Porsche is an interesting brand study. Part of the strength of the brand is that new models are so rarely introduced. Truthfully, the venerable 911 line has undergone many changes over the last 45 years but there is no mistaking a 911. From whatever distance you may choose, a 2009 911 is as much a 911 as a ’63 901. Indeed an entire brand built around a shape which has evolved, yet has not really changed as far as the eye can see.
As a result of this glacier slow evolution, new additions to the lineup are admired, feared, anticipated and loathed. Purists still whine above the merits of air versus water cooling, regardless of the obvious benefits of the latter. Imaging the fuss that many of them will put up at the thought of, gasp, a 4 door 911!
The media, both new and traditional, has been so full of tales and images of the upcoming Panamera that one can’t possibly know what to expect. Heavily camouflaged test mules have been seen around the globe attempting to hide a shape that could only be described as ugly as hell. Surely the folks at Porsche haven’t lost their minds: egads, imagine a 4 door 911 that is also ugly! There has been so much contemplation that we’ve actually not paid too much attention here in The Garage. To be honest, there was an overload of anticipation and not enough substance.
Finally, Porsche has revealed details of the new machine and thankfully the designers have left the ugly stick in the closet. What a gorgeous piece of work. With V6 or V8 power ranging from 300 to 500 horsepower and rear or all wheel drive, Porsche has ensured that this 4 seat GT will have the goods to take on anything the other high end sport sedans can offer. Buyers can choose between a six speed manual or Porsche’s 7 speed Double Clutch gearbox. With the production version only 9 months away, it won’t be too long before we can bring you our views of the real thing instead of iffy spy photos.
Read the official Porsche release and see more photos after the break
MISSISSAUGA — November 24, 2008 — Three-quarters of a year prior to market launch, Porsche has released the first official photos of its new four-door Panamera. PorscheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unique four-seater was conceived as a four-door grand touring sports car, combining numerous talents in typical Porsche style: sporting driving dynamics, a spacious interior, and the supreme comfort of a Gran Turismo. Joining the 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars as well as the Cayenne SUV, the Panamera is PorscheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fourth model series.
The PanameraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s designers have succeeded in positioning it as a brand-new and truly different model while retaining the looks of a Porsche. Through its proportions, the Panamera stands out in its market segment: measuring 1,931 mm in width, it is wider, and measuring 1,418 mm in height, lower than comparable four-door models. The unmistakable GT silhouette is created by the carÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s overall length of 4,970 mm and short, sporting overhangs. In its styling and details, the Panamera follows the design philosophy refined over decades on the 911 and successfully implemented on the Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne.
The Panamera establishes a new segment with its design. The symbiosis of sports car DNA derived from the looks of a coupÃƒÂ©, the unique interpretation of the classical saloon body and the benefits of a variable space concept give the new Porsche a truly unmistakable appearance. For instance, Panamera comes with strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille. Striking wheelarches and the long and sleek engine compartment Ã¢â‚¬â€œ with the distinctly contoured wings flanking the flat front lid Ã¢â‚¬â€œ create the typical 911 Ã¢â‚¬Å“landscapeÃ¢â‚¬Â Porsche customers have appreciated for over 45 years. V-shaped seams along the hood and rear window, which taper like an arrow to the rear, are also characteristic of a sports car. Muscular shoulders over the rear wheels, the sweep of the coupÃƒÂ©-like roofline and visible tailpipes again bear the thoroughbred Porsche DNA.
An elegant roof arch extends over the generous interior. Thanks to the unique and sporting architecture of the interior, the carÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s occupants are able to experience the cockpit-like atmosphere from all four seats. All occupants enjoy supreme comfort in front and the two contoured rear seats. The luggage compartment easily takes all passengersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ luggage; the PanameraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s variable space concept with folding rear backrests enables driver and passengers to adjust the luggage space to individual requirements. Finally, the coupÃƒÂ© tailgate in the sporting rear end combines everyday usability with stylish elegance.
Porsche has developed powerful and up-to-date engines for the Panamera, reflecting the qualities typical of the brand; the V-engines come with six and eight cylinders with output ranging from 300 to 500 bhp. Some engines use turbocharging technology and Direct Fuel Injection, making them both fuel-efficient and very powerful. Power flows to the wheels through either a manual six-speed gearbox or PorscheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seven-speed PDK Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or Double-Clutch Gearbox.
In addition to rear-wheel drive, the top version of the Panamera comes with even more sophisticated all-wheel drive, available on other models as an option. Porsche is also preparing a fuel-efficient Panamera hybrid. Further details on engines, transmissions, performance, prices and equipment will be disclosed next spring.
The Porsche Panamera will be built at PorscheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Leipzig Plant, where a 22,000 square-metre production hall and a logistics centre are currently under construction. While the Panamera engines are built at PorscheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Main Plant in Zuffenhausen, painted bodyshells will be supplied by VolkswagenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Hanover plant. The Leipzig Plant will then assemble the Panamera for final delivery, with an annual sales target of about 20,000 units. Porsche is once again cooperating with German suppliers, with some 70 per cent of the carÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s overall value being created in Germany.
The Panamera will make its world debut in spring 2009 and the first models will be at dealers worldwide in late summer of next year.