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Car reviews - Porsche - Panamera - range

Launch Story

4 Sep 2009

PORSCHE will offer Australian buyers the first sedan in the company’s 59-year history – and its most expensive car – when the Panamera arrives here on October 3.

With three model choices, the Panamera opens with the rear-wheel-drive $270,200, S propelled by the naturally aspirated 294kW/500Nm 4.8-litre V8 with a six-speed manual gearbox (or the PDK seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as a no-cost option).

This engine and the PDK transmission are shared by the next model up the ladder, the all-wheel-drive $282,400 Panamera 4S (the six-speed manual is not available on 4S), which also gets the same coil-spring suspension with aluminium front double-wishbone front and multi-link rear axle.

Both cars are shod with 18-inch alloy wheels on 245/50 ZR 18 tyres up front and 275/45 ZR 18 rubber at the back.

The 4S also includes the Porsche Traction Management active all-wheel-drive system with electronic and map-controlled multi-plate clutch, an automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation function.

The premium Panamera is the $364,900 Panamera Turbo, with a twin-turbocharged version of the 4.8-litre V8 with outputs of 368kW/700Nm and the PDK seven-speed transmission as standard.

The Turbo features Porsche Traction Management and adaptive air suspension with a load-levelling system and adjustable ride height (also optional for S and 4S). The Turbo also has Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control, which includes a differential lock.

A Sports Chrono option across the range enhances transmission shift points, and in the case of the turbo, gives another 70Nm of torque for brief periods. This system includes Porsche Launch Control which shaves acceleration times by 0.2sec.

Next year, the Panamera range will gain an entry-level 220kW 3.6-litre V6 petrol-powered model.

The Panamera is built on a new platform that measures 4970mm long, 1418mm high and 1931mm wide, and features a galvanised shell using a high-strength steel or aluminium. The bonnet, doors, tailgate and quarter panels are aluminium.

Performance figures are, as you might expect, impressive. The S with PDK reaches 100km/h in a claimed 5.6 seconds (5.4 with Sports Chrono package), the 4S in 5.0 seconds (or 4.8 seconds with the Sports Chrono package). The S’s top speed is 283km/h. (4S: 282km/h), while the combined fuel consumption figure is 10.8L/100km (4S: 11.1) and CO2 emissions at 253g/km (4S: 260).

The flagship Turbo will reach 100km/h in 4.2 seconds (4.0 seconds with Sports Chrono), 160km/h in 9.0 seconds, and 200km/h in 13.9, with a top speed of 300km/h. Its combined fuel consumption and CO2 ratings are 12.2L/100km and 286g/km.

Front brakes across the range have six-piston aluminium monobloc callipers working on ventilated, grooved and cross-drilled discs. Rear brakes are four-piston aluminium monobloc callipers grabbing ventilated and grooved discs.

The Panamera Turbo has 390mm front discs and 350mm rears, compared with the 360mm front and 330mm rears on the S and 4S.

Other standard features include Porsche’s new engine stop-start (on PDK-equipped models only), a three-way electronic damper control system, stability control, engine drag torque control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, trailer stabilisation function and hill-holder.

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