Porsche’s Panamera, the four-door liftback that broke the Porsche passenger car mold, is ready to remold itself yet again, reports claim.
In response to BMW’s resurrected 8 Series grand tourer, rival minds in Stuttgart have a plan afoot to convert the Panamera into a two-door vehicle with a choice of roof options. Given the era in which we live, it feels almost foreign reporting on a non-SUV becoming a coupe.
In most cases, it’s a foregone conclusion. When there are multiple bodystyles available, the fewest number of buyers exist for the wagon.
The Porsche Panamera’s case is unique, however. There is no Porsche Panamera sedan. This is a battle between the regular second-generation Porsche Panamera — a hatchback or liftback or fastback or backbackbackgone or whatever you want to call it — and the new Sport Turismo, a shooting brake five years in the making.
Yet with limited practical benefit, “It’s a question of taste; some people like the Sport Turismo more, some people like the sports sedan more,” Porsche’s sales and marketing director told Stefan Utsch, told Motoring.
80 percent of taste buds apparently prefer the regular Panamera.
If someone woke up today from 20-year coma, the two consumer trends they would have the most difficulty coming to terms with are just how skinny jeans have become and the fact that more than half the cars Porsche sells are SUVs. So, for those of us not emerging from two decades of slumber, the notion that the German automaker might someday produce a station wagon wasn’t entirely without plausibility.
Porsche showcased the Panamera Sport Turismo wagon concept at the Paris auto show in 2012, hinting that it might someday have a place in its lineup, but it wasn’t until last year that we heard anything further. Now its here and everyone is clamoring over how unexpected this is. If anything is unexpected, it’s that Porsche didn’t come out with a gorgeous five-door sooner. I’m willing to bet that this will be a you-got-your-peanut-butter-on-my-chocolate sort of situation — taking into account that some people aren’t all that fond of peanut butter.
Tranquility returns to North America as FCA’s ill-fated minivan assembly plant prepares itself for a return to active duty.
That, the used car rulebook is getting an update, an autoworkers’ union puts its hand out for government cash, and Porsche shrinks the price-tag and stretches the length of the Panamera … after the break!
With Porsche’s four-door sedan looking less and less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Paris Motor Show will see Porsche unveil the fourth model in the Panamera line: a plug-in E-Hybrid with all-wheel drive and an electric range of 31 miles (that’s 50 kilometres for the rest of us).
More than just a luxury sportscar with green overtones, Porsche’s new plug-in packs a grab-bag of technology that other Volkswagen Group brands will want to get their hands on.
Porsche’s next-generation Panamera (likely 2017) was spotted going through its paces in Colorado this week. The new car will be the first MSB platformed car for Porsche, which is expected to underpin more Stuttgart models — and perhaps the Bentley Flying Spur.
Two models were visible in Colorado, including what could have been a Panamera S with a large rear spoiler. (Pictures after the jump.)
The stopover in Colorado is usually one of the last powertrain tests a car will undergo before its final announcement.
The smaller sedan would be about a foot shorter than a Panamera, sport an all-electric powertrain — a first for Porsche — and could be offered alongside gasoline, diesel or hybrid-powered engines.
42 journalists who had the honor of being invited by Porsche to what was called a “Plug-In Hybrid Technology Workshop” found themselves used as lab rats, and to produce a mileage rating that supports Porsche’s published results for the hybrid Panamera. It didn’t quite work out that way. Says a Porsche press release:
After several hours of slinging a 991 Carrera S around the track (review to follow), I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to relinquishing the keys to the Porker for the keys to the, uh, porker. I was here to drive both cars, and I’d already had plenty of up-close views of the Pano through the windscreen of the 911 as it clogged up turn 3, seeming to flop over on its flank like the wounded Bismark.
Back of the pack out on the grid, I waved several 911s and a heavily-modified Evo ahead out of politeness, not wishing to be the clot in this small, fast group of experienced drivers (with one notable exception). Nice and easy through turn one and two, squeezing on the throttle a bit through the back straight, with an eye to unforgiving concrete barriers and a thought to the coldness of the tires and the track.
Over the hump at turn two, swing wide out to the right and squeeze on the power as I straighten out the wheel, and suddenly I’m thinking: well that’s not right.
Not right at all….
In his uneven but interesting book Guitar: An American Life, Tim Brookes notes that acoustic players “pick up a guitar in order to meet college girls but wind up talking to other middle-aged men about their fingernails.” I started racing so I could put my merciless, Edward-Green-shod foot on the neck of other competitors in the twilight zone that separates victory from certain death, but I’ve wound up spending my weekends telling other middle-aged men to unwind their steering wheels at corner exit.
This past weekend at Summit Point’s Shenandoah course, I preached long sermons from the Book of Corner Exit to three of those middle-aged men: a novice in a Panamera Turbo, a prodigy in a C6 Vette, and my own crumbling self, piloting a Coyote-powered Mustang GT in an ultimately futile attempt to outpace a colleague in a new 991 Carrera S. Together we pursued the discipline of the Quality Exit, with varying results. To misquote the poet: “O you who turn the wheel and look to chiclets, Gentile or Jew, click the jump to find out how we did.”
Two weeks ago, Bertel stole from me we brought you the very first pictures of the China-only RUF XL, a Porsche Panamera stretched by 40 centimeters exclusively for the limousine-orientated Chinese car market. The story has since been all over the internet.
Today, I present you the first pictures of the interior. This Porsche sure looks like a comfortable place to smoke a cigar, play with your second and/or third wife and to tell the driver to take it easy, or to go like stink.
German tuner Ruf is coming to China. He did what everybody should do who is setting up shop in another land: Do thorough market research. When he asked what Chinese like, the answer was: “Long!” With that in mind, Ruf made what the Chinese market (possibly) wants: A stretched Porsche Panamera.
The Porsche Panamera: should it exist? Eight years after the introduction of the Cayenne SUV, many enthusiasts remain steadfast in their conviction that Porsche should stick to sports cars with aft-mounted powerplants. While a two-ton four-door is certainly a lesser evil, has Porsche managed to offer one for which there is no available substitute? A $69,000 Cadillac CTS-V performs extremely well, in both objective and subjective terms. Why, then, spend tens of thousands more for a Panamera?
VW’s current strategy to design larger cars specifically for the US market isn’t the first time around. In the early sixties, VW gave serious thought to a six-seater rear-engine sedan to take on the Americans on their own (big) terms. Obviously inspired by the 1960 Corvair, which made a huge impression in Europe, but taken even further: the EA 128 was a fair chunk bigger and wider than the Corvair, right into mid-size territory. And with bench seats to seat six big Amerikaner. Even a wagon version (Kountry Knecht?). But where to get the underpinnings and six-cylinder engine for the AmiWagen? Where else:
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- MaintenanceCosts So there is no Sonata trim without some type of Theta engine.It seems like they've been doing a bit better when attached to a hybrid system, so that's probably the one to get, but they're going to have to go several years without further engine troubles before I'd trust a H/K ICE product again.
- Lou_BC Full sized sort of autonomous RC's. Cute.
- Art_Vandelay Autonomous capabilities are being deployed (or planned anyway) in multiple combat vehicles. Should be fun from my perspective
- Drew8MR Interior is trivial now you can get repro everything in various levels of quality. Getting the top sorted will be a couple grand, but I'd drive it as it. I drove a $1500 67 GTO convertible for 20 years, not every old car needs to be like new.
- John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..