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The Mercury Cars Guide : June 27th 2009
2— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, June 27, 2009 Patient Porsche STRANGE NEW LINE: The Porsche Panamera. Some would call it an ugly duckling KEVIN HEPWORTH IS the new Panamera a thing of beauty or a compromised collec- tion of Porsche styles? On one side is the Porsche team that has designed and lived with the Panamera over the past five years. On the other is almost everyone who sees it for the first time. Designer Michael Mauer is vo- ciferous in his defence of what he describes as a car both beautiful and distinguished. ‘‘There is certain key design DNA that is critical to the design of this car,’’ Mauer says at the first international drive of the Pana- mera in Germany this week. ‘‘You can recognise this as a Porsche straight away . . . at first glance it is instantly recognis- able.’’ Mauer points to the classic Porsche nose with the bonnet falling away between headlight tunnels, to the short rolled rear which would traditionally house the engine inside its wide stance and to the classic Porsche interior with the five-dial cluster, cocoon- ing cockpit environment and the key slot left of the steering wheel. Foreshortened views of the Pan- amera from front or rear three- quarter effectively hide the car’s less flattering profile while pro- moting its Porsche looks. It is onlywhenyou study the car directly from the side that Mauer is prepared to concede that this is newterritory for the PorscheDNA and that there is an awkwardly wide expanse of metal between the two Porsche bits. ‘‘Because the Panamera has no predecessor there has never been a car like this,’’ Mauer explains. ‘‘This is a genuine four-seater, not a 2+2. It is a car for four large adults. The name of the game here is maximum interior space.’’ While defending the Panamera as having ‘‘model identity’’ Mauer concedes that he gave the Pana- mera proportions as close to the 911 as he could. ‘‘The flyline (roof line), the silhouette . . . I would argue that they are 911-like. Even the side window graphics are like a 911— not the same but similar. Mauer has an unshakeable sup- porter for his styling in Porsche’s Executive Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, Klaus Berning. ‘‘I have been driving this car for two months now in many coun- tries and only once before in my life has a car I was driving caused so much reaction from people who see it for the first time,’’ Berning says. ‘‘That was the (BMW) Z1.’’ After four years in themakingand spendingmorethan $1 billion, Porsche has launchedwhat couldbeitsmost importantmodel ever. Kevin Hepworthreports to put it through its paces. ‘‘With the Panameraweare selling P a Porsche to somebody who loves to drive but needs occasionally to have the capacity to drive four people around,’’ says Porsche’s executive vice-president for sales and market- ing, Klaus Berning. ‘‘It is still very much a driver’s car . . . it is what people in this segment want. Finally there is something exciting and unique.’’ Panamera will be in Australian showrooms on October 3 in the three available trims—a rear-wheel drive S at $270,200, the mid-spec all-wheel drive 4S at $282,400, and the range- topping all-wheel drive Turbo at $364,900. The 4.8-litre V8 makes 294kW and 500Nm in the S and 4S, but that jumps to 368kW and 700Nm for the twin-blower turbo. Porsche’s brilliant seven-speed dual-clutch automatic PDK gearbox is standard for all models, though a six-speed manual is available as a ‘‘no-cost option’’ for the rear-wheel drive car. Porsche is claiming a combined fuel economy on the European cycle of 12.2l/100km for the turbo and an impressive 11.1l/100km in the natu- rally aspirated V8s. Those figures, claimed to represent an improve- ment of 23 per cent on any other similar capacity V8 with a tradition- VERSATILE: The Porsche Panamera hits Australian showrooms in October. al automatic gearbox, are the result of small gains in a lot of areas. Akey innovationonthePanamera is stop-and-go technology standard on the PDK—an industry first for a technology previously restricted to manuals. Porsche Australia’s Paul Ellis says interest in the Panamera has been strong and the company is holding about 50 ‘‘money-down’’ orders for the car, with expectations of selling between 150 and 200 a year. Ellis is confident the sales num- bers will be sustained beyond the initial launch demand. ‘‘There will be further derivatives of the Panamera, with models such as the V6 [due about 2011] and the hybrid which will follow that,’’ Ellis says. ‘‘There will be a small amount of cannibalisation of the 911, but we are not expecting it to be significant.’’ Porsche is predicting that up to 80 per cent of Panamera sales will be incremental business, whether that is conquest from another brand or the addition of an extra Porsche model to an existing owner’s garage. ‘‘The obvious conquest targets are BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz AMG and most certainly Masarati,’’ Ellis says. ‘‘For existing Porsche owners the Panamera is a justifiable addition to a garage that may already house a Cayenne, as it is an executive busi- ness vehicle that can also be the family car.’’ Hesays the expected salesmixfrom launch will be 50 per cent for the entry-levelSmodel, 15 per cent for the 4S and 35 per cent for the turbo. The two crucial questions the Panamera had to answer were: Does it drive like a real Porsche; and is it really a practical choice for day-to- day family life? The answer to the practicality question is to be found not in but behind the driver’s seat. The biggest single surprise on getting acquainted with Panamera is just how well the interior space has been used. The two rear seats are mirrors of the front seats—adjustable, comfort- able and set low enough that there is ample headroom for a taller than average adult. Porsche’s engineers used company chief executive Dr Wendelin Wiedek- ing — a not insubstantial figure at well over 183cm—as the benchmark Specialising in cars... www.thecarmart.com.au 02 Mitsubishi 95 Hyundai Excel X3 LX 1.5lt auto, p/s, a/c, 158,000kms, 4 door, proven reliability. Verada KJ 3.5lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, 130,000kms, lots of extras, top of the range. 04 Holden RA LX Rodeo 3.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, V6 space cab, cheapest in town. 96 Holden Astra TR City 1.6lt auto, p/s, a/c, 109,000kms, hard to find, 05/2010 rego. 97 Mitsubishi Magna TE Exec 2.4lt auto, p/s, a/c, 155,000kms, great value, be quick. 97 Holden Commodore VSII Ute 3.8lt manual, p/s, alloys, 157,000kms, hardtop, very clean ute. 00 Hyundai Sonata EF GLE 2.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, 108,000kms. 04 Kia Rio 5 door hatch 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, c/lock, SAVE $1000. 01 Daihatsu Sirion Hatch 1.0lt manual, p/s, electrics, 101,000kms, beat fuel prices. ORSCHE’S first four-door Grand Tourer, the Pana- mera, is on the road, and Carsguide was among the first of the world’s media $10,000 Saab 900S Convertible auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, 131,000kms, leather, electric roof, heated seats. David Strang 0404 724 986 Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Todd Jackson 0419 514 956 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) 01 Holden Vectra GL 2.2lt auto, p/s, a/c, 127,000kms, c/lock, above average. Easy on-site finance available 99 Mazda 323 BJ Astina 1.8lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, c/lock, airbag, value. 92 Toyota Landcruiser “Troopie” 4.2lt manual, diesel, p/s, a/c, towbar, rear seats. 03 Hyundai Elantra XD GL 1.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 57,000kms, low kms, 03/10 rego. www.thecarmart.com.au 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park 6211 0566 13655Jono Under $4995 $9995 $10,995 $9995 $9995 $4995 $8995 $9995 $6995 $6995 $4995 $6995 $4995 $9995
June 20th 2009
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