be able to get four people from Frankfurt to Darmstadt quicker than a private plane, no two ways about it. But the phrase that keeps sticking for me is ” an impressive sedan”. Yeah, so what? The last iteration of Chevy’s Impala SS was “an impressive sedan”, and would probably turn out to be even quicker than the Panamera with the Millen nitrous kit bolted on. Making “an impressive sedan” isn’t all that hard or even the point.
The point is that Porsche decided to make it. For some, OK for a LOT of people, that will be a big selling point, but for me and a lot of other people I know, that will be just another nail in Porsche’s coffin.
Porsche also decided to make an SUV that was pretty impressive on the performance front, and the Carmella Sopranos of the world have been quite happy ever since. Race fans and sportscar fans looked on in horror and shook their heads. Especially when it came to light that the reason Porsche dropped out of Le Mans competition was to have those same engineers work on the Cayenne. And now this frickin’ four door. What’s next, a Porsche minivan? Why not, it’ll look great parked next to dad’s Panamera four door.
Here’s why not: It dilutes the brand.
Porsche is moving away from what it was, “one of the best sportscar makers in the world”, to become “one of the best sportscar makers in the world”. And that’s a shame.
Here’s a video of some Porsche Panamera Turbo Exterior Shots
Here’s a video of the Porsche Panamera Turbo Driving
Und here is der presser:
April 19, 2009
Porsche presents new Gran Turismo
Porsche Panamera makes World Debut in Shanghai
Stuttgart. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, presented the Panamera to the world public today at the 13th Auto Shanghai. Joining the 911, the Cayenne, and the Boxster/Cayman, this new four-door Gran Turismo is Porsche\’s fourth model series, with three variants entering the market in Germany on 12 September 2009. The Panamera is making its debut as an eight-cylinder delivering 400 and, respectively, 500 horsepower and with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, a six-cylinder gasoline model and a hybrid version following later.
Klaus Berning, Executive Vice-President Sales and Marketing of Porsche AG, expressed a clear view at the world debut of the Panamera: \”Introducing the Panamera, we are entering a market segment completely new for our customers and we are once again consistently expanding our model portfolio.\”
Through its design and looks alone, the Panamera clearly stands out from the competition at very first sight. Like no other car in its class, it offers a truly unique combination of sporting performance and luxurious comfort. Despite its low and sleek silhouette so typical of Porsche, the Panamera, measuring 4.97 metres (195.7\”) in length but only 1.42 metres (55.9\”) in height, ensures a generous feeling of space on all four seats.
Wolfgang DÃ¼rheimer, Porsche\’s Executive Vice-President Research and Development, added an equally clear statement: \”Our engineers, technicians, and designers have invested all their know-how, years of experience, a wealth of ideas, and their full passion for sports cars in this four-seater Gran Turismo.\”
The Panamera is introducing no less than five outstanding innovations in technology as world premieres to be admired for the first time in the luxury performance class – among them the first Start-Stop system in conjunction with automatic transmission, air suspension with additional air volume available on demand in each spring, as well as active aerodynamics with an adjustable, multi-dimensional, extendable rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo.
Porsche\’s Gran Turismo sets new standards in its market segment in terms of performance, driving dynamics and efficiency, benefiting from Porsche\’s traditional core competences and years of experience in motorsport, since efficient and powerful engines, lightweight technologies, and optimised aerodynamics are crucial to success also on the race track. All models in the Panamera range come with Porsche Direct Fuel Injection, low-friction drive systems, and weight-optimised lightweight bodies.
Moving on to the suspension, the customer can choose among steel suspension or adaptive air suspension with a fully-controlled damper system. And thanks to its intelligent chassis concept, the Panamera combines the driving comfort of a luxurious grand touring saloon with the driving dynamics of a thoroughbred Porsche sports car. Depending on his individual style of motoring or current traffic conditions, the driver can choose either a particularly comfortable or an especially sporting set-up most conveniently at the touch of a button.
With its centre console extending back from the dashboard all the way to the rear seats, Porsche\’s new Gran Turismo offers an unprecedented feeling of space and motoring pleasure on all four seats, highlighting the personal ambience and style of each individual passenger. The driver\’s seat and cockpit offers optimum ergonomics all round, a low seating position providing that direct contact to the road again so typical of Porsche. The passengers, in turn, all enjoy highly comfortable single seats.
The luxuriously appointed interior, finally, already offering a supreme standard on the regular series models, may naturally be upgraded on request by a wide range of optional extras and special equipment.
Porsche Panamera photo from Flickr user Hysterical Bertha.