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Porsche Panamera (2009) caught in leafy suburbia

By Georg Kacher/Tim Pollard

Spy shots

14 July 2007 07:50

Porsche Panamera: the latest news

We're still two years away from seeing the Panamera in showrooms, but you wouldn't think so from the number of times Porsche's first front-engined, four-seater saloon has been scooped. Our spies have caught the car pounding around the Nürburgring, testing in the Arctic snows of Scandinavia and closer to home in Germany. Today CAR's photographers have caught the Panamera again, this time testing in Germany again. Click 'Next' to read on and find out more about Porsche's new foray into the luxury sporting saloon market.

What's underneath all that disguise?

The Panamera is a standalone Zuffenhausen project, codenamed G1; Porsche spoke to VW and Bentley about doing a joint development - a la Cayenne - but neither company took the bait. As you can see, the Panamera is - at just under five metres in length - not a compromised coupe with an excessively low roofline and the compact footprint of a two-plus-two-seater. Quite the contrary: unlike the pretty but stillborn four-door 989 concept conceived in 1988, the G1 is relatively tall for a Porsche so that even the rear seat passengers won't knock their heads when entering or exiting the vehicle. This prototype is still disguised with tape all over, fake bumpers and a fixed rear wing big enough to have been developed by Airbus. But the body structure-cum-greenhouse, the chassis and the drivetrain are already close to production, and we can begin to see the shape of the lights now that the disguise is slowly peeling off these prototypes.