Under the skin of Porsche's new super-saloon
13 March 2009

The Porsche Panamera S will have a kerb weight of 1770kg, making it lighter than a Maserati Quattroporte or Mercedes CLS 63 AMG.

The low body weight has been achieved by using lightweight materials such as aluminium and magnesium wherever possible. For instance, the door tops are made from magnesium.

Porsche has also released aerodynamic details of the Panamera. The S has a drag co-efficient of 0.29, which is boosted by a flat underbody that combats lift.

The highlight, however, is a radical new rear spoiler that rises from below the rear window. It has motorised arms which extend over the rear wheel arches and increase downforce.

The standard engine is the 4.8-litre V8, which in the S and 4S develops 394bhp at 6500rpm and 369lb ft at 3500rpm.

The Turbo is powered by the same engine but with 493bhp at 6000rpm and 516lb ft of torque at just 2250rpm. The car’s overall weight also rises to 1970kg.

Porsche puts the Panamera’s 0-62mph times at 5.6sec, 5.0sec and 4.2sec respectively for the S, 4S and Turbo.

The Turbo is also capable of hitting 100mph in 9.0sec and reaching a top speed of 188mph.

In a display of the new seven-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox’s efficiency — it has stop-start — the Turbo’s fuel economy is claimed to better that of the manual S at 23.2mpg versus 22.6mpg. The best of the lot, however, is the 4S, with 25.5mpg.

A supercharged V6 motor is due to be added to the range in 2010, while diesel and hybrid versions of the Porsche Panamera are also under development and mooted to go on sale in 2011.

The Porsche Panamera will cost from £72,226 when it goes on sale in the UK in September.

Greg Kable

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