The sports car among luxury saloons returns with revolutionary design and tech
Manila. The first generation of the Porsche’s luxury four-door sedan made an auspicious debut at the 13th Auto Shanghai International Motor Show in 2009. Filling the need for a distinctly Porsche vehicle bestowed with space, luxury, and everyday usability, the Panamera helped open the door for a wider appreciation of the Stuttgart-based super car brand and its sporty heritage.
Now, the much-awaited all-new iteration of the vehicle named after the famous Carrera Panamericana competition – a border-to-border race on Mexico’s open roads which ran in the early 1950s – arrives in Manila.
Rather than a gradual evolution, the all-new Panamera marks a revolutionary step in design and performance. Unveiled in Berlin, Germany in June last year, the second iteration is simultaneously longer (by 35 millimeters), wider (by 5 mm), and taller (by 5 mm) than its predecessor. While promising more room and better ergonomics, the Panamera strikes a more sportscar-like profile than before. Porsche’s designers have nixed the old hatchback-like shape in favor of lines that more directly connect the Panamera to its smaller, iconic sibling in the 911.
Initially available in the Philippines is the potent Panamera Turbo variant. Armed with a potent 4.0-liter V8 supplying a hefty 550hp and 769Nm, the vehicle speeds from standstill to 100 km/h in a mere 3.6 seconds (or 3.4 seconds with Sport Chrono). Quick, robust performance is made possible via an eight-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung or double clutch) transmission. A top track speed of 306 km/h has been recorded.
While given a decidedly sportier exterior and commensurate ability, the all-new Panamera continues to reflect the Porsche passion for technology and innovation expressed in the company mantra of “Porsche Intelligent Performance” even within its spacious cabin.
The Panamera’s dashboard has been redesigned thoroughly into the paradigm of the Porsche Advanced Cockpit, with touch-sensitive glass surfaces supplanting traditional buttons. Meanwhile, a centrally mounted tachometer symbolizes a tipping of the hat to the historic 1955 Porsche 356 A. Instead of analog instrumentation, the Panamera takes motorists and their passengers to the future with high-tech accoutrements and appointments such as a couple of seven-inch high-definition displays, and 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apply CarPlay capability, and new voice control system.
The same level of technology is employed in the name of safety and driving convenience. For instance, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) regulates the speed of the Panamera fully independently in line with the speed of the vehicle in front. Radar sensors on the front end scan the road ahead. Additionally, Porsche InnoDrive* assists in a completely new way by predictively optimizing vehicle speed. With the aid of high-resolution navigation data and information supplied by the radar and video sensors, the system determines speed limits and topographical road features, such as gradients or corner radii, along the route before the vehicle reaches them – and modifies the gearshift strategy and speed of the Panamera accordingly.
The driving feel can be adjusted with a press of the Sport button. Depending on the mode, the system selects the optimum parameters for engine management and gear selection, including coasting and deceleration.
Porsche touts the Panamera as a vehicle able to deliver both sportiness and comfort – whether on a frenetic sprint around a racetrack or a long journey for a party of four. The multi-function sports steering wheel perhaps reflects this ethos of being both ready for a spirited drive and a comfortable one (with an intuitive complement of switches).
Elegant optional ambient lighting with rear interior lighting bathes the cabin of the Panamera with indirect, non-glare glow. Choose from an amazing seven lighting colours with customizable intensity. Buyers also get the luxury of choice via Porsche’s customization program. Materials, colours, combinations, and themes are totally left to the imagination of customers.
“Like many car enthusiasts out there, I am immensely elated with the arrival of the all-new Porsche Panamera in the country,” said Porsche Center Philippines head Roberto Coyiuto III. “It’s clearly head and shoulders above the competition in all aspects — reflecting the best of what Porsche is known for.” Coyiuto added that other variants of the Panamera, such as the Panamera (V6) and the Panamera 4S, will brought into local showrooms as well.