After the raging success that is the Cayenne–nearly half of Porsche sales now go to the SUV–we can’t blame Porsche for moving to expand its lineup even further. Now, after the more conventional Cayman coupe, the official word is finally out that the boys in Stuttgart are planning a fourth distinct model line–the four-door Panamera.
After the outcry raised over the brand’s decision to market a truck back in 2003, public reaction to this model seems much more accepting–perhaps as a result of the beautiful lines exhibited in the preliminary design sketch released by the renowned sports-car manufacturer. Looking much like a stretched 911, we expect the actual car to be unveiled at Frankfurt’s International Auto Show in September; spy photos have been released but do not reveal much beyond the initial sketch.
Described as the spiritual successor to the much-loved 928, the Panamera will likely use V8 power exclusively. We expect the engine options to mirror those of the Cayenne, including normally-aspirated and turbocharged motors making at least 340 and 450 horses respectively.
Much like Mercedes’ new CLS “four-door coupe,” the Panamera has the silhouette of a sleek two-door, but promises four full doors and space for as many adult passengers. The Panamera will be built by Porsche in a more in-house production process than is used with the Cayenne (sister to VW’s Touareg). Expected to be in production by 2009, the sedan should provide another healthy boost to Porsche sales–they expect to sell as many as 20,000 annually. Porsche has hinted at pricing in the $125,000 to $175,000 range.