Panamera: a new chapter in Porsche's
How can an exclusive brand, like
Porsche, launch this September the Panamera, its
fourth model, without paving the way first with a
series of teasers about its avant-garde technology and
Panamera Turbo combines electrical
seat adjustment with a Comfort Memory
Package offering extension of the seat
bottom, lumbar support and electrical
steering column adjustment.
The task may seem straightforward,
given Porsche's reputation for performance and
But as the newcomer is neither a
crossover like the Cayenne, nor a coupé / cabriolet
belonging to the 911 family, nor a smaller brother
called Boxter or Cayman, Porsche had to prepare for
the Panamera a proper Gran Turismo
has to be based on high comfort levels with leading
technology and luxury, but only if these come with
corresponding Porsche driving genetics.
Otherwise, how could the Panamera
deserve its brand's badge with a price tag starting
from slightly under Euros 95,000 (Germany,
all-inclusive), or achieve its annual sales target of
some 20,000 units? As Porsche is entering this segment
for the first time, the goal might seem ambitious,
given the world financial crisis and the already
existing competition in this segment.
interior with four individual seats.
Anyway, optimism is what makes the
difference between those who dare and those who don't!
Who would have thought a few years ago that Porsche
would own, one day, more than half of the VW group?
From a different angle, the
addition of this fourth model may also help Porsche
absorb, or at least reduce the effects of the general
decline of car sales around the world.
What are the main arguments
announced until now about the new Panamera (see also
our previous Panamera
A very sophisticated interior to
start with, in terms of individual seats, variable
luggage compartment, more than 1,000 W from the Surround
Sound System of the Berlin audio specialist Burmester
(16 amplifier channels), 4-zone
automatic air-conditioning, an advanced,
direct-injection atmospheric V8 engine with the
rear-wheel drive Panamera S
and all-wheel-drive Panamera 4S,
or turbo charged with the all-wheel-drive Panamera
Turbo, bearing in mind that V6 engine versions
will be added later, in addition to a hybrid version
expected at a later stage.
Other technologies include the PDK
double-clutch automatic transmission with a start/stop
system, the adaptive
air suspension with addition to other aerodynamic
Before anything else, this all-new
Porsche model is a four-door Gran Turismo, which means
that the interior plays a key role in confirming the
status of such a luxury sedan.
Porsche's reputation is a reference
in the sports cars arena, specifically in coupés,
cabriolets and roadsters. But in the premium 4-door GT
world, there is a necessary stretching exercise to do,
extending the unquestioned sports expertise into the
luxury sedan world.
That's where the Cayenne crossover
can be considered, not only as a third model in
Porsche's line-up since late 2002, but also, as the
precursor of Porsche's expansion to real 4 to 5
passengers transport on luxury-and-sports terms,
rather than sports-and-luxury.
In both Cayenne and Panamera cases,
the cabin luxury plays a clearly different role of
what can be expected from a coupé or a roadster.
include smooth and natural leather in
13 colour and material combinations,
including four bi-colour options
available with seven optional interior
trim finish styles.
Of course, with the Panamera, the
cabin has to have a completely different approach from
a crossover like the Cayenne. The first has to be low
in shape and in gravity terms, while the other has an
obligation to keep some ground clearance for off-road
driving from time to time. Above all, the Panamera
world is much differently exclusive.
Hence, the Panamera interior has to
give each of its four passengers some sort of
own-space, or privacy, in each of the four single
seats. As for the driver, the low seating position and
the sporting, low-slung steering wheel takes care of
the direct feeling of the road, as one would expect
from a Porsche.
include adaptive sports seats or
comfort seats at the rear,
electrically adjustable in different
The standard comfort seats at the
front of the Panamera S and Panamera
4S adjust electrically in eight different
Turbo combines electrical seat adjustment with a
Comfort Memory Package offering extension of the seat
bottom, lumbar support and electrical steering column
Other options include adaptive
sports seats or comfort seats at the rear,
electrically adjustable in different positions.
centre console runs from the dashboard
to the rear seats.
The rear seats are contoured as
single seats, with options such as adaptive sports
seats or comfort seats, with different positions for
electrical adjustments and seat climate functions.
Passive safety equipments include standard driver and
front passenger airbags, curtain airbags as well as
(on the front seats) side and knee airbags. Rear side
airbags are optional.
For those who wish to personalise
the temperature preferences, an optional four-zone
automatic air conditioning allows individual
adjustment for blower intensity and air distribution
on each seat.
automatic air conditioning option:
individual adjustment for blower
intensity and air distribution on each
Next to the seats runs the centre
console from the dashboard to the rear seats, as a
comfortable and elegant delimitation around the four
private zones. Here, customisation options include
smooth and natural leather in 13 colour and material
combinations, including four bi-colour options
available with seven optional interior trim finish
styles, including exclusive materials such as Carbon
and Olive Nature open-pore wood.
The luggage compartment can take
four suitcases behind the rear seats, with enough
vertical space to put them in an upright position for
easier loading and unloading. Luggage capacity is 445
litres (15.7 cu ft) in the Panamera S and 4S and 432
litres (15.2 cu ft) in the Panamera Turbo.
entertainment for rear passengers.
However, as the Panamera comes with
a variable luggage compartment, tilting the
individual seat backrests forward increases luggage
capacity up to 1,263 litres (44.6 cu ft),
keeping the floor of the luggage compartment on one
consistent level from front to rear.
Panamera promises also Porsche's
highest standard of audio quality. The High-End
Surround Sound System from the Berlin audio specialist
Burmester deploys 16 loudspeakers fed by 16
amplifier channels, with more than 1,000 W overall
output, to provide an exceptional sound quality,
rounded off by an active subwoofer together with a 300
W Class D amplifier. Porsche says that more than 2,400
square centimetres of sound membranes provide a sound
that is similar to that of a live concert.
arm front axle with adaptive air
suspension (top) and multi-arm rear
axle with adaptive air suspension.
Panamera will be first launched
with V8 power units (built at Porsche’s main plant
in Zuffenhausen), with either rear- or all-wheel
drive. The rear-wheel drive Panamera S gets a 4.8-litre
V8 with direct petrol (gasoline) injection,
developing maximum output of 400 bhp (294 kW).
The Panamera S accelerates to 100
km/h in 5.4 seconds, on the way up to a top speed
of 283 km/h or 176 mph. Combined fuel
consumption to the EU5 standard is 10.8 litre/100
km (equal to 9.26 km/litre, 26.2 mpg imp or 21.8 mpg
US), with a CO2 emissions rating of 253
In Germany, the Panamera S
the standard six-speed manual gearbox is priced at Euro
94,575, including 19 per cent VAT and all national
With Porsche’s optional
seven-speed PDK (Doppelkupplungsgetriebe or
double-clutch gearbox) transmission, the Panamera S
retails at Euro 98,085 (all inclusive).
With the same 400 bhp, 4.8-litre
V8 engine, the Panamera 4S gets the all-wheel
drive system and the seven-speed PDK
gearbox. It takes 0.4 seconds less than the Panamera S
to make the 0-100 km/h (5.0 seconds), while
having practically the same top speed (282 km/h or
controlled all-wheel drive with
integrated final drive at the front,
the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo.
Fuel consumption is slightly higher
than the rear-wheel-drive model, with a combined
figure (EU5 standard) of 11.1 litre/100 km (equal
to 9.01 km/litre, 25.4 mpg imp or 21.2 mpg US).
CO2 emissions come at 260 g/km. The German retail
price (all inclusive) is Euro 102,251.
The top version has the 4.8-litre
V8 with a biturbo system raising maximum output by 25
per cent to reach 500 bhp (368 kW). It comes with
Porsche’s seven-gear Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK)
Zero-to-100 km/h is
done with in 4.2 seconds, on the way to a top
speed of 303 km/h or 188 mph. Combined fuel
consumption (EU5 standard) is 12.2 litre/100 km,
(equal to 8.2 km/litre, 23.14 mpg imp or 19.28 mpg US),
with CO2 emissions of 286 g/km. The retail price of
the Panamera Turbo (all inclusive) is Euro 135,154.
With these first versions, Porsche
announced new technologies making their world debuts
in the luxury performance car sedans. These include
the first automatic start/stop in conjunction with
automatic transmission, air suspension with additional
air volume on demand, as well as active aerodynamics
with a multi-stage, adjustable rear spoiler moving up
when required on the Panamera Turbo.
screen and clear controls. The PDK
double-clutch gearbox enters
the high performance premium sedans.
The double-clutch transmission is
already optionally available for several models at
Ford, Volvo, VW, Audi, Porsche
and others. However, PDK enters now the high
performance premium sedans category.
More efficient than a conventional
automatic transmission, the double-clutch transmission
can also save more fuel through its long,
overdrive-like top gear, while preserving the high
performance expected from a Porsche, thanks to its
specific gear increments and very fast gearshift
without interruption of engine power.
Also for the first time in a
premium car with an automatic transmission, the
Panamera will feature a start/stop system. All models
fitted with the seven-speed PDK transmission
feature Porsche’s new Auto Start / Stop function,
automatically switching off the engine when coming to
a standstill and with the driver pressing down the
air suspension: extra volume added on
In conjunction with other
efficiency measures, the Panamera S with its PDK
transmission can achieve a combined fuel consumption
(EU5 standard) of 10.8 litre/100 km (equal to 9.26
km/litre, 26.2 mpg imp or 21.8 mpg US). For a
400bhp, 4.8-litre V8 petrol engine, the figure is
exceptional, especially that the Panamera's
body length is close to five metres (4,970
millimetres, 195.7 inches).
Besides, Porsche is also preparing
a more fuel-efficient version of the Panamera with
hybrid drive, to be added later.
To allow the combination of
performance and comfort, rather than a compromise
between them, the basic Panamera setting offers a
driving comfort, while at the touch of a button on the
active PASM damper system, it turns into a
materials: 1,770 kg
for the 5-metre
long Panamera S.
An additional and new technology to
be standard on the Panamera Turbo and optional on the
other models, will be the adaptive
air suspension with an extra volume added on
whenever required, for a wider variation of sporting
and comfort features.
All Panamera models can also have
an active PDCC stability control, available in
combination with a fully controlled rear axle
cover extending all round the
drivetrain tunnel and rear-end
silencers, to reduce air resistance,
lift forces on the axles and fuel
consumption while enhancing driving
Through their Sport Plus button,
the optional Sports Chrono Packages enable the
driver at the touch of a button to choose the
high-performance set-up of all drivetrain and
suspension systems, including PTM Porsche Traction
Management with its fully-controlled all-wheel drive.
PTM comes as standard in both the Panamera 4S and the
Advanced production methods and materials
are used on the body of the Panamera, including
different kinds of steel grades, light alloys
such as aluminium and magnesium, as well as plastics.
four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera
The lightweight doors feature a
load-bearing structure made of laser-treated
pressure-cast aluminium, an aluminium outer skin and
door window frames made of thin-walled pressure-cast
magnesium. Thanks to this structure, the nearly
five-metre long Panamera S weighs 1,770 kg (3,902 lb).
On the aerodynamic
side, the Panamera comes with a complete cover on the
under-floor, extending all round the drivetrain tunnel
and rear-end silencers, to reduce air resistance, lift
forces on the axles and fuel consumption while
enhancing driving dynamics.
Another aerodynamic element can be
seen in the active
four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera
Turbo. Through its control angles and surface
geometry, the rear spoiler optimises the car’s
aerodynamics and performance.
Porsche’s development engineers
had to target also the best possible balance of sound
on the exhaust system, the air intake and engine as
well as the car’s aeroacoustics.
It had to provide both a low level of noise within the
interior, as expected in a luxury sedan, but at the
same time, a typical Porsche sound of power coming out
clearly when accelerating. The wide range of sounds
had to extend from quietness while cruising, all the
way to an engaging performance melody in more dynamic