At 55.8 inches high and 76 inches wide (1.42 by 1.93 meters), the Panamera is lower, wider and more aggressive than its competitors thanks to its thoroughbred sports-car DNA. In fact, the relationship of its height and width is even more aggressive than the 911 Carrera. With its unique interpretation of classic four-door design and the advantages of its variable space concept, Porsche’s latest model has a truly unmistakable appearance and defines a new segment in the premium market.
With its compact overall length and short overhangs, low body height but wide and muscular flanks, the proportions of the Panamera clearly speak the classic Porsche design language. While reflecting a philosophy refined throughout decades on the 911 Carrera and successfully applied also on the Boxster, Cayman, and Cayenne, the Panamera incorporates and reinterprets numerous classic Porsche themes, offering a dynamic and powerful look despite the very generous space of the interior.
From the front, Panamera is clearly recognizable as a genuine Porsche, bearing strong resemblance to its siblings. With a low air intake instead of a traditional grille, powerfully curved front wings that rise above a low hood creating the “topography” of a sports car and its characteristic headlights, the Panamera clearly has the face of a Porsche.
On the Panamera S and 4S, the front sections and panels come with integrated openings for cooling air. While the Panamera S is characterized by black double bars in the side air intakes, the Panamera 4S features double bars in titanium. Horizontal positioning lights shaped as light conductors between the direction indicators and the daytime driving lights also give the Panamera a distinctive nighttime signature.
The Panamera Turbo features a different and quite unique front end. The air intakes at the front boast a special grid structure giving the top-of-the-range model an even more powerful and dynamic look.
The Panamera Turbo’s daytime driving lights are distinctive, as well, formed by four unique LEDs spaced around the two round headlights. The positioning lights, formed by light conductors around the direction indicators, give the Panamera Turbo a unique look in the dark.
The Panamera silhouette is characterized by the compact front overhang. The design feature which truly makes it out as a Porsche, however, is the roofline, with its curving contour flowing softly to the tail section. Together with the passenger compartment, which tapers at the rear, the sweeping roof creates the special combination of lines so characteristic of Porsche, flowing in a muscular and contoured sweep into the rounded rear end.
A comparatively compact length of 195.6 inches or just under five meters contributes to the car’s extremely dynamic appearance, while small roof spoilers front and rear and a large undertray cover serve to optimize the Panamera’s aerodynamic qualities.
How others see a Porsche while driving – as it pulls away
From the rear, the Panamera is immediately recognizable as a Porsche. Rear LED lights with individual light chambers taking up the side-line of the car and horizontal graphics that emphasize the Gran Turismo’s width at night help ensure this impression.
The dual tailpipes to the outer left and right and finished in brushed stainless steel provide the second highlight and add to its unique style and communicate power and performance. On the Panamera S and 4S the dual tailpipes are round; on the Panamera Turbo, they are square. An integrated rear diffuser on all Panamera models is part of a sophisticated aerodynamic package. On the Panamera S the diffuser is smooth and black. The Panamera 4S diffuser is also black, but comes with additional ribs down the side. On the Panamera Turbo, the diffuser features vertical ribs and a titanium color.
Variable spoilers: aerodynamics comparable to the 911 Carrera
A key element that contributes to the outstanding efficiency found in the new Porsche Panamera is its aerodynamics. Like the 911, the Panamera comes with a drag coefficient of just 0.29 (Panamera S/4S) and 0.30 (Panamera Turbo). This streamlining enhances driving performance and helps to minimize fuel consumption.
A particular highlight of the Panamera aero package is the adaptive spoiler at the trailing edge of the rear window. It moves up at a speed of 56 mph (90 km/h) and automatically adjusts to the optimum angle as a function of current road speed.
While the Panamera S and 4S come with a two-way spoiler, the Panamera Turbo boasts an even more sophisticated four-way spoiler, a worldwide innovation in the luxury class. The two-piece upper section moves up and out, increasing its width in order to make the spoiler even larger and more efficient.
In both cases, the spoiler moves to an angle of -3° off the horizontal plane starting at a speed of 56 mph (90 km/h) to reduce drag. Starting at about 100 mph (160 km/h), the two-way spoiler on the Panamera S and 4S is set to 5°, moving to the performance setting of 14° at 127 mph (205 km/h).
The four-way spoiler on the Panamera Turbo remains in the -3° position up to 127 mph (205 km/h) and then moves directly to the performance position of 10°. The Turbo’s rear spoiler thus not only helps reduce lift forces, but helps produce downforce on the rear axle at high speeds like the rear wing on the 911 Turbo. This helps give the car excellent road holding and supreme directional and tracking stability at very high speeds.
Precise calculation of air flow
At the front, the Panamera is characterized by its three large air intakes. On the Panamera S and the Panamera 4S, the side air intakes are closed in the interest of enhanced aerodynamics and an even better drag coefficient, with the normally aspirated engine drawing air from beneath the car. On the Panamera Turbo, the intercoolers are directly behind the side air intakes to provide an ample supply of air. Additional cooling air comes from the air scoop in the middle with its bypass ducts.
The sensor for the optional Adaptive Cruise Control with distance control function has also been optimized. It is located in the center air intake so not to interfere with the supply of cooling air.
Ducts beneath the spoiler lips on the outside of the front air dam provide a steady supply of cooling air to the brakes, with air flowing directly to the inside of the wheels. Thanks to their configuration, these ducts also help reduce lift forces at the front. The brake air guide blades on the Panamera Turbo help cool the brake system with even greater efficiency. Special wheel spoilers also optimize airflow around the wheels.
The exterior mirrors are designed for minimal air resistance and are fitted on the doors and not, as is usually the case, on the window frames in order to improve not only the car’s aerodynamics and acoustics, but also visibility to the rear. The door-mounted mirrors also eliminate dirt build-up on the side windows.
All Panamera models come with an undertray cover that extends almost completely from front to rear and side to side in order to optimize airflow beneath the car and help reduce turbulence. The Panamera is the first car in this segment with an undertray cover that even encompasses the driveshaft tunnel and the rear mufflers, helping to further reduce air resistance and lift forces on the axles for better streamlining and enhanced fuel economy.
The car’s undertray guides airflow to exactly the right points, where specific Panamera components require extra cooling. Intake gills around the rear axle differential, for example, draw in cooling air to keep the differential cool and efficient at all times. The rear diffuser, in turn, together with the rear spoiler, serves to further help reduce lift forces at the rear of the