2010 Porsche Panamera

Picture a 911 with four doors and a backseat and you get Porsche’s first sedan, the Panamera. As high-end as any other 911 model, don’t expect it to be cheap or mass produced. A direct competitor to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and an upcoming BMW CS variant, the Porsche Panamera is scheduled for production for the 2010 model year.

The latest spy photos show the Panamera to be a low-slung, “four-door coupe” like the Mercedes CLS. Also looking like a stretched variant of the flagship 911, the “sedan’s” engine is in the front—a 4.8 litre, 400 horsepower, 0-60 mph in 4.5 secs, and 180 mph all out. Panamera models will come in six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed sequential manual—a new Porsche twin-clutch unit with automatic shift mode similar to VW’s DSG transmission. The base model, however, might just be a VW-sourced 3.6 litre V6 with 300 horsepower.

The 2010 Porsche Panamera is going to be a rear-wheel drive vehicle that may be upgraded to all-wheel drive in the second or third year of production. The Panamera might just borrow suspension components, brakes and steering from the Cayenne SUV. All units should include the 911 rear spoiler that powers up and down depending on road speed.

Scheduled to be exhibited at the 2009 Geneva Salon in Switzerland, Sales to follow late in that year, the projected prices may start at $108,000 for the base model and up to $168,000 for the Turbo---same price range as the Mercedes CLS AMG 63, Maserati Quattroporte, and Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

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