Tuesday, March 22, 2005
So Porsche, having already built an SUV, must have been faced with a difficult choice for the next vehicle to tackle in their attempt to undo five decades of sports-car excellence (the sort of which had P.J. O'Rourke referring to the 911 as a "Nazi slot car"). With the Cayenne SUV already doing its best to tank the reputation of Porsche, it might have seen straightforward to do a pickup truck. But never assume that the German car guys will do things the easy way, and thus the decision was made to do a four-door.
The first question, of course, is what the hell is a "Panamera"? That's quite a terrible name. But moving past that, I think the real questions surround the true market for a four-door that's going to sell for $100,000 and up, the damage that's going to be done to Porsche's name by building a four-door (I thought it was bad enough that Ferrari did another four-seater), and the ramifications by doing yet another water-cooled front-engine vehicle.
Face it - dilute the brand image enough, and the 911 becomes an overpriced novelty compared to the new Vette, and the Boxster seems like a poseur's S2000.