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Old October 16th   #1
Samir
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First Impression: Porsche Panamera 4s

I had a chance to swing by the local dealership that had a 4s. It's the only Panamera they have. I initially approached the car from the rear, looking at the tail light and asking myself, "Is that a Maxima?" That was dissappointing. This was a 4s black on black with PDK and the full leather option as well as the turbo wheels.

As I walked around the car, I didn't have anything stand out and scream "Porsche" at me. Yes, there are crests in the wheels and emblems, but none of the styling was stand-out distinctive besides the headlights.

Looking at the brakes of the car, I saw Porsche everywhere--the brakes are monsterous. The 19" turbo wheels leave a lot to be desired. Even though they hold meaty tires, they look like production car wheels, not Porsche wheels. They use a twin spoke 5 spoke pattern, but not like what's on the newest 911, which would have screamed so much more that this car is a Porsche. I think Porsche determined that most owners will be changing them, so they didn't really invest in choices right now. I think we'll see more choices down the road or from Tequipment. After a quick look at the engine bay, which reminded me of an older Mustang Cobra minus the supercharger (lots of room for mods like a turbo setup or different intake system), I sat down in the interior.

What sold me on Porsche from the first time I drove my Boxster was the intuitive placement of everything that I needed. I never found that in any car before, and this is only true of the 987/997 and newer interiors. The 986/996 series still has me hunting.

The initial glance at the interior had me pausing, reflecting on what looked like a standard passenger car interior, not the regular Porsche interior I've gotten so used to. As I sat down and started looking for controls, I found that even though it looks different, I find things just as quickly and efficiently. Kudos to Porsche on the interior. It will grow on me.

The seats had similar bolstering on the rear and sides as the standard 987/997 seats, but the lower portion didn't have as much side bolstering. I didn't have a chance to drive the car, so I wonder how well this will hold you in the seat during hard cornering.

I also sat in the back, as this is the reason for the car in the first place. I found that the back seats were the same as those in the front, with bolstering on the sides of the back of the seat but lacking on the base of the seat. The center console from the front extends into the back, making this a 4 person car only. The center console adds a cupholders as well as two 12v outlets, one with a lighter. The built-in armrests in the doors worked very well with the center pullout to make a very comfortable experience.

Looking at where you are going from the rear, however, is a completely different experience. Remember what it felt like riding in the back of your parent's car when you were younger? You couldn't see the road, couldn't see the front of the car, and couldn't see out the side windows. Well, this is kinda that feeling. You know you are a secondary passenger and the people up front are the ones having fun. All you can do is just hang on for the ride. But you also can feel how safe you are in the ****pit. In a sense, you feel like some important cargo that will get to its destination no matter what happens.

This is a car that has done what a Porsche does best--spark the imagination and fuel opinions. There are many that hate the look of the car. There are many that love it. I think it is a truly "form follow function" vehicle that will not be for everyone, and yet be everything to someone.
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Old October 19th   #2
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A great test drive and review by the Swiss web site, asphalte.ch:
http://www.asphalte.ch/Auto/Panamera...era_en_01.html
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Old October 19th   #3
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There was one at the Texas Mile this past weekend:



Oh, a Gumpert Apollo too.



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Old October 19th   #4
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Interesting. The Swiss review was not what I expected for the Turbo. Apparently, the power is not enough and compromises handling. I can see supercharger and turbo kits for the non-turbo models being an easy reality.
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Old November 24th   #5
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It seems as if the design of all the newer sedans seem to look this way. From the Aston Martin Rapide to the new Honda Crosstour, they all have a sedan-hatchback look.
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Old November 26th   #6
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Cool commercial...ugly car.
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Old November 28th   #7
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It's growing on me.

I saw one driving a couple of times in HSV lately and those LED running lights look awesome.
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Old November 29th   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckham View Post
It's growing on me.

I saw one driving a couple of times in HSV lately and those LED running lights look awesome.
I still haven't had a chance to drive it yet or spend more time with it. When I do, you want to come along?
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Old November 29th   #9
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Sure. I'll bring 2 friends as well and we can all ride.
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