Porsche’s posh hatch purveys more space, tech

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Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

PORSCHE registered another banner year in 2017 — shipping 246,375 vehicles to its growing stable of customers around the world. This comes on the heels of a record-breaking 2016, with the company growing the consolidated sales figure by 4%. In a news release, the brand attributes a “significant boost… from approximately 28,000 deliveries of the new Panamera; an increase of 83% compared to the previous year.”

The Porsche Panamera was something of a beautiful aberration for a marque traditionally known more for its two-door sports cars. But then Porsche always seems to be rewarded for its risk-taking — as evidenced most spectacularly by the resounding success of a foray into the sport-ute segment via the Cayenne (first produced in 2002 and has since moved more than 770,000 units) and, later, the Macan (2014).

A luxury four-door hatch that brings the sporty performance of its smaller Porsche siblings, the Panamera supplements the formula with the luxury of space and added accoutrements. The first-generation, sold from 2010 to 2016, helped broaden the appeal of Porsche even as it angered purists who had also railed against the Cayenne. Still, the success of the two models vindicated the business model and appeared not to have diluted the mystique or appeal of the German brand.

The Panamera’s new generation was unveiled last year, with observers highly critical of what had been described as the outgoing model’s “elephantine” rear heaving a sigh of relief that the new form is much more pleasing to the eyes. It’s lighter, more powerful, and chockfull of technologies to both impress and pamper passengers while giving them track-worthy performance.

Porsche Philippines now brings in two variants of the new Panamera to further spoil customers with choices: the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo and the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo. The former is an all-wheel-drive vehicle powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine producing 330 hp and 450 Nm — mated to an eight-speed Porsche PDK transmission. The Turbo variant is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter, eight-cylinder engine good for 550 hp and 770 Nm. It is paired with the same eight-speed PDK, and is an all-wheel-drive variant as well.

The Panamera Sport Turismo, according to Porsche, boasts a “4+1 seat concept option, lots of headroom and legroom, and large luggage compartment volume.” The vehicle is 5,049 millimeters long, 1,428 millimeters tall, and 1,937 millimeters wide, with a 2,950-millimeter wheelbase. An adaptive roof spoiler adjusts its angle depending on “the driving situation and selected vehicle settings, and generates an additional down force of up to 50 kilograms on the rear axle.” Porsche said the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo can top 264 kph, the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo 304 kph.

The new Sport Turismo marks the first time the Panamera gets three rear seats. Reported Porsche; “The two outside seats take the form of individual seats — in keeping with the model line’s claim for sporty performance with maximum passenger comfort — thereby producing a 2+1 configuration at the rear.”

Meanwhile, rear-compartment accessibility and convenience have been enhanced through an electrically operated, wide-opening tailgate. Its 520-liter storage capacity is higher over the sports saloon’s by 20 liters. “When loaded up to roof level and with the rear seats folded down, the gains amount to around 50 liters,” added Porsche.

“The launch of the Panamera Sport Turismo models here in the Philippines is only a sneak preview of what Porsche has in store for this year. I am excited to bring this iconic German brand to greater heights as it continues on its path to success this 2018,” said Porsche Philippines President and CEO Roberto T. Coyiuto III.