Porsche Panamera official

Time 11:26 am, November 25, 2008

porsche panamera officialPORSCHE has unveiled its four-seat, four-door GT sports car – the Panamera.

The all-new car, producing up to 500bhp, will be in dealer’s showrooms from late summer 2009.

There will be no mistaking Porsche’s fourth model line, which, at 4970mm long, 1931mm wide and 1418mm high, is almost as long as a Mercedes S-Class… and even wider!

But only as tall as a MINI.

It continues the Porsche family look, but includes a surprise at the rear. For there is a hatchback tailgate, supporting what Porsche describes as a ‘generous and variable interior’.

The maker also says it will have a ‘variable space concept’, which we presume means a flexible grand tourer-style boot. Porsche dealers can expect a matching bespoke luggage range for aftersales to sell.

Inside, there is a ‘pilot feeling’ for four. Those in the rear have similarly ergonomic and adjustable seats to front-seat occupants. The rear seats also fold.

Porsche says power comes from a range of direct injection V6 and V8 engines. As it is said to be based on the Cayenne, we can assume these are 3.6-litre V6 and 4.8-litre V8, the latter offered in non-turbo and 500bhp turbo guise.

We also wouldn’t be surprised to see the recently announced Cayenne diesel engine make it into the Panamera.

Both rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive are available. There is a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed semi-auto PDK gearboxes.

Porsche also plans a hybrid version of the Panamera, which it describes as ‘particularly fuel-efficient’. More details of this car will be revealed next spring.

Porsche estimates worldwide annual sales of 20,000. How many of those will come to the credit-crunched UK remains to be seen. But the brand-new Porsche is nevertheless a dramatic statement of intent from the highly profitable company.

Rival makers, including Aston Martin, which has the Rapide rival on the drawing board, will be watching it with interest…

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