point of view by pablo deferrari

honey, can I have a baggie? the dog just shit on the driveway. image: Zeeuwsebad
I never thought of Porsches having a bad photographic angle...until I saw the Panamera. look, I'm trying to be an equal opportunity Porsche enthusiast, really I am, but it's kinda like becoming a vegan...it takes time and it doesn't happen overnight. baby steps, that's the way to go about it.
it's like trying to serve up mash potatoes 38 different ways...no matter how exotic, it's still mashed potatoes.
the "b├╝rzel" makes the shape easier to swallow.
it's not the fact that it's a new addition to the Porsche family, I can't be lumped into the group that nearly forty years ago thumbed there noses at the 928 when it was born while screaming bloody murder. 


my problem lies with the poor execution of its design...it's a bit, how can I put this gently, amateur. somehow, the design crew under this regime failed to come up with some original thinking. don't agree? ok then. tell me straight up if this sort of car would have been signed off by Tony Lapine...go ahead, try and convince me otherwise, I'm open to counter points of views.

it's as if the design was rushed. it does capture some of the DNA of the other models, but then it sort of gets lost as if the designers weren't quite sure on how to tie it all in...it's the back end of the thing, that's where the problem is. there's nothing in its rear end that speaks Porsche's design language. what it resembles is a dog squatting, trying with all its might to squeeze out a turd, much like the Chrysler Crossfire.
Harm Lagaay's design would later influence the 993 and the 996 in both exterior cues and underpinnings.
the beginnings of the whole idea was kick-started by the 928. the response to Porsche's newest luxury GT was upbeat, so executives thought it a good idea to consider adding a more practical car to the line-up—this time with four doors.

Dr Ulrich Bez was in charge of the creating this new car that was to be as luxurious as a Mercedes or BMW, but it had to be far more superior in terms of performance and spirited driving. The project picked up momentum when Harm Lagaay began styling the new design based on Ulrich's engineering foundation, and just as things began looking promising, momentum was quickly lost. Bez left Porsche in 1991 and the slowing sales of the 928 followed by leaner finances forced the project to be put aside.

during the Wiedeking era, things began looking rosier for Porsche towards the middle of '00s, and with the Cayenne opening the floodgates to a wider chunk of the market, the time was ripe to pick up where the 989 took off. enter the Panamera, or as enthusiasts would call it following Porsche's numeric tradition, the 970.
image: ben of london
image: Nan Palmero
this is more like it...oooh, I think I just felt a tingle. image: Nan Palmero
launched at the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show in China, Porsche's newest member of the family got it's name from the Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico where 550s and 356s began to scare the hell out of Ferrari and other large engined entries in the late 50's prompting it to be called the "giant killer."

how this name was deemed appropriate for such a car so far removed from this pedigree begs for another article. needless to say, this car further pissed off the purists who already took it on the chin with the introduction of the Cayenne. there was fear of the Porsche brand being further diluted by these new models not in line with tradition and compounded by the fact that the new owners it would attract could give a toss about Porsche's rich and unique history.

as much as I can understand that argument, it's hard to agree with it when one considers that the 928 suffered the same treatment. I could write volumes about this, but all I really want to bring to your attention is the design of the thing and how if the last generation, and quite possibly the best, of Porsche's creators were to have succeeded in launching this car nearly thirty years ago, I wouldn't be picking it apart today...as it currently stands.
Honda understands the fundamentals of Porsche design far better than the twats that penned the Panamera.
one car manages to seduce me, though...intensely. the Honda Crosstour. why? because it captured the shape that I instinctively gravitate to—the 911 rear end swoop. look at it. that's how the Panamera should've ended things. they've managed to get the proportions just right, what was Porsche's excuse? headroom? trunk space? bullshit, they just missed the mark entirely.

I don't want to hear how difficult it is to design a four-door car with swooped tail, it was being done nearly 35 years ago by Rover with great success. today, Tesla seems to do just fine with such a design as evident in their Model S. 

I'm beginning to dig the Panamera, despite my loathing its ass. and maybe the designers over in Zuffenhausen are realizing the error of their ways after seeing their product with more frequency and have decided to do something about it. with any hope, this will sink in with the next generation of Porsche's four-door child.

if the Sport Turismo is a sign of things to come, then the future is white hot for Porsche. maybe the previous generation of designs were sandbagged, sobered up as it were, to not scare off would be buyers? we'll never know, but there's hope that once the shock wears off, then maybe the gloves could come off too and theyll give us designs that scream Porsche.

for now? I'll just keep accelerating towards Crosstours on the highway for a closer look and admire them nailing a design that spoke to my emotions.

these guys at Tesla seem to get it...
even Rover understood...too bad they didn't have the same tact with their electrics.


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