When Porsche unveiled the Porsche Cayenne, most of the Porsche enthusiasts embraced it openhearted, but the more traditional and restrained Porsche enthusiasts considered it as an insult. To them, it was an attempt to dilute the very essence of Porsche to make more money by making an SUV instead of the regular sports cars or the occasional supercar.
Despite the criticism, Wendelin Wiedeking’s vision for Porsche and the gambles he made with the introduction of more common-stream models during his leadership, turned the company around from a possible bankruptcy to a profitable institute with more than enough money to develop better engineered, and more successful sports cars as well as the supercars.
Germany always produced high-performance large sedans such as the BMW M3, BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E-class AMG variants, and Mercedes-Benz S-class AMG variants. These cars were in high demand across the EU, USA, and China markets.
The Type 970 project was Porsche’s answer to those cars. It began life as the canceled Porsche 989 project in the 1980s. Engineers and designers at Porsche then completely revised it and upgraded it to make the chassis and the superstructure lighter yet stronger. Then it was given modern state-of-the-art creature comforts, safety, and performance features. Due to the packaging reasons as well as to provide more interior space, the car had to grow in size.
It was supposed to carry four grown adults and their luggage as well. This was what Wendelin Wiedeking wanted to achieve with the project.
What resulted was a refined, luxurious, and practical experience with uncompromised performance of a sports car. It was now called Porsche Panamera.
Porsche unveiled the Porsche Panamera at the Paris Auto Show in 2009. In April 2009, the car was showcased at the Shanghai International Auto Show again.
Their Porsche Cayenne was already a huge sales success, and it had a big presence in China and Russia. When the Porsche Panamera was unveiled, instantaneous demand from Chinese and Russian markets occurred.
Production Porsche Cayenne
Porsche Panamera was introduced to the 2010 model year line-up and was available in three variants. Porsche Panamera S with rear-wheel drive and a naturally aspirated engine, Porsche Panamera 4S with all-wheel-drive, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo with all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged engine.
The 4.8-liter V8 engine with direct fuel injection produced 400hp at 6500rpm. Porsche Panamera S and Porsche Panamera 4S were both equipped with this engine.
Porsche Panamera Turbo was equipped with a turbocharged variant of the same engine and delivered 500hp at 6000rpm.
Initially, all the cars had seven-speed Porsche Dopplekupplungstreibe (PDK) transmission units as standard without any other optional units.
In 2010, a new variant called Porsche Panamera L with a 3605cc V6 engine was available for the customers looking for a less sporty experience with a lower price tag. This V6 engine delivered 300hp at 6200rpm. This engine was available with a six-speed manual as standard with an optional PDK transmission unit.
A diesel variant of the Porsche Panamera was unveiled as a 2011 model year car. This car featured a 2967cc Audi-derived diesel engine which it shared with the diesel Porsche Cayenne. The maximum power delivery was 250hp.
In the same year, Porsche Panamera Turbo S was launched, packing 550hp at 6000rpm.
All-new for 2011, the Porsche Panamera GTS had a tuned naturally aspirated engine delivering 430hp.
The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid had a supercharged 2995cc V6 incorporated into an electric motor.
Diesel Porsche Panamera and the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid both featured an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission exclusively.
In 2013, Porsche unveiled their revised Porsche Panamera with minimum exterior styling changes, but with significant powertrain improvements and upgrades.
Porsche Panamera S and Porsche Panamera 4S were now equipped with a twin-turbochraged 2967cc V6 engine, delivering 414hp maximum at 6000rpm.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid featured the same supercharged 2995 V6 incorporating its 95hp electric motor. The maximum power output was 416hp. This car is capable of achieving 84mph strictly on electric mode.
Due to the demand of Chinese customers, a longer wheelbase version of the Porsche 4S, Porsche Turbo, and Porsche Turbo S models were unveiled. These variants got a 150 mm longer wheelbase and are available for limited left-hand drive markets including China.
Porsche Turbo S was now equipped with a 4806cc V8 engine, producing 562hp maximum at 6000rpm.
In June 2016, Porsche unveiled the second-generation Type 971 Porsche Panamera.
The new Porsche Panamera is based on the Volkswagen MSB platform.
Stephen Murkett, Grant Larson, and Benjamin Dimson under the supervision of Harm Lagaay did the styling and development of the first-generation Porsche Panamera. The Second-generation Porsche Panamera was designed by the new design chief Michael Mauer and his team.
The entire roofline, rear section, headlights, front fascia, and all body panels were new for the second generation.
The interior and instrument panel were all new and now featured touch-sensitive controls.
In 2017, Porsche unveiled an estate variant of the sedan. Porsche refers to the sedan as a Gran Turismo and the station wagon is known as the Sport Turismo.
In mid-2017, an executive variant with a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase was also introduced.