Porsche today officially unveiled its Panamera four-door performance car, the first all-new, built-from-the-ground up vehicle from the Stuttgart, Germany based manufacturer since its historic debut of the Cayenne in Paris in 2002. Presented with great pride and fanfare at the company's Shanghai Motor Show exhibit, the Panamera is unique in the premium sedan segment thanks to its 'sports car for four' concept and its best-in-class fuel efficiency.
"The crucial task for our engineers was to combine Porsche's sporting DNA with all the spaciousness and driving comfort of a luxurious sedan," said Wolfgang Durheimer, who was on hand for the debut and is Porsche's executive vice president of research and development. "The Panamera is an alternative car concept for the premium customer, and while competing with established vehicles in the premium class, it will be a clear segment leader in terms of performance, driving dynamics and efficiency."
All Three Panamera Models Deliver High Performance and Low Fuel Consumption
The Panamera is Porsche's fourth model line, joining the 911, Boxster/Cayman and Cayenne model series. It is the first premium car with an automatically shifting double-clutch transmission to feature an engine start/stop system that saves fuel and reduces emissions by turning the engine off when it is not needed, such as sitting at a stop light, for example. All engines have advanced and fuel-efficient Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), as well.
Initially offered in three versions - the 400-horsepower two-wheel drive Panamera S and all-wheel drive Panamera 4S, and the 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo - the new Panamera will provide Porsche performance and quality and a level of comfort that has been absent among true high-performance cars. All U.S. Panamera models feature a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox delivering a dynamic driving experience, ultra-fast gearshifts without the slightest interruption of engine power, a very high level of comfort for four, and outstanding fuel efficiency when compared to a conventional automatic transmission. The Panamera S, for example, consumes just 10.8 liters/100 kilometers (equal to 26.2 mpg imp) in the New European Driving Cycle (EPA fuel economy figures are not yet available).
"I always believed that Porsche would build a car like the Panamera - a car where the Porsche experience could be shared with more than just the co-pilot," said Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. "Just like with the Cayenne, we found another chance to forge a new path and create a car that did not exist: a sports car for four. Our dealers are excited because this will bring new customers, and the list of hand raisers is growing every day. Despite the tough economy, I am confident the Panamera will be a success."
Porsche Engineers Resolved Conflicting Design Priorities
>From the beginning, the Panamera project raised significant technical challenges for Porsche as it presented several engineering conflicts of interest; it had to have silhouette of a coupe, yet offer four full-size seats with a generous interior space and luggage room; it must set the performance standard in its class, yet offer best-in-class fuel efficiency; it should provide Porsche driving dynamics and performance and the comfort of a luxury sedan; and it had to have a driver's cockpit typical of a sports car and a top-quality and luxurious interior with the equipment expected in the premium sedan segment.
The Panamera body is the synthesis of lightweight technology typical of a sports car, superior comfort, generous spaciousness, and efficient aerodynamics. To create its lightweight structure, Porsche employs advanced production methods and all kinds of steel grades, light alloys like aluminum and magnesium, and plastics. In the case of the Panamera S, the result is a car that weighs just 1,800 kg, or a just over 3,990 lbs. This structure allows for two full-size, perfectly contoured rear seats that set new standards in the luxury performance class in terms of both comfort and adjustability. The Panamera also comes with a highly functional, variable luggage compartment. The rear seat backrests tilt forward individually, providing up to 44.6 cubic feet or 1,263 liters of luggage capacity.
One further visible highlight of the overall aerodynamic package and another innovation is the active four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo. Through its efficient management of control angles and surface geometry geared to driving conditions, the rear spoiler optimizes both the car's aerodynamics and performance.
Suspension Technologies Deliver On-Demand Sports Car Performance and Premium Sedan Comfort
The Panamera chassis and suspension is not a compromise between sporting performance and superior comfort, but rather a combination of the two. In its basic setting it offers a very high level of driving comfort, yet at a touch of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) button, it turns into a thoroughbred sports suspension.
Another highlight is the adaptive air suspension that can provide extra air volume on demand. An absolute innovation in automotive technology, it offers an even greater variation of sporting and comfort features and is standard on the Panamera Turbo and optional on the other models. The optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system with its two active anti-roll bars can further enhance driving dynamics and comfort.
Through the Sport Plus button, the optional Sports Chrono Packages enable the driver to choose at the touch of a button the high-performance configurations for the engine, drivetrain and suspension systems, including Porsche Traction Management (PTM ) with its fully-controlled all-wheel drive. PTM is standard on both the Panamera 4S and the Panamera Turbo.
The Panamera goes on sale at authorized U.S. Porsche dealers on Oct. 17, 2009. The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for the Panamera S is $89,800, while the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo retails for $93,800 and $132,600, respectively.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche sports cars and sport utility vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. PCNA employs approximately 180 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 202 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its 60-year history, Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than 28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world's most successful brand in sports car racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the Boxster and Cayman sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles and soon the Panamera gran turismo for the United States, strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.