Amaz­ing tech that lies be­neath a sex­ier new skin

Wheels (Australia) - - Contents - NATHAN PONCHARD

THERE’S a golden rule in ve­hi­cle de­vel­op­ment: don’t do ev­ery­thing at once. New plat­form, new body, new pow­er­train and a new fac­tory – all at the same time – should raise a red flag larger than Uluru due to the po­ten­tial for pro­duc­tion catas­tro­phe, yet that’s ex­actly what Porsche has done with its sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Panamera.

Thing is, the new Panamera is hardly a Hill­man Imp or Alfa Romeo Al­fa­sud – golden rule­break­ers that re­cruited labour forces un­fa­mil­iar with fac­tory work to ‘build’ cars in their green­field pro­duc­tion plants.

Porsche’s new-gen­er­a­tion lux­ury flag­ship will be­gin life in a brand new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Leipzig, pur­pose-de­signed to con­struct new high-tech mixed-ma­te­rial bod­ies be­fore send­ing them next door for com­ple­tion in the ex­ist­ing Panamera plant. (Pre­vi­ously, bod­ies were built in Hanover and trans­ported to Leipzig.)

Porsche is mak­ing some grand

claims about the new Panamera’s abil­i­ties, too. In adi­tion to “best-in­class com­fort”, “best-in-class driveras­sist” and a “very unique, very pre­cise, very lean” in­te­rior de­sign, Porsche says the new Turbo will be the world’s fastest lux­ury sedan. Or wagon, when the Sport Turismo ver­sion (hinted at Frank­furt 2012) sur­faces fur­ther down the track.

Here’s a taste of what Porsche thinks a pro­gres­sive lux­ury sedan should be. We’ll know for sure when it gets to Oz in early 2017.

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