06 January 2009

Flying Pan'

Porsche’s four-door supercar lands in April. Ready the children…

Porsche Panamera

Over-fertile Porsche fanatics, mark this date in your diary: April 19. That’s the date that the Panamera officially launches – at the Shanghai Auto Show, of all places.

The choice of location might give you some hint about the markets that Porsche is targetting with the four-door four-seater, which should reach the road some time in late summer.

At first, it’ll only be available with the choice of two direct-injection V8 engines, in naturally-aspirated and twin-turbo flavour, with the latter developing around 500bhp – more than enough for a sub-five second 0-60mph time, we’d imagine.

Down the line, we’ll see six-cylinder engines – not the traditional boxer sixes but instead V6 units, with the entry level engine putting out 300bhp. Transmission will be courtesy of either a six-speed manual or Porsche’s double-clutch PSK gearbox, with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations in use.

Expect all of Porsche’s clever traction control and damper options, too, though there’s no word on a stripped-out, slick-tyred GT3 version. Which is probably for the best.

As for the looks – well, it looks like a Porsche, doesn’t it? If you’re a fan of the 911 and the Cayman, we reckon you’ll probably be keen… if not, maybe the Aston Rapide might be more up your street?

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