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Porsche previews next-gen Panamera in Aus

Paleo Porsche: The new Panamera has eliminated the frumpy rear end on the outgoing model, with designers being tasked by Stuttgart to make a four-door 911.

Sleeker, sexier Porsche Panamera shown off Down Under before February launch

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Porsche logo12 Oct 2016

By ROBBIE WALLIS

PORSCHE Cars Australia (PCA) has previewed its upcoming second-generation Panamera four-door sports coupe at an event in Melbourne on Tuesday, ahead of its three-variant launch in February.

Two right-hand-drive examples of the all-new model were shown to media, the entry-level – for now – twin-turbo V6 4S, and range-topping twin-turbo V8 Turbo.

One of the biggest changes to the new model has been in its design, with the divisively-styled rear end gone in favour of a more typically-Porsche flyline that PCA managing director and CEO Sam Curtis said would attract more buyers to the four-door sportscar.

“I think this particular car will cast a wider net in terms of its interest and popularity, because as everyone keeps describing it, it’s like a four-door 911,” he told GoAuto.

“I think the designers were tasked pretty much with that in mind – they were given a clean sheet of paper and they simply said ‘we’re a sportscar company, design a sportscar that’s a four-door saloon,’ and that’s what they’ve done.”

The Panamera will launch as a three-variant range in February – with the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 4S, the Audi-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel V8 4S Diesel, and topping out with the 404kW/770Nm Turbo, before the arrival of the hybrid V6-powered Panamera 4 e-Hybrid in mid-2017, and other variants later on in the model’s life cycle.

Mr Curtis hinted that the 4 e-Hybrid may not be the only Panamera to experience hybridisation, with the possibility of a range-topping Turbo S being coupled to a hybrid battery system when it is eventually released, and generally a greater focus on hybridisation as the pinnacle of performance for the German brand.

“At some stage in the model cycle you’d expect a Turbo S as well, but at this stage it appears the Turbo S might be hybrid as well,” he said.

“Off the back of the 919, and going forward, hybrid – whilst it’s green and it’s important – we see hybrid as a label for high performance.

“And that’s obviously where we’re going to be pitching hypercars going forward.

For us we see it as the pinnacle, potentially, of the high-performance motorcar as a hybrid.”

To go with its all-new range of powertrains, the Panamera also gains some impressive technological upgrades, both for safety and entertainment.

Safety equipment on the new Panamera includes the newly-introduced Night Vision Assist which uses thermal imaging to detect people and large animals and InnoDrive which computes and activates optimal acceleration and deceleration rates, gear selections and coasting phases over three kilometres using navigational data.

It also features adaptive cruise control, lane-change assistant, lane-departure warning with road sign recognition, 360-degree reversing camera, eight airbags and intelligent LED-matrix headlights that can detect other vehicles and glare-inducing road signs and adapt accordingly.

The interior has been simplified and streamlined by the addition of the Porsche Advanced Cockpit system, with the removal of tactile buttons, replaced by a single, glossy black panel surrounding the gear lever that uses haptic technology to operate buttons.

It is complimented by a 12.3-inch touchscreen display that has the functionality of a smartphone or tablet, with users able to swipe, rotate and pinch and zoom the screen as they please.

The screen also recognises handwriting, which occupants can use for functions such as writing navigation destinations.

The Porsche Communication Management user interface also has the ability to provide such services as real-time traffic information, ideal parking places, fuel prices, message dictation, weather and news.

Rear-seat occupants are also treated to a centre console-mounted 10-inch touchscreen that can be used to adjust the music, air-conditioning, seat positioning and view vehicle data.

The Turbo comes with a 14-speaker Bose audio system as standard, while audiophiles can choose an optional 20-speaker 3D surround sound Burmester system which pumps out 1455 watts of eardrum-bursting noise.

Measuring 5049mm long, 2165mm wide and 1427mm high, the top-spec Turbo weighs in at a portly 1995kg, but still manages the 0-100km/h dash in a nimble 3.8 seconds, cut to 3.6s with the addition of the Sport Chrono Package, and on to a top speed of 306km/h.

The 324kW/550Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 4S is slightly behind at 4.4s (4.2s with Sport Chrono), while the 310kW/850Nm oil-burner comes a narrow third at 4.5s/4.3s.

All engines are Euro 6-compliant, while fuel consumption is 9.4 litres per 100km for the Turbo, 8.2L/100km for the 4S, and 6.8L/100km for the 4S Diesel.

All variants are matched to an all-new version of Posche’s eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, while delivering power to all four wheels.

The new Panamera also comes with a new three-chambered adaptive air suspension system, which offers three levels of suspension hardness to differentiate between comfortable cruising and stiff sports-focused driving.

Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the 4S, while the Turbo gets 20-inch rims.

The range will also be highly customisable, with 12 exterior and ten interior colours to choose from.

Porsche Panamera pricing*
4S (a)$304,200
4S Diesel (a)$312,100
Turbo (a)$376,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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