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Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote
Toby Hagon, drive.com.au, June 22, 2009
   
It may not be attractive, but Porscheís first four-door sports car, the Panamera, makes a bold Ė and fast - statement on the road.


The Porsche Panamera is not a 911 in the way it drives. Thatís no surprise given the Panamera was designed to seat four adults, weighs up to two tonnes and has a V8 engine up front.

It will also no doubt come as a relief to the 911 owners who see their car as one that matches its pace with unrivalled character.

Itís not often our first experience of a car comes from the back seat, but given the Panameraís promise of delivering luxury car comfort and space it seemed the logical starting point.

Unusually, the shape of the rear seats is almost identical to those in the front, with a deep bucket hugging larger frames and providing the sort of lateral support that minimises the need to swing from the overhead grabs or grasp the door handles.

Leg room is respectable, although short of the standards set by some of the larger limousines the Panamera has aspirations of tackling. And with the front seats set far back, space begins to get tight for adults.

No problems with head room, though, which is surprisingly generous. Tall Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking stipulated his 1.9m-plus frame must sit comfortably and still have the width of his fist between his head and the roof.

Itís also reasonably quiet, although our cars were fitted with double glazed windows that will cost extra.

Being chauffeured gave me my first taste of the V8 engine, too, which was rumbling with the sort of intent that suggested its relaxed 160km/h cruise on a German autobahn was akin to asking Makybe Diva to break into a trot.

The rest of my 500km taste test of the Panamera would come from the front seat.

From the moment you sit inside itís clear Porsche wanted the different exterior to flow through to the inteior.

The car-shaped key may be gimmicky, but itís at least unique and embodies the notion of attention to detail.

Between the front seat is a sloped centre console housing dozens of chrome-tipped buttons to control major functions such as the electronic handling aids, transmissions settings and air-conditioning. It climbs gradually to a colour screen for the satellite-navigation and other major functions.


 Thereís enough traditional touches to ensure familiarity for previous Porsche owners.

The instrument cluster puts the tachometer front and centre as the most prominent in a cluster of five circular gauges. A digital speed complements the analogue one, which optimistically reads to 350km/h (the slowest Panamera reaches 282km/h while the Turbo tops out at 303km/h).

One of the gauges is a colour screen that displays anything from trip computer information or the air pressure in each tyre to audio system settings and the satellite-navigation maps.

The sweep of the dash has a hint of modern Jaguar, especially when woodgrain trim is chosen from the vast assortment of trims, colours and options.

Getting comfortable is also easy. An electrically adjustable steering wheel shifts for rake and reach, while the seat slides down low, helping make the driver feel at one with the car.

On paper, the Turbo is the Grand Daddy, so it seemed a good one to start with. The flagship Turbo musters 368kW of power and 700Nm of torque. Itís good enough to launch the bulky four-door to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.

Choose the Sport Chrono pack Ė which includes a chronograph lap timer on the dash and some fancy electronics to incorporate more aggressive gear shifts and a F1-style launch control system Ė and it will make the same dash in 4.0 seconds.

I tried the launch control on a damp road and the Panamera Turbo hunkered down and hooked up with amazing ease and ferocity.

Itís seriously brutal in the way it thumps you into the seats; even when youíre expecting it you canít stop your head from flipping back in response to the G forces, with the four-wheel-drive system working with the traction control system to minimise wheelspin and maximise accelerative forces.

Once under way, though, thereís nothing but a smooth surge of energy accompanied by a deep, dastardly burble of a sweet-revving V8.

The V8 drives through a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission (Porsche calls it PDK).

Regular starts typically involve second gear (a steep hill or faster start will engage first gear), which is fed on smoothly. Itís as though the weight of the Panamera has helped dampen some of the slow-speed jerkiness of this new breed of twin-clutch autos.

In traffic, too, the engine will often shut down when stopped (if youíre running maximum air-conditioning it sometimes restarts automatically soon afterwards) in an effort to save fuel. Itís smooth and well modulated, with only a slight change in the fan speed as it adjusts to the different electricity flow.

As Porsche has stuck with hydraulic power steering (rather than the electric systems becoming more common because of their benefits with fuel economy) the steering is unmovable when the engine is off.

Lifting your foot off the brake automatically restarts the engine, although a fast start can lead to a short hesitation as it fires to life and grabs first gear.

Gear changes are fast and seamless, with only the dropping of the tacho needle and change in engine note an indication that cogs have swapped.

Porsche has clearly tuned the PDK auto for smoothness, with less of the aggressiveness evident in the 911 and Boxster/Cayman autos when driven hard.

Left in standard mode, the transmission sometimes feels too lethargic on light throttle applications, accentuating the weight of the car. Itís not lazy, it just requires an extra squeeze to initiate a downchange.

Weight is always evident in the Panamera. Itís almost refreshing to see not even Porsche can disguise the best part of two tonnes.

It always feels like a big, heavy vehicle Ė not the least of which because of the expansive nose that contributes to the five-metre length (longer than a Ford Falcon or Toyota LandCruiser).

The dimensions and low-slung seating position can make it challenging to manoeuvre in tight streets or parking spots. Thankfully the addition of front and rear parking sensors as well as a tight 10.8m turning circle work to assist the driver.

But thereís no denying the ability and cornering grip of the Panamera. It feels solid and hunkered to the road.

In typical Porsche style, steering is well weighted and communicative, building resistance as speed increased.

The brakes, too, stand up well to the task of washing off speed of a large vehicle; theyíre massive discs with huge front calipers, but even then you can option more potent carbon-ceramic brakes.

Arguably the standout for the Panamera is its luxury car ride comfort. We only tried cars with the air suspension system thatís standard on the Turbo model but optional on the S and 4S. Itís supple and smooth, disposing of imperfections beautifully and with genuine grace.

Only road grates and other bumps with sharp edges caught the suspension out, with the big wheels falling clumsily into them and making a less than flattering clunk.

In its most comfortable mode (the suspension has three settings, Comfort, Sport and stiffer Sport Plus that also lowers the body by 25mm) the body can lean more in corners and is not as sharp in its recovery after bumps. Itís suited for pondering around town or cruising on a freeway.

Sport mode is a good compromise for spirited driving or more challenging roads, better controlling the big hatch body and helping settle in more assertively.

Even in Sport Plus mode Ė a setting usually best left for race tracks on the 911 Ė the ride is still amazingly compliant. Thereís a firmness to it but itís not uncomfortable.

That could partly come down to the tyres. Each car we drove had either 19- or 20-inch (non turbo models will get 18-inch wheels) Michelin tyres, which hold the road brilliantly.

The only criticism of the wheels and tyres is that the bulk of the Panamera when viewed in profile makes them look smaller than they are.

While the Turbo is the performance king of the Panamera line-up Ė for now, at least Ė- the regular V8 is far from undernourished and includes all that burbly V8 sound that adds to the character.

The 4.8-litre V8 produces 294kW and can accelerate the 1.9 tonne four-wheel-drive Panamera S to 100km/h in five seconds.

While the regular V8 lacks the extra surge of the Turbo, it still has the enthusiasm to explore its upper rev range. Thereís also plenty of V8 roar accompanying progress.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Porsche Panamera: The family
Porsche Panamera S

Price: $270,200, plus on-road costs
Engine: 4.8-litre V8
Power: 294kW at 6500rpm
Torque: 500Nm at 3500-5000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK automatic, rear-wheel-drive
0-100km/h: 5.6 seconds (manual), 5.4 seconds (auto), 5.2 seconds with Sport Chrono pack
Top speed: 283km/h
Weight: 1770kg
Fuel consumption: 12.5L/100km (manual), 10.8L/100km (auto)
CO2 emissions: 293g/km (auto), 253g/km (auto)

Standard features: 18-inch alloy wheels, stop-start function, six airbags, stability control, tyre pressure monitoring system, tyre repair kit, satellite-navigation, 14-speaker Bose sound system, six-stack CD with iPod functionality, Bluetooth phone connection, sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, electrically opening tailgate, xenon active headlights, climate control air-conditioning, split-fold rear seats, partial leather seats,

Major options: 19/20-inch wheels, Sport Chrono pack (with launch control), Air suspension, dynamic chassis system, 16-speaker Burmester sound system, keyless starting system, 4-zone air-conditioning, electric rear seats, woodgrain trim


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Porsche Panamera 4S

Price: $282,400, plus on-road costs
Engine: 4.8-litre V8
Power: 294kW at 6500rpm
Torque: 500Nm at 3500-5000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed PDK automatic, four-wheel-drive
0-100km/h: 5.0 seconds, 4.8 seconds with Sport Chrono pack
Top speed: 282km/h
Weight: 1860kg
Fuel consumption: 11.1L/100km
CO2 emissions: 260g/km

Standard features: 18-inch alloy wheels, stop-start function, six airbags, stability control, tyre pressure monitoring system, tyre repair kit, satellite-navigation, 14-speaker Bose sound system, six-stack CD with iPod functionality, Bluetooth phone connection, sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, electrically opening tailgate, xenon active headlights, climate control air-conditioning, split-fold rear seats, partial leather seats

Major options: 19/20-inch wheels, Sport Chrono pack (with launch control), air suspension, dynamic chassis system, 16-speaker Burmester sound system, keyless starting system, 4-zone air-conditioning, electric rear seats, woodgrain trim


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Price: $364,900, plus on-road costs
Engine: 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 368kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 700Nm (770Nm with overboost function as part of Sport Chrono pack) at 2250-4500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed PDK automatic, four-wheel-drive
0-100km/h: 4.2 seconds, 4.0 seconds with Sport Chrono pack
Top speed: 303km/h
Weight: 1970kg
Fuel consumption: 12.2L/100km
CO2 emissions: 286g/km

Standard features: 19-inch alloy wheels, air suspension, dynamic chassis system, keyless starting system, woodgrain trim, stop-start function, six airbags, stability control, tyre pressure monitoring system, tyre repair kit, satellite-navigation, 14-speaker Bose sound system, six-stack CD with iPod functionality, Bluetooth phone connection, sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, electrically opening tailgate, xenon active headlights, climate control air-conditioning, split-fold rear seats, full leather seats

Major options: Sport Chrono pack (with launch control), 20-inch alloy wheels, 16-speaker Burmester sound system, 4-zone air-conditioning, electric rear seats

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=63854&vf=26&IsPgd=0



Offline TTz

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I'll wait for the new M5 with 4.4ltr TT - would sir like the 420kw version ?
[url=http://aussieexotics.com/forum/lamborghini/mr-White-



Offline trev0006

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Porsche Panamera 0-60 in 3.8 seconds in the turbo version.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA_uxC3wYD0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA_uxC3wYD0</a>
Fast cars and fast motorcycle video collection



Offline flamestone

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Check out the rear wing action at about the 2:50 mark!!!



Online cel

Check out the rear wing action at about the 2:50 mark!!!

 :eek: pretty fancy!



Offline STi Nut


  • Joined: Sep 2006

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  • Location: Adelaide
I got to say, photos don't do it anything.... but just had a look at some video reviews, AutoCar have one aswell and i got to say i think i like it  :p Then again i am one of the few that actually thing the cayenne looks good aswell  :scared:



Offline app


  • Joined: Sep 2008

  • Location: Adelaide
I got to say, photos don't do it anything.... but just had a look at some video reviews, AutoCar have one aswell and i got to say i think i like it  :p Then again i am one of the few that actually thing the cayenne looks good aswell  :scared:

im the same, at first i hated the cayenne, but i dont know what it is that makes me love it...i certainly love the ones that are lowered with 22" black rims :thumbsup:

no one gets why i like them, but i do so thats all that matters :p



Offline Ferrari Fissatore

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Check out the rear wing action at about the 2:50 mark!!!

yeah... 19 years on and it's SLIGHTLY more cool than the ~1990 Lancia Thema 8.32

 :rolleyes:



Offline mondi

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im the same, at first i hated the cayenne, but i dont know what it is that makes me love it...i certainly love the ones that are lowered with 22" black rims :thumbsup:

no one gets why i like them, but i do so thats all that matters :p

Your just sick!!!!!



Offline Ferrari Fissatore

  • Soap Dodger

  • Joined: Jan 2007

  • Drives: its obsession
  • Location: under its skin
yeah... 19 years on and it's SLIGHTLY more cool than the ~1990 Lancia Thema 8.32

 :rolleyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRTd4Gi_3jI

and I was wrong... Thema came out in 1987... so Porsche have taken 22 years to come up with their version.....  :tilt:



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