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Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com

Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com

Porsche Panamera drives into Australia's heart

A cross-country trek in the controversial new Panamera exposes Australia's quirky heart.

It's the type of assignment that makes you a little sheepish about collecting your pay. I was to spend three days in a new sports car driving through spectacular country to one of the world's most picturesque destinations.

The car in question was the Porsche Panamera; the route Alice Springs to Cape Tribulation.

To prove its vehicles could withstand the most hostile of climates and roads, Porsche organised a 33-day, 17,000-kilometre trial around Australia. A series of drivers was to pilot two different Panameras along the course. My leg stretched for 2500 kilometres, much of it through open plains and red sands in the arid heart of the country.

While the equipment was new, the concept was well tested. In 1953, a Porsche 356 competed in the Redex round-Australia trials, covering essentially the same roads we were to drive on. And until the Northern Territory Government abolished its open speed limit, German engineers used to travel to the outback for high-speed, hot-weather testing out of Alice Springs.

But endurance, rather than speed, was the name of the game for our little expedition. How would the Panamera stack up?

On first impressions, the vehicle waiting for us in our Alice Springs hotel car park resembled a beast more than a beauty. The four-door Porsche has a challenging profile. It looks something like a 911 that refused to give in to its Spanish inquisitors while strapped to the rack. With bulky rear haunches and a roofline that is more station wagon than sports car, the Panamera is a slow burner when it comes to physical attraction.

It does, however, look menacingly sexy in a rear-view mirror. From behind, it also has a strong, undeniably Porsche presence. And let's face it, other drivers are going to see more of the front and rear of a Porsche than the side view.

If looks aren't the Panamera's strong point, personality is. The cabin ambience is undeniably Porsche, with its racy sports-car dials, body-hugging seats and more leather than an '80s heavy-metal concert. It also has rear legroom, a concept completely foreign to most German sports cars.

After a quick briefing on the myriad driver aids on our two models an optioned-up $290,110 Panamera S and a $380,950 Panamera Turbo we were soon purring down the Stuart Highway out of Alice.

more: http://www.theage.com.au/drive/motor-news/porsche-panamera-drives-into-australias-heart-20091015-gyie.html

Offline mhh

  • Chief Test Pilot

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Location: Adelaide
Never mind the car - I'd love to do that drive.  :thumbsup:

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