A 4 Door Porsche … That’s Right, FOUR Doors!
Last year at the Long Beach Grand Prix of 2008, I thought I had seen it all.
Team Minardi USA, running in it’s first year as a ChampCar team (and as it turned out, only year), was a team that brought with it an “E” ticket sponsor promotion – The Minardi F1x2. This was an open-wheel race chassis specially modified with two seats.
The idea being that well-heeled fans and sponsors would love to take a spin at racing speeds on the track of a ChampCar racing venue and be willing to pay $10,000 for the pleasure of signing their life away to ride in an elevated rearseat behind a qualified open-wheel race driver.
A Minardi F1x2 two-seater zipping along at speed during the Las Vegas Grand Prix in 2007. Image Credit: f1minardi.free.fr
This excerpted and edited from minardif1x2.com -
The acceleration, the cornering speeds, the braking forces, the scream of a racing engine being unleashed, the blur of speed – once, only the world’s top professional drivers could experience the reality of the ultimate, four-wheeled competition machine. Now, courtesy of the Minardi F1x2 two-seater programme, the thrill of experiencing Formula One performance first-hand is a possibility for a much wider audience.
Whether you’re an individual or a member of a corporate group, you are guaranteed the ride of a lifetime once you are strapped into one of the Minardi F1x2 Team’s fleet of eight, purpose-built, two-seater Grand Prix cars. From the moment the 700hp-plus V10 engine explodes into life, your driver selects first gear on the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter, and your car rolls out of the garage and down the pit lane, you know this is going to be a very special experience and a very special day.
Honestly, the process was quite something to witness – the faces of the second seat passenger after the ride looked similar to a fixed smile carved into a pumpkin.
Well, our automobile manufacturing friends in Germany are planning a production car where several people can share in a community experience of coursing down a winding road at G-Force speeds and disgorge themselves from the car with the same carved smile expression affixed to their faces.
Expected to be introduced to the world in Spring 2009 and placed into production for sale by the Summer 2009 is the four door, four-seater Porsche … the Porshe Panamera Gran Turismo.
That’s right, a four door Porsche!
The Porsche Panamera Gran Turismo - rear view. Image Credit: presse.prosche.de
This excerpted and edited from Porsche.de website (registration required) –
Porsche Presents First Photos of Four-Door Panamera Gran Turismo
PRESS RELEASE – Release Date: 24/11/2008 - Stuttgart
Roughly nine months before the actual market launch, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has released the first official photos of the Panamera in its final look. In its design, profile and silhouette, Porsche’s unique four-seater stands out clearly as a new member of the Porsche family. Conceived and designed as a four-door grand touring sports car, the Panamera combines numerous talents in typical Porsche style: sporting driving dynamics, a generous and variable interior, and the supreme driving comfort of a Gran Turismo. Joining the 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars as well as the sporty SUV Cayenne, the Panamera is Porsche’s fourth model series.
Through its design language alone, the Panamera will establish a new segment versus the competition. The symbiosis of sports car DNA derived from the looks of a coupé, the unique interpretation of the classical saloon body and the benefits of a variable space concept give the new Porsche its truly unmistakable appearance. As an example, the Panamera comes with highly individual, strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille. Striking wheel arches and the long and sleek engine compartment lid create that typical 911 “landscape” at the front end of the car the Porsche customer has appreciated for no less than 45 years, with the distinctly contoured wings as flanks bordering on the flat front lid. The V-shaped seams along the engine compartment lid and the rear window tapering out like an arrow to the rear convey the features characteristic of a sports car to the new, highly individual Panamera class. The striking, muscular shoulders over the rear wheels, the dynamic sweep of the coupé-like roofline, and the visible tailpipes again bear out all the DNA so typical of a thoroughbred Porsche.
Thanks to the new concept of space and the sporting architecture of the interior, the car’s occupants are also able to experience this special “pilot feeling” on all four seats. All four occupants enjoy supreme ergonomic comfort on both the front seats and the two firmly contoured single seats at the rear. The luggage compartment easily takes up all the passengers’ luggage. The variable space concept with its folding rear seat backrests enables the driver and passengers to adjust the luggage space individually to their personal requirements. And last but not least, the coupé tailgate in the sporting rear end combines superior suitability for daily use with stylish elegance.
Porsche has developed superior and up-to-date power units for the Panamera again reflecting all the qualities typical of the brand – the V-engines within the engine compartment come with six and eight cylinders and range in power from 300 to 500 bhp. Some of the engines use turbocharger technology, Direct Fuel Injection making them both fuel-efficient and powerful all in one. The flow of power to the wheels goes either through a manual six-speed gearbox or the new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox, the so called Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK).
In addition to sporting rear-wheel drive, the top version of the Panamera comes with even more sophisticated all-wheel drive, which is also available for the other versions as an option.
The Porsche Panamera will be built at Porsche’s Leipzig Plant.
Hence, the Panamera is most definitely a car “Made in Germany”.
... notes from The EDJE