Last week, Porsche revealed their second generation Panamera and as predicted it is a good 33% less lumpen than the last one.
All of which is fine and dandy, because I’m not here to throw fruit or other perishables at Michael Mauer or his minions. However I will say that to these eyes at least, my boat remains resolutely aground, becalmed, unfloated.So what? you may argue, but last year, sales of Porsche’s saloon slumped sharply, reflecting a further weakening of the sector as a whole and perhaps the somewhat polarising original Panamera’s fraying appeal.
That car, while meeting Porsche’s volume targets was not the sales success its SUV siblings have proven to be; the latter now accounting for two thirds of the Stuttgart car maker’s sales volume.
According to a report in Automotive News – (other news outlets continue to be available) – Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told reporters he expects sales to top 20,000 cars per annum, a projection analysts appear to reject as overly cautious; IHS Automotive forecasting figures in the region of 35,000 per annum by 2020.
The new model will also be a more profitable car than its predecessor since it now sits on a modular VW group rear-biased platform which will be shared by Bentley and some Audi models. Adding to Porsche’s bottom line still further is the likelihood of additional derivations – a shooting brake style estate being an open secret and also the further possibility of a 2-door coupé variant.
But getting back to the appearance of the thing, I’m struggling to nail down my ambivalence to a design that is receiving almost universal praise and can only conclude that since they have (to a greater or lesser extent) successfully addressed the bulk of the the previous model’s stylistic deficiencies, it must be the Panamera silhouette itself that is somehow at fault. That and the additional rear quarterlight they’ve been forced to add, which is something of a visual bum note as well.
None of which is likely to impact adversely upon the Panamera-2’s likely sales prospects, Blume telling ANE’s correspondent; “We’re aiming it at people that want to drive sporty…” So now you know.