Porsche today unveiled its
new Panamera grand tourer
at the Shanghai Auto Show, ahead of its official European sales launch scheduled for September. The car will arrive in U.S. showrooms just one month later, although only the V8 variants will be offer initially.
These include the naturally aspirated Panamera S, AWD 4S and the flagship Turbo. The Panamera S is powered by a 4.8L V8 developing maximum output of 400hp (294kW). Power is transmitted to the rear wheels as an option by Porsche’s seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox. Acceleration to 100km/h comes in 5.4 seconds and top speed is 283km/h.
The Panamera 4S features the same powerplant but thanks to AWD traction only needs 5.0 seconds to sprint to 100km/h. The range topping Panamera Turbo, meanwhile, sports a twin-turbo 4.8L V8 engine with a healthy 500hp (368kW) on tap. When equipped with the PDK the car will accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 303km/h.
All models will be available with PTM, Porsche Traction Management, and a unique new high-volume adjustable air suspension will also be available, offering a wide range of performance options including a Sport Plus mode that lowers the car even further, stiffens effective spring rates and lowering the center of gravity. The standard steel suspension is also available on all models.
The Panamera S will start at $89,800, while the AWD 4S will start at $93,800 and the flagship Turbo from $132,600. Later this year Porsche will introduce an entry-level V6 model and a petrol-electric hybrid.
Porsche made a last minute decision to swap the debut of the Panamera from last month’s Geneva Motor Show to this week’s Shanghai event. The decision for the shift was due to the increased importance in the Chinese market, in addition to rapidly growing neighbors such as India and Russia.
More than 8,190 Porsches were sold in China last financial year, and this was more than double the number of sales made the previous year. At the same time, sales in established markets, such as Germany, dropped by more than 5% over the same period.
Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking said he is hoping for "new market opportunities" and a "stronger presence" in regions like China and the Middle East.
Porsche has set a firm production rate of 20,000 Panamera per year, but if demand drops the rate will be reduced. "In no case will we produce too many," Wiedeking explained. "In that case, I would intervene myself."
2010 Porsche Panamera