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Thursday, 12 February 2009

Porsche Panamera reveals it has more to offer than a new face

When you bet everything you have on one skill you have, you may end up in trouble if that single skill is not needed anymore. This is why people and companies try to have more than one talent. Porsche is known for its sportscars, but it felt it had to be more versatile. Hence the Cayenne, a high performance SUV, indeed, but an SUV. Now the German company will have a family car. Once again, a high performance (wealthy) family car, but nonetheless... The car's name is Panamera, as you already know. What you did not know was the car's interior. And it is as impressive as the outside.

The front seats have eight electric adjustments and the rear seats can also have some as an optional. The leather in these seats can have 13 different patterns, four of them in bi-colour combinations. Interior trim can also be ordered in seven different ways, ranging from carbon fibre to olive and other sorts of noble woods.

Safety is assured by airbags all over the car: front, side, curtain and even knee airbags. The individual back seats can also have side airbags, if the owner of the car is willing to pay for them.

The steering column is also electrically adjustable, what does not end all the comfort features of this five-door coupe. The air-conditioning system can be individually adjusted in each seat of the car both in temperature and in the wind speed.

People who love audio systems besides the roar of a V8 engine will be pleased to know Burmester has created the High-End Surround Sound System for Panamera. It features 2,400 cm² of sound membranes all over the car, divided in 16 loudspeakers controlled by 16 amplifier channels with more than 1,000 W. An active subwoofer with a 300 W Class D amplifier completes the sound package.

The baggage compartment has different sizes, depending on the version of the car. For S and 4S versions, it can hold 445 l. For the Turbo version, it can carry 432 l. Porsche has already said Panamera would have a 450 l luggage compartment, but this must be the capacity for the entry-level Panamera, which will be equipped by a 300 bhp 3.6-litre V6.

S, 4S and Turbo, the first versions to be sold, will come with a 4.8-litre V8. S and 4S will count on 400 bhp (294 kW). S has a six-speed manual gearbox fitted to this engine and is a rear wheel drive car, but there is also the option of a seven-speed automated dual clutch manual transmission, named by Porsche PDK. With this gearbox, Panamera S reaches 283 km/h and goes from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.4 s. Panamera 4S, which is a standard PDK all wheel drive car, reaches a lower top speed, 282 km/h, but accelerates faster: 5 s until 100 km/h.

Impressive numbers, but nothing compares to Panamera Turbo, with its 500 bhp (368 kW) 4.8-litre V8 biturbo petrol engine. It also counts on PDK and AWD as standard features and can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 s, with a top speed of 303 km/h.

Prices for these Panamera are respectively 94,575 euros for the S with manual gearbox, 98,085.50 euros for the S with PDK, 102,251 euros for the 4S and 135,154 euros for the Turbo.

Sales will start after the official presentation of the car, in April, at AutoShanghai in China.


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