Porsche Panamera driving

Porsche Panamera Debuts In Shanghai

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.

Porsche Panamera silver

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 sports car 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.

Porsche Panamera rear

Porsche Panamera photo from Flickr user Hysterical Bertha.

  1. Great post Tony, and I've got to agree with you on their brand dilution – for me this just isn't what Porsche is about. I had a ride in a Porsche 911 Turbo yesterday and the sheer exhilaration of being inside it was something that I don't think could come from the Panamera.

    I suppose you have to look at it from their perspective too. I'm sure they don't want Aston Martin getting another leg-up on them with the Rapide, nor Lamborghini for that matter with the Estoque.

  2. All three of them should be ashamed of themselves. This is turning into monkey-see monkey-do, and that's a shame. If Ferrari makes a minivan (God forbid,) that doesn't mean Lambo should too.

  3. I have never seen a vehicle that was so ungainly looking from all sides in my life. This might replace the Aztek as the worst looking car ever produced.

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