What happens when Porsche owners have kids? They can’t really go for a family day-out in a 911, so in their wisdom, Porsche came up with the four-door, four-seat Panamera.
The original fastback from 2009 took the performance and design synonymous with the Porsche brand and applied it to a comfortable luxury saloon shape.
With more than 150,000 units sold over seven years, the concept was a hit and now, an all-new Panamera is on the way.
Completely redeveloped from the ground up, the second generation Panamera introduces revised all-wheel drive engines, refined design and new technology to keep the super saloon ahead of rivals such as Maserati’s Quattroporte and Aston Martin Rapide.
Those new engines sees the Panamera Turbo get a 30bhp upgrade on its predecessor – now 542hp – while the Panamera 4S’ 433hp output remains unchanged. Porsche hasn’t confirmed just how quick this makes it, but expect a 0-62mph dash of around four seconds
The original Panamera looked like a 911 that had been pulled from both ends – Stretch Armstrong-style – and this remains the case. Its coupe-like roof line is emphasised by a new side window and we feel that the Panamera looks less awkward in its skin this time round.
The car’s dimensions have been spread larger than before with 5mm added to its width and height, on top of a more significant 35mm length extension.
A longer car should mean improvements to its already supple ride comfort. Its agile handling is bolstered by a new assistance system, including new three-chamber air suspension, rear axle steering, and a new electronic chassis management system.
Inside, there’s a future-oriented display and control concept with an intuitive smartphone-like user interface and configurable LED screens.
Porsche has opted to streamline production for the Panamera this time. Originally, the process was scattered across Germany with the engines assembled in Stuttgart, and the body built and painted in Hannover, before final assembly took place in Leipzig. A €500 million (£417.8m) investment from Porsche in its Leipzig plant means that the entire process will be taking place there.
The new Panamera will go on sale this autumn with prices starting from around £88,000.
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