The original Panamera has been described in numerous ways. Awkward. Tormented. Uglier than an inside-out monkey. Truly, the car was only a result of its time. It was said that Porsche's long-time CEO Wendelin Wiedeking, who was very tall, needed a 911 sedan he could sit inside. So he assembled one.
Then the bottom fell out, the meeting room got Machiavellian, Wiedeking was fired, and Porsche succumbed to the Volkswagen Group's takeover. The events in the carmaker's management almost looked like realityTV. As for the Panamera, it practically became a joke.
Today, however, the company is far different than before, and the Panamera, all-new for this year, mirrors that evolution.
Porsche Panamera - A Sleek Beauty
This second-generation design looks confident, sleeker, and more cohesive. The vehicle's greenhouse and roofline appear to finally cooperate, smoothed into one continuous fastback arc, supplemented by the face-lifted 911's corporate LED jewelry. The shape is still a bit outlandish, but at least the strained hunchback jokes that the original incited can be fully put to rest.
The progressions are more than skin-deep. This is the new MSB chassis, an aluminum and steel alloy that is adaptable to four wheelbases across Volkswagen Group brands. At first glance, the platform sharing looks like a proprietary misfortune.
Engineers say it's most certainly not. Porsche and Audi allegedly clashed over materials and dimensions during development, with Audi attempting to take control of the project, only to shut down by Volkswagen Group's top brass.
Thoughts of the Porsche Panamera
In terms of raw power and performance, the Panamera remains a singular proposition. It may not be the brand's most intimidating vehicle, but the hubris-meets-competence ethos reeks of Porsche, with bells and whistles to boot. As a feat of engineering, and now a focused luxury product, it's a triumph.