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Panamera specs revealed

Gizmos aplenty: The Porsche Panemera will offer the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as a no-cost option on the range opener.

Porsche releases full Oz specifications for Panamera three months ahead of launch

22 Jun 2009

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in GERMANY

PORSCHE has revealed the final Australian-delivery specification details of its upcoming Panamera sedan.

On sale from October 2, almost a month after Europe, the rear-wheel drive $270,200 S range opener will include the PDK seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as a no-cost alternative to the six-speed manual gearbox, making this the only model to offer the latter until the cheaper, 220kW 3.6-litre V6 petrol-powered Panamera model premieres next year.

Other standard items include Porsche’s new and de-activatable idle-stop engine cut-out fuel-saving device, a three-way electronic damper control system, stability control, engine drag torque control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, trailer stabilisation function and hill-holder.

Both the S and its $12,200 more expensive, all-wheel-drive sibling, the $282,400 Panamera 4S, share the standard, non-air suspended steel suspension structure as part of the aluminium double-wishbone front and aluminium multi-link rear axle system, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels rolling on 245/50 ZR 18 tyres up front and 275/45 ZR 18 rubber in the rear.

However, as with the range-topping, $364,900 Panamera Turbo, the 4S also includes the Porsche Traction Management active all-wheel drive with electronic and map-controlled multi-plate clutch, an automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation function.

But the Turbo is alone in including adaptive air suspension with a load-levelling system and adjustable ride height as standard (it is available as a cost option on the lesser models), along with Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control, which includes a differential lock.

The S and 4S share the same, Cayenne SUV-derived naturally aspirated 294kW/500Nm 4.8-litre V8 petrol that boasts up to 40 per cent new parts in its transition into the Panamera, for it to clear the sedan’s significantly lower bonnet as well as achieve the lowest centre of gravity possible.

Yet alterations to the torque management and delivery systems see the 80kg heavier 4S actually better the 1800kg S PDK’s official acceleration times, but not top speed.

For the record, the S PDK sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 5.4 seconds (4S: 5.0 seconds – or 4.8 seconds with the optional Sports Chrono Package Plus), on its way to a top speed of 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).

25 center imageInterestingly, the ‘blown’ Panamera’s twin-turbocharged version of this engine has more parts commonality with the equivalent Cayenne Turbo (about 70 per cent), and produces an identical 368kW and 700Nm.

Porsche would not confirm if the Cayenne Turbo S’ 440kW/750Nm powerplant would find its way into the Panamera Turbo, but an overboost facility provides an extra 70Nm of torque for brief periods when the optional Sports Chrono Package Turbo pack is picked anyway.

Regardless of this, the existing Panamera flagship will still streak to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, 160km/h in 9.0 seconds, 200km/h in 13.9, and top 300km/h. Its combined fuel and CO2 ratings are 12.2L/100km and 286g/km respectively.

All models’ brakes consist of six-piston aluminium monobloc callipers working on ventilated, grooved and cross-drilled discs up front, and a set of four-piston aluminium monobloc callipers connected to ventilated and grooved disc out back.

But the Panamera Turbo trumps its naturally aspirated siblings in the size and colour of its stoppers, gaining 390mm front and 350mm red discs compared to the 360mm front and 330mm rear silver items found on the S and 4S.

Built on an all-new platform that has surprisingly little adjustability for other uses but can be easily adaptable should other manufacturers need a similarly sized high-performance sports sedan, the Panamera is 4970mm long, 1418mm high and 1931mm wide, and uses a fully galvanised body shell in either high-strength steel or aluminium. You will find the latter in the bonnet, doors, tailgate and quarter panels.

Porsche says it uses steel in specially selected areas because of its better suitability and strength compared to most alternatives.

Colour coordinated air intakes and diffusers are some of the few real visual separators amongst the threesome, with the Turbo showing larger, more finned and metallic looking items, but the Panamera’s piece de resistance when it comes to air resistance is the Turbo’s world-first four-way rear spoiler that deploys out and upwards to provide downforce.

The Panamera project engineer Andreas Jaksch told GoAuto that this proved to be a huge challenge to create, but helps the Turbo achieve an aerodynamic figure of 0.30Cd – a remarkable effort for a vehicle with as much high-speed downforce capability as this.

A more conventional two-way rear spoiler is applied on the pauper Panameras (Cd: 0.29), while all models are aided in their slippery quests by a flat and smooth underbody construction.

Sticking out from behind on all three vehicles is a pair of dual-tube stainless steel and brushed tail pipes.

Porsche is specifying privacy glass on the rear windows, and an 80-litre fuel tank on the naturally aspirated Panameras, some 20 litres short on the one straddling the rear seat and rear structure in the Turbo. All also have 15 litres extra in reserve.

The Panamera will come with twin front, front-side, side curtain and front-knee airbags, an active bonnet feature for reduced pedestrian-impact trauma, rollover sensors for earlier airbag deployment, tyre pressure monitors, variable ratio rack and pinion steering, and an engine immobiliser.

Bi-Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights with automatic dynamic range control, washers, and H7 auxiliary main-beam headlights, adaptive cornering lights and fog lights, LED tail-lights with adaptive brake lights, and a full suite of Porsche’s interior lighting package are also fitted to all models.

Other standard items include automatic climate control for the front occupants, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with a steering wheel-inclusive memory function, an electrically adjustable tilt/reach steering wheel, a hard-drive based navigation module with 3D mapping and a seven-inch TFT colour screen, Bluetooth connectivity, six-CD in-dash stacker/MP3 compatible/DVD drive radio audio as part of a 585W BOSE surround-sound system featuring a subwoofer and 14 loudspeakers, an iPod connector cable and USB/aux interface, a tilt/slide sunroof, a powered tailgate, front and rear parking radar, door entry guards, a quartet of 12-volt sockets, partial leather covering for the seats and upholstery, and heated front seats.

Turbo buyers also get to enjoy heated rear seats, seat ventilators front and rear, full leather upholstery in more places throughout the cabin, LED park lights and running lights up front, walnut trim, and Alcantara roof lining and sunvisors, among other niceties.

On the other hand, the Turbo’s 255/45 ZR 19 front and 285/40 ZR 19 rear tyres help to reduce luggage capacity by 13 litres to 432-litre seats-erect and 1250-litre folded flat.

A myriad of individual interior options are available – comprising 13 colour and material combinations (including four two-tone leather interiors) and a further seven trims from carbon-fibre to Natural Olive wood.

Adaptive sport seats with 18-way power adjustment will be optional up front, along with eight-way power-adjustable rear seats.

Another option is an “ultra high end” 16-speaker sound system from Burmester, belting out 1000W and featuring an active sub-woofer, 300W Class D amplifier and 2.4 square-metres of interior sound membranes.

Porsche says it is counting on shifting 20,000 Panameras annually throughout the lifecycle of the car, with Australia averaging around 200 each year. Half will be made up of the S, followed by the Turbo at 35 per cent and 4S with just 15 per cent.

Porsche Cars Australia spokesman Paul Ellis said the revised official global sales conquest rate of 70 per cent (it was talked up as high as 90 per cent some months back) is applicable for the Panamera in Australia as well, but this figure will include existing or previous Porsche owners who would normally have bought another brand as a first vehicle, since many of the marque’s models are purchased as their owners’ second, third or even fourth drives.

The company says sales cannibalisation from other Porsches will run in the vicinity of 10 per cent, “which will be OK,” said board member and sales and marketing boss Klaus Berning.

All are assembled in Leipzig, Germany, using engines built at Porsche’s main facility in Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart. The Panamera’s painted bodyshells are created at Volkswagen’s Hanover plant.

Finally, the Panamera marks the return of the ‘Porsche’ badge on the rump of the Stuttgart firm’s car, having last been there when the first generation 911 was significantly revamped in 1973.

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

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