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Thread: Pretty good Porsche

  1. #1
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
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    Published June 27, 2009

    Pretty good Porsche

    Porsche's new Panamera at first glance looks like a Cayenne SUV that has been flattened by a giant hand. While its appearance will take some getting used to, its drive and comfort are nothing short of outstanding. By Samuel Ee

    RARELY can a Porsche be called beautiful and the only reason why the styling of the 911 is much-loved is probably because we've had more than 40 years to get used to it.

    Visually, Porsche's first four-door grand tourer stands out by being shorter but wider and lower than the competition

    And so it appears to be the same with the new Panamera, Porsche's first four-door grand tourer which is less sedan and more five-door hatchback. At first glance, this so-called four-door sports coupe looks like a Cayenne SUV that has been flattened by a giant hand.

    However unflattering this may sound, its looks should grow on you. You may not be smitten eventually but you would probably understand that as the first limousine by the iconic German sports car maker, there was no other way it could have been designed.

    The Panamera is both historic and exciting. It is what Porsche calls a new class of car, one that is not a traditional three-box saloon but the Panamera class.

    Visually, it stands out by being shorter but wider and lower than the competition. Dynamically, it also feels more confident despite being one of the most comfortable Porsches ever developed. One reason for this is the low centre of gravity - four occupants sit close to the ground in individual sports seats. The driving position is similar to that in a 911 except that the Panamera is much bigger at 1,931 mm wide and just shy of 5.0 metres long.

    Another reason is the way the air suspension has been calibrated. In the flagship Panamera Turbo, there are three modes - Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. These are the same three options found in the 911 but in the Panamera, they have been significantly toned down, so that while Sport Plus in a Carrera 4S would have induced some stomach churning going fast on a rough patch of road, this option merely makes the Panamera Turbo feel more taut. Sport Plus in the 911 is best left for track day, while Sport Plus in the big Porsche dials in just the right amount of pliancy.

    It is the same for the other settings. Comfort in the Panamera, for example, is more comfortable than Comfort in the 911 and for the first time, you will experience noticeable body roll in a Porsche. Everything has been turned down a few notches for this Gran Turismo.

    The brilliant seven-speed Porsche double-clutch gearbox is also found in the Panamera but modified and remapped for more comfortable gear shifts. The result is that the car can cruise smoothly and quietly, or speed up urgently when the gas pedal is floored.

    When the latter is taking place, the Panamera Turbo exhibits amazing oomph. The 4.8-litre V8 has a pair of small turbos to provide linear and virtually lag-free acceleration. The big car hits 200 kmh in a snap. At 250 kmh, it feels like it is just getting warmed up and won't break any sweat reaching the stated top speed of 303 kmh. Of course, you have to first make sure you don't run out of autobahn.

    While endowing the Panamera with such excessive performance, Porsche has taken great pains to minimise fuel consumption with a direct injection engine and an auto stop-start function. When the car comes to a standstill, say at a junction, the engine is automatically switched off. As soon as the driver takes his foot off the brake pedal, the engine starts automatically. This improves fuel economy, especially in city traffic.

    But it is in the city where you will discover the Panamera's biggest disadvantage - its size. It may be a nimble car but it is still rather large. Consequently though, the cabin is extremely spacious. There are traditional Porsche touches, like the 'tube' meters with the tachometer in the centre, and non-traditional cues, such as the Vertu-like centre console with its wild proliferation of buttons.

    As a Gran Turismo, it is not surprising that the Panamera offers remarkable comfort for long cross-country jaunts at high speed.

    But what is surprising is that the ride comfort comes with typical Porsche handling. This carefully-nuanced combination of comfort and control is outstanding. So while the Panamera may not be pretty, it certainly is pretty good.


    Porsche Panamera Turbo

    Engine 4,806cc V8 turbocharged
    Transmission 7-speed PDK double-clutch
    Max power 500 hp @ 6,000 rpm
    Max torque 700 Nm @ 2,250-4,500 rpm (770 Nm with Overboost)
    0-100 kmh 4.2 secs
    0-200 kmh 13.9 secs
    Top speed 303 kmh

    Distributor Stuttgart Auto
    Tel 6363-0911

  2. #2
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006


    Published June 27, 2009

    A bigger 911

    The seat geometry and dynamism of Porsche's first four-door limousine are comparable to the 911. By Samuel Ee

    SO IS the new Panamera more like an upsized 911 or closer to a low-riding Cayenne?

    In terms of its drivetrain and design, it would seem like Porsche's first four-door limousine is a flatter version of the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle. Both are essentially five-door hatchbacks and both have V8 engines in front - either normally aspirated or turbocharged - as well as all-wheel drive (although the Panamera S is strictly rear-wheel-drive while the Panamera 4S is AWD).

    On the other hand, the 911 is a rear-engined coupe with a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine.

    But get behind the wheel of a Panamera and this large, low four-seater's seat geometry and dynamism are immediately comparable to the 911.

    On paper, the Panamera is better balanced though, with a front/rear weight distribution that is close to 50:50. Depending on the variant, the latter number ranges from 46.5 to 47.5. So in spite of its size, the Panamera handles as sweetly as a 911 Carrera. The steering is sharp and precise and allows the driver to literally flick the Panamera into a corner. Of course its length and girth will require you to work harder if you're on a tight and twisty mountain road.

    On an unrestricted stretch of autobahn though, this bulk is much appreciated. The Panamera is extremely composed at very high speeds and inspires so much confidence that you won't think twice about unleashing its potent powerplant.

    Understandably, the Panamera is a heavy car. The entry-level S weighs in at 1,800 kg and the 4S is 1,860 kg, while the Turbo has a kerb weight that is almost two tonnes.

    Although the powertrains are similar, the Panamera does not share the same platform as the Cayenne because the former is much longer. The V8 engine is also modified, with 40 per cent new components because the drive shafts have to run through the unit due to the fact that it sits lower than in the SUV. At 9.8 kg lighter, it is also 10 per cent less heavy, thanks to a new crankshaft and cylinder head, as well as the use of magnesium and aluminium.

    Also special is the Panamera's variable spoiler. Integrated into the lower end of the rear window, it is automatically deployed at 90 kmh. On the S and 4S, it is a two-way spoiler.

    On the Turbo, it is a sophisticated four-way affair - it first rises, then spreads out laterally to expand its surface area and enhance its efficiency. Both types of spoiler also change angles depending on the speed of the car to improve the Panamera's directional and tracking stability at very high speeds.

    Apart from the difference in rear spoiler, you can also spot a Turbo because of its silver-coloured side air intakes in the front fenders, and the contrasting diffuser in the rear bumper.

    But there is one very special option that can be ordered for all three variants - the high-end Burmester audio system. Its 16 speakers will pump out clear, distortion-free sounds to transform your Panamera cabin into acoustic heaven on four wheels.

    It has to be the perfect extra for the first Porsche where the exhaust note is not the top consideration.

    [email protected]


    Porsche Panamera S / 4S

    Engine 4,806cc V8
    Transmission 7-speed PDK double-clutch
    Max power 400 hp @ 6,500 rpm
    Max torque 500 Nm @ 3,500-5,000 rpm (770 Nm with Overboost)
    0-100 kmh 5.4 secs / 5.0 secs
    0-200 kmh 18.5 secs / 18.5 secs
    Top speed 283 kmh / 282 kmh

    Distributor Stuttgart Auto
    Tel 6363-0911

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    It's an ugly piece of shit.. How on earth did those people who reviewed the final prototype approved this type of hideous design.
    I expect it to go the way of the old BMW 3..which had to undergo a facelift last year as it was simply too ugly

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