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Driven: Porsche primed for Panamera

All change: The only thing that has carried over from the previous generation Porsche Panamera is the name.

2017 Porsche Panamera to hold more appeal than previous model

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Porsche logo13 Feb 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

PORSCHE Cars Australia expects its new-from-the-ground-up Panamera to have wider appeal than the polarising original model and is already holding more than 50 pre-orders for the four-door, four-seater grand tourer.

The German sportscar-maker confirmed that of the 59 orders for the new Panamera, two-thirds are from owners of the first-gen car and the majority are for the flagship $377k Turbo variant.

Speaking with GoAuto at the media launch of the Panamera in the Hunter Valley last week, Porsche Cars Australia director of sales and network development John Murray would not talk about sales targets, but admitted that the new model would perform better than the first-gen version.

“I understand it (the first-gen model) polarised opinion,” he said. “I think the new shape and new interior design, let alone the prowess of the car itself is certainly going to appeal to a wider audience.

“It is becoming increasingly clear as the weeks and months go by after the initial reveal that demand is just increasing all around the world for this car. The response has been fantastic. We could well end up in situation where Australia is in competition with other markets to just get the cars.”

Mr Murray said if that were the case, he would go in to bat for a larger allocation and earlier build time for the Australian-market cars.

Panamera sales peaked in 2010, its first full year in the market, with 109 units sold, but just 42 found homes last year due stock of the outgoing model running out in October.

He added that it was unlikely that the Panamera would become the brand’s top-selling non-SUV model.

“It is going to be hard to overtake a 911 by volume, because of the breadth of its appeal. And the reality is in Australia, what we might call the Panamera segment, is desperately small compared to other mature, westernised markets in the world.

“We are heavily SUV skewed in Australia … The buyer’s preference has clearly gone there. Allowing for that there is still a place for a very special car, a very special buyer group, that demonstrates what Porsche is capable of in that segment and that’s what we think the Panamera will be.” Just two variants will be in showrooms from the official on-sale date of February 25 – the petrol-powered 4S and the Turbo – while the powerful diesel 4S will hit Australian shores in the second quarter.

The new rear-wheel-drive turbo-petrol V6 base variant – dubbed simply Panamera and priced from $210,000 – and the $220,400 all-paw Panamera 4 will land at about the same time as the $242,600 S E-Hybrid in the third quarter.

The petrol-powered 4S and 4S Diesel are priced from $304,200 and $312,100 respectively, while the range-topping Turbo starts at $376,900.

Other variants are likely to be added down the track, including a GTS and, possibly, a more powerful V8 version, but Porsche is yet to announce anything else at this stage.

Under the bonnet of the base Panamera and the Panamera 4 is a re-jigged version of the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 delivering 243kW and 450Nm, which is good for an official fuel economy figure of 7.6 litres per 100km (7.8L for the 4) and 171-173g/km of CO2 emissions (175-177g for the 4).

Porsche has not provided the 0-100km/h times for these variants.

The 4 E-Hybrid combines the 243kW/450Nm 3.0-litre V6 with a 100kW/400Nm electric powertrain for a combined total output of 340kW/700Nm.

Porsche says it will sip just 2.5L/100km, consume 15.9kWh/km of electricity and emit 56g/km of CO2.

The 4S uses an all-new 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that is being offered for the first time in a Volkswagen Group product with the new Panamera.

Both turbos are housed centrally in between the cylinder banks and with the inducted air being directed via a dual-branch layout to each turbocharger and the combustion chambers, which Porsche says makes for improved engine response.

Porsche’s new V6 makes 324kW at 5650rpm and 550Nm from 1750-5500rpm, ensuring a 0-100km/h-sprint time of 4.4 seconds (4.2s when paired with the Sport Chrono package) and a top speed of 289km/h.

Fuel use drops by 1.0 litre compared with the previous 4S to 8.1-8.2L/100km, while CO2 emissions sit at 184-186g/km.

The Panamera 4S Diesel – which the German sportscar-maker claims is the fastest oil-burning saloon on the planet – is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel delivering 310kW at 3500-5000rpm and a thumping 850Nm from 1000-3250rpm.

It can race from 0-100km/h in 4.5s before hitting its 285km/h-top speed and sips 6.7-6.8L/100 of diesel. The oiler emits 176-178g/km of CO2.

Sitting atop the Panamera tree is the Turbo, powered by an all-new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 – again with the turbochargers slotted between the V – offering up 404kW at 5750-6000rpm and 770Nm at 1960-4500rpm.

The 1995kg beast completes the 0-100km/h dash in 3.8s and can hit a top speed of 306km/h.

The new donk features cylinder deactivation technology, which drops it from a V8 to a four-cylinder engine under lighter load.

Fuel use can be improved by as much as 30 per cent when this is activated, and overall economy is 9.3-9.4L/100km, while emitting 212-214g/km of CO2.

This engine – which also makes its debut in the Panamera – is up to 9.5kg lighter than the previous V8 but due to the addition of new tech gadgets and comfort features, the overall weight remains much the same.

All engines are paired with Porsche’s new eight-speed – up from seven gears in the previous generation – PDK dual-clutch transmission. There is no manual option available globally.

Up the front of the Panamera is a new aluminium double-wishbone suspension setup with forged and lightweight hollow-cast aluminium components that have resulted in a lighter system than the first model.

At the rear, it has an aluminium multi-link suspension setup, which the car-maker says makes for improved agility and precision as well as ride comfort.

An adaptive air suspension featuring Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as well as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus is offered on the new Panamera.

A rear axle steering system is available as an option on all variants.

Safety wise, the Panamera gets a full suite of airbags, ABS, adaptive cruise control, an active bonnet for pedestrian protection, automated parking with surround view, front and rear parking sensors and cameras, lane change assistant and a lane departure warning.

There is an optional Night Vision Assist system that uses a thermal imaging camera to detect large animals and people and then displays a colour highlighted warning indicator in the cockpit.

Standard gear across the range includes auto-dimming rearview and exterior mirrors, an electric park brake, LED dynamic headlights (Matrix on the Turbo), LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, an interior lighting package, four-zone automatic climate control, panoramic roof, privacy glass, a particle and pollen filter, automatic tailgate and a multi-function sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles.

It also features a 12.3-inch touch display housing the new generation of Porsche Communication Management, Connect Plus with Apple CarPlay, 14-speaker Bose surround sound system, digital radio, a 12-volt socket and a pair of USB jacks.

The Panamera, Panamera 4 and 4 E-Hybrid feature 19-inch wheels, the 4S and 4S Diesel use 19-inch Panamera S wheels and the Turbo gains 20-inch Turbo wheels.

It is available in a choice of 10 metallic paint hues, while a further five “special” colours are optional.

A number of options and options packages are on offer including massage function on all four seats as well as sun blinds, sports exhaust, Sport Chrono Package, brushed aluminium interior package and a carbon interior package among others.

2017 Porsche Panamera pricing*
Panamera (a)$210,000
Panamera 4 (a)$220,400
Panamera 4 E-Hybrid (a)$242,600
Panamera 4S (a)$304,200
Panamera 4S Diesel (a)$312,100
Panamera Turbo (a)$376,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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