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.
Porsche is fleshing out its Panamera lineup by incorporating the Sport Turismo into the GTS trim and slathering on an extra 20 horsepower. Slotting in just below the Turbo, GTS-trimmed Panameras place an added emphasis on performance — swapping the base 3.0-liter V6 for a less rowdy version of the 4.0-liter V8, without forcing customers to write a check in excess of $150,000. It sounds a little odd saying this, considering the model’s elevated price points, but the GTS is the “value option” for serious enthusiasts.
While we’re happy to see a peppier GTS, the big get is that Porsche is willing to bless the wagon with a more-affordable V8. Hopefully it means we’ll see more of them on the road, as these rigs are exceptionally easy on the eyes.
Having already introduced a subscription service for its vehicles, Porsche decided to continue experimenting with alternatives to traditional car ownership. The luxury brand plans to launch two pilot programs on both U.S. coasts (condolences to America’s Heartland) aimed at encouraging drivers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche for brief periods of time.
The first, overseen by Porsche Cars North America, will test exclusively within the Atlanta area, near Porsche’s North American headquarters. Called Porsche Drive, the pilot program launched a few days ago and offers hourly to weekly rentals of new Porsche cars and SUVs. Meanwhile, a second joint venture with peer-to-peer car rental company Turo will service San Francisco and Los Angeles starting next month. That endeavor focuses on the sharing of already purchased (new and vintage) Porsche vehicles by owners inclined to share them.
Porsche Reportedly Working on a Two-door Version of a Four-door Car (Don't Worry, There's a Four-door 'Coupe' SUV, Too)
The auto industry has become so unconventional, so bizarro world, that I became momentarily confused after reading a report that Porsche has a Panamera coupe in development.
Automakers don’t develop new coupes. They develop slightly more curvaceous versions of four-door crossovers and SUVs and call them coupes, but they’re certainly not coupes. Thus, I found myself picturing a curvaceous four-door liftback version of a curvaceous four-door liftback. Reality bent and flexed around me and the universe crumbled.
That’s apparently what Porsche is up to, though, and it’s looking like the two-door version of the Panamera — if built — will serve as a spiritual successor to the long departed 928.
It’ll be a long time before Porsche removes any hint of internal combustion from its beyond-iconic 911. The flat-six is safe for the next decade or so.
However, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says the company wants a plug-in hybrid version, hopefully by 2023 — when the next-generation model reaches its mid-cycle update. “It will be very important for the 911 to have a plug-in hybrid,” Blume told Automotive News last week. There’s no stamp of approval yet, but Blume feels the German automaker “will go for it.”
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. If European sales of the recently introduced Panamera E-Hybrid are any indication, an electrified 911 is an insurance policy that’s sure to pay off.
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.
The Pretty New Porsche Panamera Is Already Way More Popular Than the Ugly Old Porsche Panamera Ever Was
The first second-generation Porsche Panamera I ever spotted was missing its front end. It was still distinctly more attractive than the first-generation Porsche Panamera ever was.
My house is near the CN Autoport in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. Dozens of stevedores drive mostly European-built new vehicles off Wallenius Wilhelmsen ships to parking lots near a main road, incidentally known as Main Road. Typically, if I time my drives past just right, I see long lines of new cars, such as the British-built Honda Civic Hatchback or the Volvo V90, weeks before a single one arrives at your local dealer.
Ever so slightly closer to my home than the Autoport itself is a smaller building where the damaged vehicles go. Today, there’s a Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, sans rear bumper, parked outside. A few months ago, mere seconds before feasting my eyes upon a line of second-gen Porsche Panameras, I saw the aforementioned damaged Panamera. “Maaaaaan, that car is pretty.”
And then I remembered the old Panamera, vomiting a bit in my throat at the thought. And then I saw Porsche’s April 2017 U.S. sales figures. Scroll down, scroll down, there it is: Panamera. 1,098 sales.
Double its typical monthly output. 26-percent better than its previous best. Triple April 2016’s volume.
And proof people prefer pretty.
News Round-up: Oil's Ups and Downs, Porsche Panamera Leaked, and Women Driving Crossover Sales Growth
After a short rally in the price of oil, WTI and brent crude prices have plateaued over the last week ahead of an OPEC meeting Thursday, and increased oil production from Iraq beginning next month.
That, Porsche leaked the new Panamera, and women are more likely to buy vehicles on their own after the jump.
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.
Infiniti Considers Four Door Coupe Flagship to Take On Porsche Panamera, Hybrid Midengine Supercar to Follow
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.”
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.
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.
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