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12/07 Panamera testing photos

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It's been a few months since the Panamera was last spotted, but an intrepid photographer caught this convoy in South Africa a couple

of days ago.

Scheduled for an official presentation at the 2009 Geneva show, the Panamera

is expected to be a strong competitor to the Mercedes CLS and the future

Aston Martin Rapide, as well as Volkswagen's upcoming four-door (so-called

Passat) coupé.

Though the Panamera takes over design elements from the 911 range, there

will obviously be significant differences. While the 911 has always kept its

rear-mounted boxer engine, the Panamera will have a choice of three

front-mounted motors, although they'll be set back to the center of the car

as much as possible.

The entry-level powerplant will be Volkswagen's 3.5-liter six-cylinder

engine with 300 bhp, while Porsche's own drivetrain will be a

direct-injection eight-cylinder petrol engine, available in

naturally-aspirated guise (350 bhp) and with twin-turbo (560 bhp). That

should be enough to beat out the competition for a while. However, should

Stuttgart make the CLS even stronger, Zuffenhausen might strike back with

the Porsche GT's 700-bhp ten-cylinder powerplant!

The target for the Panamera is to be a true sportscar, while at the same

time being a "family-car" for every-day use with four full seats, easy

access to the rear and a good-sized luggage compartment.

When it hits the road in 2009, Porsche hopes to be able to sell 20 000 units

annually – and to jump over the barrier of 100,000 sold cars per year.

Photo Credit: Errol Corrigan for Brenda Priddy & Co.






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