Porsche says all of its cars use styling cues taken from the 911 as their basis and the Panamera is no different. The shutline of the Panamera’s bonnet, for example, and the high-set front wings, are obvious 911 traits, as is the falling side window line.

Matching these to a car other than a rear-engined two-door coupé is not the challenging part of the design. The difficult part is making the traditional 911-style sloping roofline work with this luxury hatchback’s proportions. On almost all hatchbacks the downward curve is reversed at some point by a boot lip or spoiler, but not on the Panamera. And it’s the way the roofline curves that’s the most controversial – and, to our eyes, least successful – element of the design.  

The raised profile of the front wings is one of Porsche's styling trademarks

The raised profile to the front wings is a Porsche styling trademark. The bonnet can’t be so flat between them, of course, because the engine is in the front, hence the ‘power bulge’. For the 2013 facelift, little happened that will alter the Panamera’s silhouette in a layman’s eyes, but for a Porsche designer, the changes are significant. 

At the front there are now larger air intakes (considerably larger if you opt for the GTS or Turbo) and the linework has been tweaked for a more dynamic appearance, aided by the adoption of new headlights.

At the back there’s a clear differentiation between generations thanks to the relocation of the number plate. Along with a wider windscreen and bigger clusters, the emphasis here is on a lower stance and increased width.

The result is a broader backside, but not necessarily a cuter one. As before, all Panameras get an automatic pop-up spoiler, but the Turbo and the GTS’s is more extravagant, not only rising but also sprouting two winglets that sweep outwards as it extends upwards.


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