New Panameras make world debut at Shanghai Auto Show

Kap Maceda Aguila - The Philippine Star

Shanghai, China—Matthias Müller jests: “I bet you have never seen this one before—a Porsche that is filled up in the back on the left side.” While that is true, the more surprising sight is that of the Porsche AG board chairman plugging the Panamera right into a charging dock.

“Under a sheet of metal beats a green heart—the first plug-in hybrid in the premium segment,” Müller continues in his speech during the world premiere of new Panamera models at the ‪15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. This is fitting, he notes, because this is the exact venue where the Porsche introduced its four-door saloon to the world four years ago.  The Panamera S E-Hybrid and two new Executive versions (sporting a longer wheelbase) now up the portfolio to 10 variants.

Porsche AG and Volkswagen AG officials have come in full force to support the launches of Porsche and other affiliated brands for obvious reasons. China has proven to be a vibrant and rewarding market for brands from Europe and America.

In a release, Porsche says that “China is the second largest single market after the USA, and larger than its domestic market Germany.” Last year alone, the iconic sports car brand delivered 31,205 vehicles here – representing a hefty 28.2 growth over 2011 figures. “China is the world’s largest global market for the sporty Cayenne SUV and the Panamera sport sedan.”

Müller reveals: “In 2012, every third Panamera we built in Leipzig was delivered to China,” and that the country has already taken delivery of some 8,800 units in the first quarter of 2013 alone—up 24 percent from the same period last year.

Brand fans in the Philippines can look forward to the Panamera Executive’s availability early next year. The sole variant up for grabs is the extremely formidable Panamera Turbo Executive, which wields a 4.8-liter bi-turbo V8 generating 520 hp. It reaches zero to 100 in 4.2 seconds and is expected to muster 9.8 kilometers per liter.

“We have extended the wheelbase and the passenger compartment by 15 centimeters….(offering) significantly more space for the two rear seat passengers,” adds the Porsche AG boss about the Executive. “Never before (has) sporty driving performance come in such a luxurious and comfortable package.” Indeed, the unlikely marriage of previously dichotomous schools of auto design thought has finally seen its realization in the Panamera Executive.

The new Panamera S, meanwhile, boasts a newly developed, 3.0-liter, bi-turbo V6 mustering 420 hp. Acceleration from standstill to 100 kph takes five seconds. It betters the previous model’s engine by 20 horses and 20 Nm, while consuming 18 percent less fuel. Porsche claims a maximum fuel economy figure of 11 kilometers per liter.

Concludes Müller: “This shows once again that boosting both performance and efficiency is part of the core competence of Porsche. With the substantial product upgrade of our gran turismo models, the Panamera will continue its success story in China.”

And in the Philippines, too, one should expect.


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