‘Drive Sporty’ – Porsche’s Panamera Redux

Last week, Porsche revealed their second generation Panamera and as predicted it is a good 33% less lumpen than the last one.

Panamera 2. Image: porsche via jalopnik
Better, but better enough? Panamera V2.0 Image: porsche via jalopnik

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.

Here's one they made earlier. Image: sportscardetails
Here’s one they made earlier. In red. Image: sportscardetails

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.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

17 thoughts on “‘Drive Sporty’ – Porsche’s Panamera Redux”

  1. You’re right, that extra split in the side glasshouse is clumsy – on a par with the one on the previous E Class Coupe. Now it looks even more like a 4 door 911, which I suppose was the intention. When I was a teen, dreaming of being a captain of industry, or secret agent, en route to Nice with my crew of trusty associates, this was just the sort of car I wanted. I assume there are enough grown ups around who this makes sense to, though I am surprised at the projections from IHS.

    Being one who actually quite enjoys a slightly odd-shaped car I always liked the old Panamera, and I’m not sure I don’t prefer it. But, since I’m not buying, the new design is probably a sensible, if obvious, move.

  2. To me the changes Porsche made confirm that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the original. Yes it is challenging from certain angles but it has presence in a way that is reminiscent of some fast saloons of the 1930’s or 50’s.

    1. Do the year dates really need those apostrophes? I’m just wondering.

    2. Not sure to be honest. I’ve seen both and generally prefer without.

    3. No apostophe’s please, were British! In this case, no, since “saloons of” already denotes the possession. But, “1930’s saloons” would be fine. My but I’m pleased with you chaps’ vigilance – it makes my job a doddle.

    4. What about ’30s and ’50s? I’d always write it like this because the “19” is omitted in the front. But maybe that’s a German thing.

  3. Broadly-speaking, it’s prettier, but sad to see that they’ve lost their nerve a little over the fastback shape and hinted towards a three-box shape in profile.

    My main issue is that the Panamera is too big – and, despite cleverly hiding its bulk, Panamera 2 is even wider than the first one. A two door coupe would still be a monster of a thing.

    1. 100% agree on the fastback.

      Wouldn’t a 2-door coupe be a perfect spiritual successor for the 928? That was also a big (and wide) car for its time. It was one of my childhood favourites, and I have the pleasure to see my neighbour’s well-preserved example every time I drive my car in or out of the garage.

    2. Well people started fantasising about a reborn 928 as soon as the Panamera first hit the road, and even though the 928 was big (by Porsche standard) in its day, it wasn’t actually that big and the way the 911 has grown in the last decade it has pretty much filled that void (and I wouldn’t be surprised if that became front-engined in the next 10 years).

    3. Simon, yes I’m a fan of the 928 too. And it was considered a big coupe for its time – nowadays, it looks dainty. I’d be intrigued to see a 2 door Panamera, but, in Europe at least, it would be too wide. I am also a big fan of the old 6 series, but the current one leaves me cold, for the same reason. A 4 series coupe is large enough.

    4. Laurent. According to my neighbour, the 911 has by no means filled the void left by the 928. He also has one of the newer 911s, but says that he prefers the 928 for travelling, as it’s roomier, more comfortable to sit, and holds a useful amount of luggage. So in theory, there would be room in the Porsche line-up for a proper GT car. But I agree with everyone here that it shouldn’t be as big as a Panamera – even a shortened one.

  4. There is one big issue with the Panamera. They use the design of a rear engined coupé on a front engined sedan. Bad result: unavoidable. They try to make a pizza out of a pancake by putting the same ingredients on top. At first sight the pizza and pancake will look similar, but one of them is bad taste.

    1. Why not try this if you have done the same for an SUV and got away with it?

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