After what seems to be about the last three decades of seeing spy photos of Porsche's first four-door super sedan, the Panamera, the car is now officially official. Porsche is calling this a four-door grand touring sports car rather than a coupe or sedan. According to the Stuttgart-based brand, the Panamera combines traditional Porsche dynamic behavior with a spacious interior and GT comfort. Unfortunately, they seem to have left an attractive shape out of the equation. Any hopes we had that the Panamera would look better when the camouflage was removed have been quickly dashed.
Power for the Panamera will come from a range of V6 and V8 engines that will likely mirror the Cayenne lineup. The engines will run from a paltry 300 horsepower up to the 500-hp unit from the Cayenne Turbo. Both naturally aspirated and turbo models will be included, with most using direct fuel injection. Getting the power to the wheels will be a choice of six-speed three-pedal gearbox or a seven-speed dual clutch unit. All-wheel drive will be an option on top of the standard rear-wheel drive, as well. At some point, probably sometime later in 2010-11, a hybrid variant will also debut. There's no word on whether Porsche will add the 3.0L diesel V6 now appearing in the Cayenne to the Panamera, but production starts next spring for a summer on-sale date.
Market Launch in Summer 2009
Porsche Presents First Photos of Four-Door Panamera Gran Turismo
Stuttgart. Roughly nine months before the actual market launch, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has released the first official photos of the Panamera in its final look. In its design, profile and silhouette, Porsche's unique four-seater stands out clearly as a new member of the Porsche family. Conceived and designed as a four-door grand touring sports car, the Panamera combines numerous talents in typical Porsche style: sporting driving dynamics, a generous and variable interior, and the supreme driving comfort of a Gran Turismo. Joining the 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars as well as the sporty SUV Cayenne, the Panamera is Porsche's fourth model series.
The designers of the Panamera have succeeded in positioning this unique car as a brand-new and truly different model while nevertheless retaining the looks of a typical Porsche. Through its proportions alone, the Panamera stands out clearly in its market segment: measuring 1931 millimetres or 76.0 inches in width, the Panamera is wider, and measuring 1418 millimetres or 55.8 inches in height, lower than comparable four-door models. The unmistakable, sleek GT silhouette is created by the car's overall length of 4970 millimetres or 195.7 inches and short, sporting overhangs front and rear. In its styling and details, the Panamera follows the design philosophy refined over decades on the 911 and successfully implemented also on the Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne.
Through its design language alone, the Panamera will establish a new segment versus the competition. The symbiosis of sports car DNA derived from the looks of a coupé, the unique interpretation of the classical saloon body and the benefits of a variable space concept give the new Porsche its truly unmistakable appearance. As an example, the Panamera comes with highly individual, strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille. Striking wheel arches and the long and sleek engine compartment lid create that typical 911 "landscape" at the front end of the car the Porsche customer has appreciated for no less than 45 years, with the distinctly contoured wings as flanks bordering on the flat front lid. The V-shaped seams along the engine compartment lid and the rear window tapering out like an arrow to the rear convey the features characteristic of a sports car to the new, highly individual Panamera class. The striking, muscular shoulders over the rear wheels, the dynamic sweep of the coupé-like roofline, and the visible tailpipes again bear out all the DNA so typical of a thoroughbred Porsche.
The elegant roof arch extends stylishly over the generous interior, simply begging the beholder to get inside. Like all Porsche models, the Panamera is oriented in every respect to the needs and wishes of the driver. But now, thanks to the new concept of space and the sporting architecture of the interior, the car's occupants are also able to experience this special "pilot feeling" on all four seats. All four occupants enjoy supreme ergonomic comfort on both the front seats and the two firmly contoured single seats at the rear. The luggage compartment easily takes up all the passengers' luggage. The variable space concept with its folding rear seat backrests enables the driver and passengers to adjust the luggage space individually to their personal requirements. And last but not least, the coupé tailgate in the sporting rear end combines superior suitability for daily use with stylish elegance.
Porsche has developed superior and up-to-date power units for the Panamera again reflecting all the qualities typical of the brand – the V-engines within the engine compartment come with six and eight cylinders and range in power from 300 to 500 bhp. Some of the engines use turbocharger technology, Direct Fuel Injection making them both fuel-efficient and powerful all in one. The flow of power to the wheels goes either through a manual six-speed gearbox or the new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox, the so called Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK).
In addition to sporting rear-wheel drive, the top version of the Panamera comes with even more sophisticated all-wheel drive, which is also available for the other versions as an option. As a further highlight, Porsche is preparing a particularly fuel-efficient version of the Panamera with hybrid drive. Further details on the engines, transmissions, performance, prices and equipment will be disclosed next spring.
The Porsche Panamera will be built at Porsche's Leipzig Plant, where a production hall measuring some 22,000 square metres or almost 237,000 square feet and a logistics centre are currently under construction. While the engines featured in the Panamera are built at Porsche's Main Plant in Zuffenhausen, the painted bodyshells will be supplied by the Volkswagen Plant in Hanover. The Leipzig Plant will then assemble the Panamera for final delivery, with an annual sales target of some 20,000 units. Porsche is once again cooperating largely with German suppliers in the production of the Panamera, with some 70 per cent of the car's overall value being created domestically. Hence, the Panamera is most definitely a car "Made in Germany".
The Panamera will be making its world debut in spring 2009 and the first models will be at dealers worldwide in late summer of next year.