Porsche’s Gran Turismo – a Unique Synthesis of Sporting Performance and Sheer Luxury
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is proudly presenting the key technologies of the new Panamera prior to the world debut of this truly outstanding Gran Turismo in Shanghai, among them no less than five innovations in technology to be admired for the first time in a production car in the luxury performance range and therefore marking world debuts themselves. These include the first automatic start/stop in conjunction with automatic transmission, air suspension with additional air volume on demand, as well as active aerodynamics with a multi-stage, adjustable rear spoiler moving up when required on the Panamera Turbo.
Offering the premium customer an unprecedented vehicle concept, the Panamera is a four-seater Gran Turismo featuring the most supreme standard of dynamic performance and superior elegance all in one.
As Porsche’s fourth model series, the Panamera is to achieve the same outstanding position that the 911, the Cayenne, the Boxster, and the Cayman already hold in their respective segments. While competing with well-established models in the premium class, the Panamera is most definitely the segment leader in terms of performance, driving dynamics and efficiency. Indeed, these have always been Porsche’s core competences, since efficient, high-performance engines, light-weight engineering and optimised aerodynamics have always been crucial in motorsport.
Now the Panamera for the first time combines this DNA of Porsche and the emotional character of a sports car with the superior space and comfort of an outstanding luxury performance saloon, creating a unique Gran Turismo in the process.
The powertrain: maximum performance and efficiency
The unique combination of comfort, performance and efficiency offered by the Panamera begins with the powertrain: The Panamera comes exclusively with high-tech power units featuring the most advanced and fuel-efficient Direct Fuel Injection. The consistent optimisation of friction on these engines is further enhanced by innovations such as map-controlled coolant/temperature management, as well as ancillary units with enhanced efficiency.
Introducing the PDK transmission, Porsche is offering a double-clutch gearbox for the first time in this market segment, contributing both to enhanced fuel economy and to an even higher standard of sporting performance.
Far superior to a conventional automatic transmission in its efficiency, the PDK transmission is able to save even more fuel through its long, overdrive-like top gear. At the same time it offers outstanding performance with driving dynamics typical of Porsche through its optimum gear increments and unparalleled, ultra-fast gearshift without the slightest interruption of engine power.
Yet a further milestone featured in the Panamera is the first start/stop system in a premium car with an automatic transmission. And again, the result speaks for itself: In conjunction with other specific improvements enhancing the efficiency of the overall vehicle, which include tyres with minimum roll resistance and disc brakes with residual brake forces likewise reduced to a minimum, the Panamera S with its PDK Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe makes do with just 10.8 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 26.2 mpg imp) in the New European Driving Cycle – and it does so despite the car’s superior performance.
Chassis and suspension: driving dynamics and comfort all in one
The chassis and suspension of the Panamera is not a compromise between sporting performance and superior comfort, but rather a combination of the two. In its basic setting it offers a very high standard of driving comfort. But then, at the touch of a button on the active PASM damper system, it turns into a thoroughbred sports suspension.
As another highlight the adaptive air suspension with its extra volume added on whenever required – an absolute innovation in automotive technology – featured as standard on the Turbo and otherwise coming as an option on the other models, offers an even greater variation of sporting and comfort features.
As yet a further point driving dynamics and motoring comfort may be enhanced additionally on all models by active PDCC stability control available in combination with a fully controlled rear axle differential.
Through their Sport Plus button, the optional Sports Chrono Packages enable the driver at the touch of a button to choose the uncompromising high-performance set-up of all drivetrain and suspension systems including PTM Porsche Traction Management with its fully-controlled all-wheel drive. PTM comes as standard in both the Panamera 4S and the Panamera Turbo.
Body: light and functional
The body is the synthesis of lightweight technology typical of a sports car, superior comfort, generous spaciousness, and efficient aerodynamics. The most advanced production methods and materials are used on the body of the Panamera, geared in all cases to specific requirements and functions. These include all kinds of steel grades, light alloys such as aluminium and magnesium, as well as plastics. The lightweight doors feature a load-bearing structure made of laser-treated pressure-cast aluminium, an aluminium outer skin and door window frames made of thin-walled pressure-cast magnesium. Thanks to this intelligent lightweight structure, the Panamera S, for example, weighs just 1,770 kg or a bit more than 3,900 lb.
The rear seats set new standards in the luxury performance class in terms of both comfort and variability. Perfectly contoured as single seats, they offer maximum comfort also at the rear through their wide range of electrical adjustment and seat climate functions and the headrests tailored to the seats.
The Panamera also comes with a highly functional, variable luggage compartment. Tilting forward individually, the seat backrests with additional through-loading provide luggage capacity of up to 1,263 litres or 44.2 cu ft and keep the floor of the luggage compartment absolutely smooth on one consistent level from front to rear.
The Panamera is the first car in its segment with a complete cover on the under-floor also extending all round the drivetrain tunnel and rear-end silencers. This clearly helps to reduce both air resistance and lift forces on the axles, which in practice means lower fuel consumption and higher driving dynamics.
The visible highlight of the overall aerodynamic package is the active four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo. Through its efficient management of control angles and surface geometry geared to driving conditions, the rear spoiler optimises the car’s aerodynamics and performance all in one.
Acoustics: sporting sound and superior touring comfort
Achieving a perfect balance of sound on the exhaust system, the air intake and engine as well as the car’s aeroacoustics, Porsche’s development engineers have succeeded in giving the Panamera a harmonious, characteristic sound pattern all round, bringing together seemingly contradictory requirements.
Aeroacoustics, for example, were analysed on a clay model right from the start at a very early point in the development process, then being optimised by way of numerous technical improvements with specific, individual effects. The result is a truly low level of noise within the interior most appropriate for the luxury performance segment. But at the same time the typical Porsche sound full of power and dynamism comes out clearly when accelerating, the wide range of sound offered by the Panamera thus extending from discreet modesty while cruising all the way to powerful emotion whenever the driver wishes to experience a sporting style of motoring.
Using both new and proven technologies, Porsche’s engineers in Weissach have succeeded in intelligently solving all conflicts of interest in developing the Panamera. The result is a car with a wide range of features most appropriate for such an outstanding Gran Turismo: the engines are powerful and dynamic, efficient and clean. The Panamera combines comfortable touring characteristics with sports motoring so typical of Porsche. And despite the car’s dynamic proportions and coupé-like silhouette, the interior, apart from lots of space and superior comfort, also offers outstanding function and variability.