The business website par excellence, Bloomberg, has crowned the Porsche Panamera with its inaugural Car of the Year award. And it had some interesting things to say about a car that many, including yrs trly and indeed Bloomberg as well, have criticized for its looks.
Not only has the Panamera pleased many in the press, it has won over buyers, who have defied the recession. (Prices range from $89,800 to $132,600.) Inside Line reports 10,000 have been built since the car debuted in September. The photo above shows Number 10,000, a 500-hp Turbo bound for Singapore.
That is a pretty amazing figure, even though the article raises an issue (see the comments) as to number built versus number sold. Porsche’s press release is here: “The Panamera 4S is proving particularly popular and has a share of 44 percent—putting it ahead of the Turbo (36 percent) and the Panamera S (20 percent).”
It’s the S version that Bloomberg’s Jason H. Harper particularly liked: At 400 hp, it “handles and revs the most organically.” The Panamera brings
many of the legendary 911’s best elements—the upright seating position, the aggressive drive, the ideal on-road feel—into a spacious four-door. After driving it on the Autobahn, in the Alps, in crowded U.S. cities and ultimately on a racetrack against a BMW M5 at speeds of up to 160 mph, I was sold.
Despite stories to the contrary, the Panamera is in fact on sale in the U.S. Despite the down economy and the big declines in auto sales across the board, the Panamera has turned into a gold mine for Porsche, which plans to build 20,000 this year on the Cayenne production line in Leipzig.
As Jason Harper said, “Like a lot of people I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of the Panamera, but sometime between having a six-foot eight-inch buddy in the back seat and hauling into deep corners around the track, it became clear. It’s still a Porsche—just a really versatile one.”
Your turn: Does the Panamera deserve yet another award? Is it “that good”?