Web Buzz Says Porsche Panamera Puts the "Ugh" in "Ugly"

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Spy shots of the upcoming Porsche Panamera sedan have produced an almost unanimous reaction from motorheads: it's fugly. Autoweek published photos of [what the optimistic among us can only hope is] a somewhat disguised Panamera. Their readers are not shy about expressing their sense of aesthetic affrontery: "this 'design' is just hideous," "more brand dilution," "it looks like an eggplant," and "Franken-car." Perhaps sensitive to the near universal condemnation of their lardy 911-on-stilts Cayenne SUV's design, Porsche has unleashed some preemptive damage control. "In reality," Stuttgart's spinmeisters say, "the Panamera is a lot more attractive than anything to be seen so far." Does that include the Maserati Quattroporte? Anyway, Cayenne notwithstanding, I have a hard time believing The Sultans of Stuttgart would let anything this gawky out of their styling studios. And yet, how could they make it better?

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  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Jul 31, 2007

    Good lord, does it matter what a Porsche "looks like"? Shut up and drive. It hugely amuses me that 95 percent of all car discussion these days consists of know-nothing design analyses by people who endlesslt write smartass things like, "It looks like a Miata that spent the night with a Cadillac CTS," etc. etc. etc. Read a Road & Track road test--not that I feel they're the paradigm of excellence, but they are typical--and the first third will entirely concern itself with what the freaking car looks like. The taillights. How the wheels fill or don't fill the wells. The grille. The side marker lights. Give me a break. Is _that_ the most important thing about a car? What the damn thing looks like? You can't see what it looks like from behind the wheel anyway, so I have to conclude that 95 percent of the importance of a car is what _other_ people see (and, of course, think) of you. Sorry, I don't need a car to do anything for me other than steer, handle and perform (and performance can mean a wide variety of things, depending on one's needs and desires).

  • TreyV TreyV on Aug 01, 2007

    Look, it's a really long 911! But why?

  • Edgett Edgett on Aug 01, 2007

    Is Bangle moonlighting? Great question, but if Chris were involved, this poor thing would not only be fat, but it would be "sculpted" up the wazoo. While Mr. Wilkinson is correct that a big part of what makes a great car is what you feel behind the wheel, a part of greatness is also how it makes you feel when it is just sitting in the driveway. Alas, my 335 answers the first part of that question well, but doesn't do so well with the second. Heart-racing four-door sedans are a tough bill to fill, but the Quattroporte seems to manage both looks and thrills. The last 5-series wasn't too bad either until it was Bangled into submission. No doubt the Panamera will do the Porsche thing when it is released; no matter what these guys do, they seem able to put a great soul into a car.

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Aug 01, 2007

    I'm pretty sure there is beauty under all that cladding. Why? Because it's styled by Michael Mauer, whose portfolio includes the first SLK, the Smart Roadster, most current Saabs...