The Porsche Panamera (Type number 970) is a four-door, four-seat luxury saloon/sedan, which was launched in 2009. It is front-engined with rear-wheel drive, with a four-wheel drive version also available.
The Panamera is generally considered to be the long-awaited fruit of Porsche’s 989 concept from the late 1980s; some argue that it also presents itself as a successor to the two-door 928, but there may be plans to develop a new 928 as well.
The Porsche Panamera and Panamera S are marketed as a direct competitor to full-size luxury cars such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The high performance Panamera Turbo competes in the ultra-luxury segment alongside “exotics” such as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, Aston Martin Rapide, and Maserati Quattroporte.
Like the Porsche Cayenne SUV, the Panamera upset many Porsche enthusiasts, since it was seen as an attempt to broaden Porsche’s appeal beyond that of hardcore fans. The Panamera ran contrary to the company’s signature offerings, particularly its light two-door rear-engine sports cars like the 911. The iconic Porsche had a sparse interior, as it was focused on raw performance. The Panamera on the other hand is considered a full-size luxury sedan, weighing at nearly 4,000 pounds, with four doors, and its V8 engine mounted in the front. It also has a sumptuous interior loaded with modern technological amenity and expensive leather upholstery. The Panamera’s long hood and bulbous rear hatch bares little resemblance to a stretched 911. Despite the differences in dimensions and design, a reviewer noted that the Panamera’s driving dynamics were close to that of the 911, and it “seems to occupy the no-man’s-land between really good sports sedans and proper sports cars”.