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First look inside: Panamera performance revealed

Four with more: Porsche's flagship Panamera Turbo will have a twin-turbo V8.

Porsche releases Panamera details, including prices and first interior images

13 Feb 2009

PORSCHE has made the unexpected move of revealing the three final, and most important, details of its all-new Panamera grand tourer even before it makes its global public premiere at Auto Shanghai 2009 in China on April 19.

Full pricing and performance details for the V8 engines with which it will initially be launched, as well as full interior images, have now been revealed for the first time – a whole seven months before Porsche’s first four-seat, four-door sportscar (and fourth model line) goes on sale in Germany from September 12 – and in Australia in October.

The good news is the $364,900 Panamera Turbo flagship, with twin-turbocharger V8 and seven-speed PDK twin-clutch automated manual transmission, will be cheaper than Porsche’s equivalent top-shelf 911 Turbo coupe, which packs a twin-turbo boxer six and costs $369,100 in six-speed Tiptronic S auto guise ($361,100 as a manual).

Comparisons between the Panamera and 911 become more difficult at the lower end of the range, particularly because Porsche has not revealed details or pricing for the entry-level V6 sedan that is expected to simply be known as the Panamera.

However, while the least expensive 911 Carrera coupe, powered by a 3.6-litre flat six, costs $219,300 or $226,300 with PDK and the more powerful (3.8-litre) Carrera S costs $248,100 (PDK: $255,100), the V8-engined Panamera S is the entry-level model for now, at $270,200.

25 center image Similarly, the Panamera 4S, which employs the same naturally-aspirated V8 as the S but like both Turbo models adds all-wheel drive, is priced $12,200 higher at $282,400 – $10,200 more than the 911 Carrera 4S PDK ($272,200).

Meantime, full engine and performance details reveal that although the top-shelf Panamera Turbo will not match the 911 Turbo’s pace, the top-shelf Panamera will nonetheless be quick with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of just 4.2 seconds in standard PDK form – half a second slower than the auto 911 Turbo at 3.7 seconds (3.9 for the manual).

Porsche has confirmed that Panamera Turbo power comes from a direct-injection twin-turbo 4.8-litre V8 sourced from the Cayenne SUV but modified to fit in the company’s sleek new sedan.

In this case it delivers 368kW or a neat 500hp, which is the same as the $234,000 Cayenne Turbo, but less than the 404kW power peak afforded by the $277,800 Cayenne Turbo S.

Nevertheless, it’s still enough to propel the flagship Panamera to a 303km/h top speed and return combined EU5 fuel consumption of 12.2L/100km and average CO2 emissions of 286g/km.

The Panamera S, meantime, packs a 294kW version of the 283kW V8 found in the Cayenne S ($144,500) and in standard PDK guise sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 283km/h. Fuel consumption is stated at 10.8L/100km and CO2 emissions at 253g/km.

Inexplicably, the AWD-equipped Panamera 4S, powered by the same atmo V8, is officially quicker to 100km/h than the rear-drive S at five seconds flat, and is practically as fast with a 282km/h top speed. Fuel consumption and emissions are listed at a respective 11.1L/100km and 260g/km.

Apart from revised V8 engines, new powertrain technology includes Porsche’s new Auto Start Stop (idle-stop) function, which automatically switches off the engine when the Panamera is stationary and the brakes are applied, such as at traffic lights or in traffic jams.

While Porsche revealed the first action shots and basic drivetrain details on January 5, a range of interior images now reveal the Panamera’s sumptuous new cabin for the first time.

The pictures lift the lid on an all-new dashboard design that features a subtly hooded instrument binnacle, central 911-style Sports Chrono gauge and, in this case, a blue leather-clad large, flat upper surface.

The model depicted features a light cream-coloured lower section and grey woodgrain trim on the front side, which extends to the door trims and houses a large central colour TFT screen flanked by two large central air-vents and underlined by the major menu buttons.

Behind a new three-spoke blue leather-clad steering wheel with alloy PDK shift toggles, there’s a new take on Porsche’s trademark five-gauge overlapping ‘scallop’ layout. To the left of the large, central 7000rpm-redline tacho is a 330km/h speedo and oil pressure/temp gauges, while on the right there’s a colour information screen and fuel/temp gauges.

The most interesting feature, however, is the full-length centre console, which at the front-end houses the dual-zone (and optional four-zone) climate-control panel and, surrounding the PDK shift gate, an array of controls for functions like seat heating, the Sport and Sport Plus auto modes, variable damping, rear wing override and the automatic handbrake.

The images also reveal the all-important twin rear bucket seats, separated by the single continuous centre console and featuring large fixed head restraints, a decent amount of legroom, twin central and outboard B-pillar mounted air-vents and even a pair of optional rear DVD screens on the front seatbacks.

Porsche has revealed the Panamera’s boot will swallow up to 445 litres (432 for the Turbo), or the equivalent of four suitcases, extending to a sizeable 1250 litres with the rear seats folded. Standard features will Bluetooth phone connectivity and a Universal Audio Interface for iPods and the like.

The Panamera will come with twin front, front-side, side curtain and front-knee airbags, plus a myriad of individual interior options – comprising 13 colour and material combinations (including four two-tone leather interiors) and a further seven trims from carbon-fibre to Natural Olive wood.

Apart from revealing local pricing, Porsche Cars Australia (PCA) has also confirmed all Panamera variants will come as standard with the PDK transmission here, as well as 14-way power-adjustable front seats with a steering wheel-inclusive memory function. Adaptive Sport Seats with 18-way power adjustment will be optional up front, along with eight-way power-adjustable rear seats.

Another key option to debut on the Panamera is an “ultra high end” 16-speaker sound system from Berlin-based audio manufacturer Burmester, which belts out a staggering 1000 Watts and features an active sub-woofer, 300-Watt Class D amplifier and no less than 2.4 square-metres of interior sound membranes.

Entry-level V6 and petrol-electric hybrid versions of the Panamera are expected to be revealed at a later stage.

2009 Porsche Panamera pricing:
Panamera S (a) $270,200
Panamera 4S (a) $282,400
Panamera Turbo (a) $364,900

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