Celebrating 10 Years of the Porsche Panamera
The 911 ushered a whole new era for Porsche, helping the German sports car brand earn the distinction as a premier maker of the high-performing sports cars. Ten years ago, a new era dawned for Porsche yet again, with the release of the company’s first-ever sedan, the Panamera.
Unlike any other in its class, the Panamera seamlessly blends sports car performance with touring saloon elegance. The combination was so effective that demand for the car exceeded the manufacturer’s target of making 20,000 units per year. Over the course of ten years, a total of 235,000 Panameras have been delivered to their proud owners.
“As a technology platform for innovations that were later transferred to other models, the Panamera has played a significant role in shaping the past ten years of the brand’s history,” explains Michael Steiner, former first Vice President of the product line who is now Member of the Executive Board Research and Development. “With its high-performance hybrid variants, it is now above all a trailblazer for electromobility at Porsche.”
So how did the Panamera come to be? A total of five prototypes are to blame for Porsche finally deciding to put Porsche’s first Gran Turismo into production back in 2009. Take a look at these prototypes below, along with how the Panamera has managed to evolve eloquently in just two short generations.
Porsche Type 530 (1950s)
Despite the company’s success with coupe-types, Porsche’s engineers just can’t let go of the idea of building a four-seater. In the 1950s, this idea finally bore fruit in the form of the Type 530. Based on the 356, the Type 530 had a longer wheelbase, larger doors, and a taller roof at the rear. It never went into production, but the seeds for a Porsche sedan had been planted.
Porsche 911 prototype (1960s)
Built in the 1960s, Porsche’s next four-seater was based on the 911. As one would imagine, it was basically a four-door version of Porsche’s iconic rear-engined runner. Except this one came with suicide doors.
Porsche 928 prototype (1980s)
Two decades passed before Porsche decided to build another four-door prototype, this time based on the 928. Similar to the four-door 911 prototype, this car also had suicide doors, but this time around, the engine was located at the front. Design inspirations for the first-gen Panamera are obvious in this particular car.
Porsche Type 989 (1980s)
There was a renewed drive for Porsche to come up with a sedan in the 80s, and the Porsche Type 989 was their second attempt. Like the 928, the Type 989 had four doors and a front engine. The car never made it to production, but it did inspire most popular generation of the 911–the 993.
Porsche sedan prototypes (2000s)
When the 21st century rolled in, Porsche finally got serious about producing a sedan. Three concepts were being considered–the Meteor, Mirage and the Phantom. After conducting market studies and further research and development, elements from all three cars made it to the final cut. With the design finalized, Porsche named its first production sedan the Panamera after the Carrera Panamericana endurance race. The car was unveiled in Shanghai on April 19, 2009.
The first-gen Panamera (2009)
Given the internal design number ‘G1,’ the first-gen Panamera set standards in sportiness and comfort. The model grew rapidly and sustainably, with powertrains ranging from gas, diesel and hybrid, as well as rear-wheel and all-wheel drive options. Transmission systems ranged from six-speed manual, to seven-speed dual clutch, and finally an eight-stage automatic.
The Panamera G2 (2016)
Despite strong sales and admirable performance, many thought that the first-gen Panamera’s proportions were a little bit off. The second generation sought to silence those who criticized its looks the first time around. And so with the release of the G2, the Panamera finally earned the design critics’ seal of approval. From then on, the second-gen Panamera’s avant-garde design and body concept brought more versatility and style to the luxury vehicle class.