The Truth About Cars » porsche panamera The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:47:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » porsche panamera Cain’s Segments April 2014: Luxury Flagships Thu, 08 May 2014 13:36:10 +0000 Porsche_Panamera_2013_Facelift3

The impact of Mercedes-Benz’s W222 S-Class has been keenly felt in America’s luxury car sector. The S-Class’s most direct rivals have been shunned in favour of the venerable Benz over the last seven months. And yet there’s no denying that big luxury SUVs have cast a shadow over these flagship luxury cars, nor is there any point rejecting the idea that Tesla’s Model S is stealing market share.

Among the traditional players in its category, however, the S-Class rules the roost. In April, specifically, S-Class volume was up 73%, and sales were 168% stronger than the volume achieved by the second-ranked Lexus LS, sales of which moved up by twelve units, year-over-year.

Sales of the third-ranked 7-Series were down 23%. 7-Series volume has tumbled in seven consecutive months, incidentally. In September, just as Mercedes-Benz USA dealers were readying the new S-Class and sales of their big car had fallen 58% to just 387 units, BMW USA reported more than 1700 7-Series sales for the first time since June 2010. The 7-Series must also battle the more attractive and similarly-priced 6-Series Gran Coupe in BMW’s own showrooms. Sales of the whole three-pronged 6-Series lineup are up 63% to 4610 units year-to-date, although April sales slid 36% to 483.

The drop-off to the S-Class’s remaining European competitors is significant. Porsche sold 517 Panameras in April, 1983 so far this year, little more than a quarter of what the S-Class accomplishes. And while that April Panamera mark is up slightly compared with April 2013, its well off the pace achieved in each of the previous three Aprils. Panamera sales reached their highest annual levels in 2010, the first full year of availability, when 7741 were sold. Porsche is on pace for fewer than 6000 Panamera sales in 2014.

A8 sales figures continue to surprise reviewers who often favour the big Audi. April volume was down 5%. Relative to sales of Audi flagships, A8 sales in 2013 were particularly high at 6300 units, but the steady decline over the last eight months indicates a less exciting 2014 year end number from Audi. (A8 sales had increased, year-over-year, in seven of 2013’s first eight months.)

The Jaguar XJ, a car which attracted 10,552 buyers in 2004 even when the S-Type was generating annual sales above 10K, is simply not a nameplate with that kind of popularity these days. 2013 sales marked an eight-year high, but at 5434 units, XJ sales were half what Jaguar had achieved a decade earlier. XJ volume is up 21% over the last two months; up 19% since the S-Class began crushing rivals in October.

Yet the XJ’s decline from those highs a decade ago is not unique in this class. Even if Mercedes-Benz USA sells 20,000 S-Class sedans in 2014, a lofty goal indeed, that’ll be down 35% from the level achieved in 2006, the year the GL-Class SUV arrived. BMW sold more than 20,000 7-Series sedans as recently as 2003, but they’ll be lucky to sell 10,000 in 2014. 10,000 Lexus LS sales are within the realm of reason for 2014, but that’s well off the annual average rate of 26,668 sold between 2004 and 2008, the last time Lexus sold more than 20,000 copies.

And what of the Tesla? Presumably some, if not most, Model S buyers were in fact going to buy another car had the all-electric Tesla not been available. At the low end, the Model S may align itself more closely to the E-Class and 5-Series than the S-Class and 7-Series, but we mention it here for the sake of clarity. The Automotive News Data Center estimated at the beginning of May that Tesla sales totalled 8066 units through four months, but even’s 5400-unit U.S. estimate for January-April is on the high end of many guesses reported in the electric car blogosphere. Tesla says the company delivered 6457 units, globally, in the first three months of 2014.

Don’t forget Kia.

The K900 found 260 April buyers; 365 since it went on sale in March. Hyundai Equus sales were up 9% to 285 in April; up 12% to 1203 over the last four months. Mercedes-Benz also sold 2045 CLSs so far in 2014, a 12% drop, and Audi A7 sales are up 7% to 2922. Maserati has reported 3332 total sales in 2014, a 342% year-over-year increase, but sales aren’t broken down by specific models.

4 mos.
4 mos.
Audi A8
443 468 -5.1% 1,617 1,929 +9.4%
BMW 7-Series
674 871 -22.6% 2,556 3,209 -20.3%
Jaguar XJ
369 323 +14.2% 1,578 1,568 +0.6%
Lexus LS
712 700 +1.7% 2,679 3,560 -24.7%
1,909 1,103 +73.1% 7,278 4,180 +74.1%
Porsche Panamera
517 501 +3.2% 1,983 1,885 +5.2%
3,966 +16.6% 17,691 16,331 +8.3%
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Infiniti Considers Four Door Coupe Flagship to Take On Porsche Panamera, Hybrid Midengine Supercar to Follow Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:01:12 +0000 AR-310219853

Infiniti Essence concept

Andy Palmer, who is in charge of global future product planning for Nissan, says that the company’s Infiniti luxury brand is considering a sporty four door flagship to compete in the segment defined by the Porsche Panamera. A likely candidate would be Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura’s Infiniti Essence concept first shown at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. However, an Infiniti flagship would not reach the market before 2017. It would be part of Nissan’s goal to grow Infiniti into a global luxury brand by the end of the decade.

Infiniti has not competed head to head with European luxury marques in the S Class or 7 Series segment since the early days of Nissan’s luxury brand and the original Q45. Instead Infiniti has built its brand around a lineup of sporty sedans, coupes and crossovers. “We can’t just take on the opposition directly,” said Infiniti chief Johann de Nysschen while speaking to Automotive News. “We have to bring our own unique flavor to the global market.”

“We won’t do a Merc S class or that type of car,” said Palmer. “We have had that before. We want a flagship car that’s appealing and different.”

While they say they don’t want to make a S Class clone, because of contractual agreements between Nissan and Daimler the Infiniti flagship could be based on Mercedes-Benz’s latest modular MRA rear-wheel-drive architecture.

Sources say that Nakamura and his team are working with the Essence’s proportions and roofline so the basic shape will be retained while adding two more doors and more interior space.

The new flagship is not a given, a business case still has to be made for it. “We have the halo car in the plan, but it is not signed off yet,” said Palmer. “The sales of [sedans] like the Q50 and SUVs like the QX60 will have to be going well and then I can go to our approval committee.” The new 4 door coupe would possibly be named the Q100, the same moniker given to Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull F1 car, which Infiniti sponsors.

Infiniti Emerg E concept

Infiniti Emerg E concept

The new flagship would be part of a $6.46 billion plan to make Infiniti a significant player in the global luxury market, with a target of earning a 10% share of that market by 2020, about half a million cars annually. The current lineup is being updated and rebranded and another five models will be added to Infiniti showrooms.

Should it be greenlighted for production, the flagship will possibly be joined by a mid-engined hybrid supercar based on the Emerg-E concept, to serve as a halo for the brand’s sportier cars.

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Capsule Review: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS Fri, 26 Oct 2012 14:52:45 +0000

Twenty years ago, the first Porsche limousine rolled off the assembly line at Stuttgart; four doors, 8 cylinders, wide fenders, big brakes and a period correct Alpine stereo system. It was built in small quantities, by hand. To those who knew, it was distinguishable at a distance, but to the man on the street, it was invisible. Truly a car for the one percent – in terms of both means and taste.

You won’t find it in any of the Porsche catalogs of the era. It was called the Mercedes-Benz 500E. And it wasn’t an AMG anything. Back then, AMG was an independently-owned speed shop, a Roush Performance with a stern accent.

Today, AMG has ceased to be a speed shop. It’s not even really the zenith of Mercedes-Benz performance cars; it is now another trim level of SUV for affluent mothers. You’ll find more C63s parked outside beauty salons than at Mosport. They are bought not for their performance characteristics, but simply because it is the most expensive trim level of a given model line, and the AMG badge lets everyone know that. The badge matters now.

A car like the original W124 500E would be dead on arrival today. In an era of conspicious consumption, a $160,000 Porsche-engineered sedan that’s barely distinguishable from an E550 has a slightly worse chance of success than an anti-global warming film does at the Oscars. Enter the Panamera. It is a Porsche, not a Mercedes. If we’re being diplomatic, it is distinct looking, and is designed expressly to inform everyone that you have arrived. One look at the old 500E and the new Panamera is strong evidence that vehicular vulgarity has risen in proportion to income inequality.

Once you’re inside the Panamera, the ungainly looks become less of a concern. The interior is a cavalcade of buttons that overwhelms at first, but their functionality and ease of use beats the knob-and-touchscreen systems that Mercedes et al now employ. Nobody would ever accuse to Panamera’s interior of being simple, but like that of the W124, it is elegant. The view out of the hood is decidedly old school as well; you can actually see over the hood, so that the corners of the fenders are visible. Most modern cars seem to have a hood that disappears off the metaphorical cliff. This little touch makes the 16 foot long Panamera markedly easier to maneuver in urban traffic, a small benefit that isn’t readily apparent but goes a long way with its intended client base of upper class working stiffs who need to weave their way in and out of construction zones and clogged lanes.

The blogger brigade that breathlessly reported on this car’s debut last year was perhaps over-eager to use Porsche’s own PR copy describing this car as some sort of track ready Panamera. Let’s get serious. It’s got 30 horsepower more than the standard Panamera 4S, as well as suspension and brake bits from the Turbo, but the only time that one of these will see track time is at a Porsche-sponsored lapping day for owners. The lawyers, accountants and finance executives mentioned above don’t usually have the time or inclination for an HPDE day. That doesn’t mean they can’t get their kicks elsewhere.

Porsche probably knows this, and I’d bet that’s why the  GTS excels at the Stop Light Grand Prix.  Between the all-wheel drive system and the 7-Speed PDK gearbox, there is no way you will lose any sort of unsanctioned speed contest to anything short of a Nissan GT-R. The GTS posts an identical 0-30 time (1.4 seconds) to the Panamera Turbo S, despite a 120 horsepower deficit. As the speeds increase, a gap develops, but when will you find an open quarter-mile in the financial district? Rest assured that the view below is what every other driver will be seeing of you.

I’m not philosophically opposed to this car like certain brand purists are, but one has to wonder: what’s the point of the Panamera? The argument is this: Car companies exist to make a profit, and Porsche needs to diversify beyond impractical sports cars to ensure its survival in the future. A sedan is a natural extension of the brand after the Cayenne, and a good way to use up capacity at the Leipzig plant.

But I don’t want my Porsches to be practical, nor do I want my luxury sedans to feel like a Porsche. A hard ride and a noisy exhaust in a 911 are undeniable facts of life. In this car, they are a simulacrum, a consolation prize given to you by Porsche because your wife wouldn’t let you by a 911.

And that’s ultimately what’s wrong with this car; it is neither fish nor fowl. It is dynamically brilliant but forever a mutt, stuck somewhere between supercar and sedan, with the worst attributes of both. If you want to make a statement, you can buy the Jaguar XJ, which can be had with a stupendously powerful V8 engine, in your choice of two wheelbases and multiple equipment configurations. It makes the same kind of statement as the Panamera, but it’s infinitely more elegant. If you want something more German, than the Audi A8 is peerless and has yet to suffer from the same kind of terminal prole drift as the S-Class or the 7-Series.

But if you really must have the Porsche — if you really must have a Porsche sedan — you can buy a 500E and have enough left over for something air-cooled. Both of those choices have more claim to Stuttgart than the Panamera, and they won’t make you look like a hen-pecked corporate servant either.

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Porsche Rips Off Taillights From 1993 RX-7 For Panamera Sport Turismo: Paris 2012 Live Shots Thu, 27 Sep 2012 12:05:38 +0000

Jack thinks Porsche may have ripped off the Ford Taurus X with their new Panamera Sport Turismo concept. I say the taillights are a rip-off of the 1993 Mazda RX-7.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Porsche-Panamera-Sport-Turismo-Concept-07 Porsche-Panamera-Sport-Turismo-Concept-06 Porsche-Panamera-Sport-Turismo-Concept-05 Porsche-Panamera-Sport-Turismo-Concept-04 Porsche-Panamera-Sport-Turismo-Concept-08. Photo courtesy VerticalScope. ]]> 10
Porsche Cayenne Accounts For 44.7 Of Brand’s US Sales Mon, 23 Jan 2012 19:08:28 +0000

We’ve all heard anecdotal evidence of just how important cars like the Cayenne and Panamera are for Porsche’s financial health. Freelance analyst Timothy Cain has done the unenviable task of analyzing the data and his findings show just how important the apostate P-cars are for the company.

Subtracting Cayenne sales for this year from Porsche’s total means that Porsche would have sold 16,045, lower than Porsche’s 2002 sales total (when the Cayenne wasn’t being sold). 20.3 percent of Porsches sold were 911 models, while the Panamera accounted for 24 percent of sales. The Cayman and Boxster made up a mere 5 and 6 percent respectively.  Porsche just missed 30,000 units in 2011, but should easily break that this year, thanks to the all new 911 and the dubiously named Panamera GTS.

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