Culture / Cars

Porsche Figures Out How to Make a Sexy Sedan

The 911 Suddenly Has Fast Company

BY Jim Shi // 07.01.16

If you didn’t like Porsche Panamera version 1, get ready to rejoice: The recently released new Panamera moves closer in design to the 911, while featuring a host of impressive new technological innovations. Translation: It’s sleek and oh-so-sexy. 

Porschephiles have long loved the Panamera for its versatility: equal parts family hauler, sports car and Gran Turismo track fiend. While the first generation of the sedan, which debuted in 2009, was successful despite its controversial fastback bodywork (more than 40,000 were sold in the U.S. alone), Porsche design chief Michael Mauer has decided to change that with this latest model. With a roofline that’s been lowered by 20 millimeters, the even sportier and more progressive design beautifully complements more distinct shoulders a la 911. In addition, a light band signature spans the width of the attractive rear.

From a technical perspective, the new Panamera boasts countless innovations that have been developed from scratch: rear-wheel steering, active roll compensation, and three-chamber air suspension are just a few highlights. The Panamera is launching with three engines — rated 550 horsepower, 440 horsepower or 422 horsepower from a twin-turbo diesel — with two plug-in hybrid variants coming.

Each will use Porsche’s eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. All-wheel drive and the three-chamber air suspension system are standard, while optional is Porsche’s 4D suspension system, which integrates all aspects of vehicle dynamics.

Inside, the car utilizes interactive displays and simple operating systems to appeal to the “smartphone generation,” though the centrally positioned tachometer is an homage to the 1955 356A — a nice retro touch for a car so clearly focused on the future.

You can also opt for electric anti-roll control front and rear, rear axle steering just like on a GT3 and GT3 RS, Night Vision Assistant (an infrared system highlighting pedestrians and animals in the dash display) and adaptive cruse control combined with navigation data that allows the Panamera to adjust speed not only for vehicles in front, but in relation to terrain.

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The 2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo weighs in at 4,398 pounds — otherwise known as two tons — and will get to 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds, or 3.4 with the Sport Chrono package. It’s also, Porsche claims, the world’s fastest four-door around the Nurburgring. The base $99,990 car weighs 4,123 pounds, and will jump to 62 miles per hour in 4.2/4.0 seconds, depending on the Sport Chrono situation.

Inside, you get a 12.3 inch touchscreen with a combination of capacitive touch controls and physical switches in the center console. Even the back seat gets its own touchscreen mounted to the console. Behind the flawlessly wrapped steering wheel, you’ll find dual seven-inch screens divided by an analog tachometer in the middle. 

Oh yeah.

The bad news? The Panamera won’t be available stateside until January 2017.

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