By now we're all familiar with Porsche's awkwardly styled Panamera, which has copped a fair share of flack due to its bulbous rump and - according to some - ungainly proportions. (But we'll reserve judgement till we see it in the 'metal'.)
Thankfully, beauty - or lack thereof - is only skin deep, with Porsche having released a handful of images that show sometimes it really is what's on the inside that counts.
Take a look at the images and you'll soon realise that Porsche is serious about making the Panamera a practical sports saloon. There?s acres of leather, four well-bolstered sports seats plus a navigation screen up front and two in the rear to keep everyone entertained.
Steering wheel-mounted buttons allow control over the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, while the centre console is chock-full of buttons and switches to control the Panamera?s myriad systems. To top it off, there's even a little cargo net in the passenger foot well for storage... a cargo net? in a Porsche?!
That's not to say the Panamera is a tarted-up load-lugging slouch though. The Panamera Turbo's 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.0 seconds and top speed of 303km/h proves this four-door is no shrinking violet. The Panamera S and all-wheel-drive 4S don't lag too far behind either, with 0-100km/h being dispatched in 5.2 and 4.8 seconds respectively.
So, all this performance and the thing'll still swallow four passengers and four large suitcases - not bad.
September 12 is the scheduled date for Panamera sales to kick off in Germany, with the U.S. following a month or so later. The top-spec Panamera Turbo is going to set you back $364,900 AUD but you can get into the Panamera S for as little as $270,200 AUD.
To start with only the naturally aspirated and turbocharged V8 models will be available, but further down the track there should be a hybrid V6 and possibly a diesel on offer as well. For more information hit the gallery and the press release below.
PORSCHE REVEALS FIRST PANAMERA INTERIOR IMAGES
Photos Highlight the All-New Gran Turismo's 'Cockpit for Four' Concept
ATLANTA ? February 12, 2009 ---- Today, Porsche AG for the first time presents its Panamera four-door gran turismo interior concept. The much-anticipated addition to Porsche's performance lineup will make its U.S. market debut on Oct. 17, 2009.
With a continuous center console that extends from the dashboard to the rear seating area, the Panamera offers a new spatial concept for the driver and passengers featuring optimal ergonomic seating with individual cockpit-like spaces for all. Its deep seating position and a sport steering wheel help give the driver and passengers direct contact with the road. At the same time it provides a generous, roomy environment with exceptional leg and head room, unique qualities in a sporting machine yet essential for grand touring. This individual seating allows for optimum passive safety.
Porsche will provide countless opportunities for individual interior customization with 13 color and material combinations including four two-tone leather interiors and seven interior trim options including carbon fiber to Natural Olive wood.
An available four-zone climate control system gives each seating area individual control of functions such as temperature, air distribution and venting direction. In the unfortunate event of an accident, front, side and curtain airbags help protect the front occupants, while standard rear side airbags help protect those in back. The Panamera S and Panamera 4S feature eight-way power seats in front with a driver memory package. In the rear are two individual seats with a folding rear console and plenty of room. The Panamera Turbo has power seats with a memory package for not only the seat functions but also the electronically adjustable steering wheel. Further seating customization is available through optional alternatives such as 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats or fully adjustable eight-way power seats in the rear.
Porsche for the first time will offer from Burmester? -- the renown Berlin audio manufacturer -- a new ultra high-end surround sound system. With 16 loudspeakers plus a subwoofer (a total of over 2.5 square feet of speaker surface area) and a total output of more than 1000 watts, this new system gives listeners a grand acoustical experience. And like the 2009 Porsche sports cars and SUVs, Panameras will be available with the latest personal electronic connectivity features, including Bluetooth for cellular telephones, Universal Audio Interface for connecting personal audio devices, and satellite radio.
The rear luggage area provides up to 15.7 cubic feet of space, enough room for four large suitcases. The tall space enables luggage to be loaded in an upright position, and with the rear seat folded down the luggage space generously increases up to 44.6 cubic feet.
Initially, all Panameras will be available with two V8 engine options, standard seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch transmissions and rear- or all-wheel drive. All engines feature Porsche Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) for highest efficiency. For additional fuel savings, all Panameras include an engine stop-start function that can turn off and restart the engine at certain times, like when stopped at an intersection or in traffic.
The rear-wheel drive Panamera S has a 400-horsepower, 4.8-liter V8 engine that can propel the it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds on its way to a top test track speed of 175 mph. The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) is $89,800. The all-wheel drive Panamera 4S receives the same 4.8-liter powerplant. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, achieves a top test track speed of 175 mph, and has an MSRP of $93,800.
At the top of the Panamera lineup is the Panamera Turbo with its 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8. Also featuring the new PDK transmission, the all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo sets a breathtaking 0-to-60 time of 4 seconds flat and a top test-track speed of 188 mph. The Panamera Turbo has an MSRP of $132,600, and all three Panamera models will go on sale in the United States this October.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche sports cars and sport utility vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. PCNA employs approximately 180 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 201 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its 60-year history, Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than 28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world's most successful marque in sports car racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the Boxster and Cayman sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles and soon the Panamera gran turismo for the United States, strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.