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Porsche Panamera (2009): the first interior photos

Thu, 12 Feb 2009

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

12 February 2009 09:00

Porsche today issues the first photographs inside the new Panamera luxury sports saloon. The Panamera will be shown at this spring's 2009 Shanghai motor show and this is the first - official - glimpse inside the new limo from Stuttgart.

It's quite a different milieu from the cosy, focused cabins of 911s and Boxsters to which Porschephiles have become accustomed. And the scattergun, button-strewn centre console is a reality, as revealed in our scoop photos last year. Some commentators back then questioned the veracity of those shots, but today's official photos confirm the busy new look inside. We counted 84 switches when we sat in the Panamera.

The cockpit is dominated by a long, dividing console that splits the cabin into four quarters. Porsche engineering chief Wolfgang Durheimer told CAR that Porsche was vehemently opposed to multi-controllers such as iDrive and MMI – claiming that drivers preferred to press a simple button. Many at CAR agree with his sentiment, although the price you pay is a larger collection of buttons than your grandmother's sewing kit.

Porsche hasn't totally forgotten its sports car roots, however. You'll find a familiar-looking central rev counter, that distinctive family typeface and we've previously called 'Germanic logic meets slightly scatty ergonomics.' There are some natty new executive style materials, however, and we found it as inviting as its Teutonic opposition's cabins.

This artfully cropped photo gives a small indication of the space available in the rear. Happily, we've sat in the Panamera and can report that it boasts a very comfy pair of rear individual pews. You won't find quite as much space as in a Merc S-class or Audi A8, but it's very comfy nonetheless. And the Panamera isn't styled like a brick, so a slightly bigger stoop is the price you pay for its sporting intent.

All four seats recline and can be chilled and heated. Being a five-door hatch, rather than a four-door, the Panamera also boasts a remarkable degree of practicality. That rear pair of seats folds flat, turning this into what Porsche styling director Michael Mauer calls a 'space coupe'. It has a 450-litre boot, but tip those seats forward and the hatch beats all its rivals for stowage.

Expect the Panamera in showrooms this autumn.

By Tim Pollard