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Porsche Hits Production Milestone for Porsche Panamera
Back in December, we reported that Porsche had pump out 10,000 examples of its Porsche Panamera after just three months on the market, and despite the controversial styling of Porsche's new coupe-like hatchback, the car is still showing impressive sales around the globe. After just 10 months on the market, Porsche's assembly plant in Leipzig, Germany has just cranked out the 25,000th example of the full-size, four-passenger sport sedan. This wider product mix should allow Porsche to target a wider number of consumers which, in the end, will likely help increase sales.
The milestone vehicle of Porsche's 'sports car for four'? was a Ruby Red Panamera V-6 that will be sold in the U.S. where the car has seen equally impressive sales of more than 5,000 units since it went on sale last October. Globally, the Panamera has been available since September 2009 in three different models, Panamera S, Panamera 4S or Panamera Turbo, but sales should continue to increase with newer, more advanced models being added to the lineup such as the new 2011 Panamera V-6.
'The benchmark performance of our Panamera V6 models wins over our customers worldwide,'? said Bernhard Maier, Porsche's Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing. 'Even in the USA, a country with a preference for V-8 engines, they impress with their efficiency and sportiness. The Panamera combines these aspects with the comfort and exclusivity of the luxury class.'?
New for 2011, the Panamera and Panamera 4 were added to the lineup in May and are both powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 300 horsepower and gets slightly better EPA fuel economy estimates of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for the rear-wheel drive model (an increase of 2 mpg city and 3 mpg highway compared to the rear-wheel drive Panamera 4S). Like the V-8 models, the V-6 cars utilize the seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK transmission and Porsche's Auto Start Stop feature to further increase fuel economy.
While this new engine allows for even better fuel economy for the base 2011 Panamera models, the real benefit to the car is a lower starting MSRP of $74,400 - a noticeable reduction in price compared to the entry-level for 2010, the Panamera S, which started at $89,800. This lower price should help Porsche better compete with full-size luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ and the Lexus LS. Pricing for the Panamera S remains the same for 2011, but the all-wheel drive Panamera 4S is slightly higher at $94,700 (up $900) and the Panamera Turbo gets a more significantly increased price of $135,300 (up $2,700).
In addition to the new V-6 model being added to the lineup, Porsche is also preparing to launch the Panamera Hybrid next year as a 2012 model. The Panamera Hybrid will use a similar system as the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid that will make its debut this fall. In the Cayenne S Hybrid, the system pairs a 333-horsepower, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 with a 47-horsepower electric motor to produce a combined system output of 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. Porsche expects this system to give the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid fuel economy similar to a four-cylinder engine without compromising the performance expected from a Porsche.
The Panamera Hybrid should be able to improve upon the performance figures for the Cayenne which Porsche claims to be acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 150 mph. Like the Cayenne S Hybrid, the Panamera Hybrid will include a 'sailing'? mode which allows the fuel supply to be shut off during deceleration at speeds of up to 97 mph as well as the ability to drive under full electric power at speeds up to 40 mph. Porsche's green technology will continue to push the performance limits with cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Hybrid and the recently announced production version of the Porsche 918 Spyder - a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Even though the Panamera has proven to be one of Porsche's most polarizing and controversial models of all time, the aggressive expansion of models is helping the automaker reach a new breed of consumers while staying true to its heritage.
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