Porsche’s Panamera Turbo is a soon-to-be-released sports sedan, a German-produced rocket of a car that puts out a whopping 493 horsepower, rockets from 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds, and only stops accelerating at a mind-numbing 188mph. So why, given Shanghai’s never-ending traffic problems, should you care? Because you could be one of the first to see it!
Making its world debut at the Shanghai Auto Show this April 20th, the long-anticipated Panamera is Porsche’s answer to Mercedes’ CLS and Maserati’s Quattroporte, a huge four-door four-seater that feels like a much leaner Ferrari might. And make no mistake, the entire point is to make the car fly: the base model Panamera S (USD $89,000; 0-60mph in 5.2sec) is endowed with a massive 300HP 3.6L V6 pulled from the Porsche Cayenne SUV, while the four-wheel drive Panamera 4S (USD $93,800; 0-60mph in 4.8sec) will feature a 405HP 4.8L V8. Both top out at 175mph and are, somewhat amazingly, dwarfed in performance by the top-of-the-line USD $132,600 Turbo mentioned above.
Chinese prices and release dates have not yet been set, but production (so far capped at 20,000 units a year) will begin in Porsche’s Leipzig plant in late April.
As much hype as there’s been however, not all’s well in the land of the Panamera. Billed as a sedan, the supercar is really a hatchback, and a rather odd-looking one at that. Says RSportsCars.com,
The Panamera Gran Turismo’s design has been near-universally criticized.Porsche’s decision to release the 2010 Panamera as a 5-door hatchback rather than a true sedan has caused some head scratching, to say the least.
Almost looking as if it has been rear ended at parking lot speeds, the Panamera Gran Turismo’s rear end could have benefitted from an elongated trunk rather than the afforementioned hatch. [It] looks great if viewed from certain directions, and downright yucky when seen from others.
Ugly monstrosity or yet another classy Porsche? Head down to the Auto Show and decide for yourself.
Photo courtesy of Sybarites.org.