Porsche Should Only Make Panamera as a Shooting Brake!
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My faith in their design capacity was further dented when I first saw the Panamera, a car which, again, looked dreadful. It may be the most competent, sportiest and best to drive in its class by a very wide margin, but its incompetent styling would keep me from buying one, even under the hypothetical asumption that I could afford one. Jaguar’s XJ is currently the class leader, in terms of style, but it too is let down by the blacked out C-pillars which look very out of place – you can always buy one in black, though, and thus fix the problem.
Now, as with the new Cayenne, Porsche is well aware of the fact that people didn’t like the look of the Panamera that much, especially from the rear, and so they have used the massive coverage brought by the Paris Motor Show to reveal to the world a new concept for the car – a shooting brake concept called Sport Turismo. I need to make it very clear from the get-go: the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept is a very good looking car, being a correctly proportioned estate, with undeniable Porsche DNA built into it.
Proof of this is the fact that the car was always surrounded by a very large number of journalists and car fans alike, and it became one of the main attractions of the entire show. Now, while we have seen speculation that Porsche may be considering to build it, I say they will definitely build it now, especially after the very warm reception it got. Furthermore, judging by its looks, it is not really a radical concept, but rather a preview of what’s to come, in a very similar manner to the Skoda Mission L concept, which morphed into the Rapid, which is exactly the same in terms of the bodywork, losing some of the concept’s details in its transition to production car.
Porsche, like all other manufacturers, want to sell cars, and while it is not necessarily an admirable goal in its own right, they will be forced to give their prospective customers what they want, and we say they want the same car shown in Paris, but with proper production headlights and the addition of wing mirrors. The shape of the body, as stylish as it may now be, is not particularly complex (as most radical concepts that never reach production tend to be) and it could be transformed into a production vehicle with relative ease.
Now, while the same sources of speculation cited above say that it could be a separate model, alongside a sedan/hatchback variant, I say Porsche should not even bother with another version, and just build this as it is, and then reap the rewards. They should give buyers exactly what they want, and this Panamera shooting brake would definitely be a more-than-satisfactory vehicle for any luxury car buyer, looking to inject some sportiness into an otherwise dull and rather floaty class of cars.
Porsche should kill off the current shape of Panamera as quickly as possible, and introduce this new model, to be their only non-SUV four-door offering, as it will wash away some of the bitter taste left in the mouths of Porsche purists, the ones who say the automaker should have stuck to just making the 911, boosting the company’s image further, along with their sales. To those people I feel the need to remind them that the Cayenne and Panamera are the marque’s best selling models, bringing in cash which Porsche uses to develop the really exciting models, such as the 918, a very promissing hybrid hypercar which warrants at least two whole editorials to really get into.
We will have to wait and see what Porsche decides to do with the Sport Turismo, but it will really be their loss if they choose not to make it as it is, and alter it, turning it into something worse, like a sedan or hatchback. They failed to get it right the first time, and the fact that they showed off an estate model is very clear indication that they are aware of this fact and are willing to make a change in order to boost the Panamera’s appeal.
If they decide not to make it, then the Panamera will be remembered in history as a very competent car, which was always let down by its shoddy styling and disproportionate rear end, when it should in fact be reveared as the class leader that it is. People like to criticize and find flaws, and in order to shut them up, Porsche needs to make a four-door car that is as near to perfection as they can possibly get, otherwise editorialists will continue to bash it in the forseeable future as well.
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comments written so far
On 6 October 2012 at 15:26 UTC, Stig Bjorge said:
Well, maybe the wagon-phobic US-market can still be supplied with the Panamera coupe, while the rest of us get the vastly more beautiful (in our eyes) Panamera Sport Turismo. Recently two (non-US) acquaintances of mine have purchased Panamera (coupes), but I expect both of them to migrate as soon as the Sport Turismo becomes available.
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