February 6th, 2009
The Panamera will most likely share a similar front to the rest of the Porsche lineup, however the car is inherently different to the rest of the German stable. Unlike the 911, the Panamera is a conventional front-engined rear-wheel drive that will become Porsche’s Grand Tourer.
The car will be put together in Porsche’s Leipzig facility with the engines originating from Stuttgart and the car’s painted shell crafted in Hanover by Volkswagen. Porsche will compete directly against its German and Italian rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG and Maserati Quattroporte. There is also the possibility of taking sales away from the Bentley Continental GT, Aston Martin Rapide and even the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti . The Panamera will be a big step for Porsche as the first V8 powered sports car (not conting the Cayenne SUV) the company has built since the Porsche 928 ceased production in 1995.
Porsche says that the Panamera is 76 inches in width, making it an especially wide sedan. The Panamera measures 55.8 inches in height and 195.7 inches in length. Clearly, its styling inspiration comes most from the recently-revised Cayman and Boxster. The entry-level powerplant will be Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. The ‘S’ model will deliver 400 hp from a 4.8-liter V8, and the Turbo variant will offer an estimated 500 horses. All models are equipped with Porsche’s new PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Porsche is also planning a hybrid variant of the Panamera, though the automaker failed to disclose any further details. The turbocharged version will come standard with all-wheel-drive. Rear wheel drive will be standard otherwise with four-wheel propulsion a line-wide option. Inside, Porsche says that the Panamera features a driver-oriented dashboard, seating for four and folding rear seat backs for additional cargo space. The base car will come with a sticker price of $127,000.