As the Panamera celebrates turning 10
Has the Porsche Panamera really been on the market for 10 years? According to Porsche, the answer is yes. And we have to say, we like what the big sedan has become in its second generation. If you’re in the market for a large luxury sedan and still care about handling, the Panamera is the one to get. We’re finally on board with the styling, too, after being forced for years to put up with the first-generation Panamera‘s awkward looks. It was even a 2018 MotorTrend Car of the Year finalist.
In honor of the Panamera’s 10th birthday, let’s take a look back at five of the cars that led to Porsche finally putting a sedan into production.
Porsche Type 530
In the 1950s, Porsche’s engineers decided to build a car with seating for four. They took a 356, stretched the wheelbase, added larger doors, and modified the roofline to give rear passengers more headroom. The resulting car was called the Type 530. It never made it into production, but the idea of a Porsche for four survived.
Porsche 911 Prototype
One of Porsche’s next four-person prototypes was built in the 1960s and was based on the 911. The iconic sports car has been sold as a 2+2 since it was first introduced, so why not build a true four-door version for families? Unlike the Panamera, the prototype you see here remained a rear-engine car. The suicide doors are probably our favorite part of this four-door 911 concept.
Porsche 928 Prototype
In the 1980s, Porsche built another four-door prototype, this time based on the 928. The front-engine layout left plenty of room for cargo in this cool wagon concept. And like the four-door 911 prototype that came before it, Porsche again went with suicide doors. This time around, though, they used a design that required opening the front doors to get into the back. From a distance, you can start to see the first-gen Panamera in this prototype.
Porsche Type 989
In the late 1980s, Porsche got more serious about producing a sedan. It began work on the Type 989 as a front-engine, V-8-powered four-door. Despite its layout, designers gave the 989 rear-engine-esque proportions. And while it never made it to production, the 989 did influence the 993-generation of the 911.
Porsche Mirage Prototype
In the early 2000s, Porsche decided it was finally time to develop a sedan. From the beginning, the goal was to give the four-door a hatchback and plenty of cargo volume. It built two design studies that it called the Meteor and the Phantom, but ultimately, the Mirage concept that you see here is the one that won out.
With the design ready to go, Porsche chose to name its first production sedan the Panamera after the Carrera Panamericana endurance race. Finally, the Panamera was revealed in Shanghai on April 19, 2009.