Super-sedan Panamera comes to India

Written by Malabika Sarkar | Malabika Sarkar | Updated: Oct 4 2009, 02:47am hrs
With growth prospects drying up in their traditional domain, luxury car makers are looking at India with keen interest, as is evident from the slew of launches in the segment in recent months. Now comes another luxury four-door super-sedan, the Panamera, from Porsche. The car will debut in the country in a few days. Porsche hopes that the Panamera will consolidate its presence in India.

First unveiled at the 13th Shanghai International Automobile Show in China this year, the Porsche Panamera is expected to be priced at around Rs 2 crore in India, due to its high import duties. The company is looking to sell 50 units in 2009 and has already received 13 bookings for the super-sedan. This is the first four-door sports car from Porsche and one of the most eagerly anticipated ones in automobile history. Our dealers have already evinced considerable interest in the car and have received a number of orders even before the launch. This in itself is an evidence that the new Panamera meets the expectations of the discerning Indian luxury car buyer, says Rod Wallace, managing director, Precision Cars India, the official Porsche importer.

The Panamera, which is also known as the Gran Turismo, has received good responses from customers and the press worldwide. It will be available in all countries where Porsche models are sold. In India, the car would be imported from Germany. People have appreciated the overall package. In India, the

vehicle will be really expensive. But it is meant for a small niche group of people, says Abdul Majeed, leader, automotive practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The car opens up a completely new segment in the luxury automobile market. This is a car with the driving dynamics of a sports car and the luxury of a sedan. But the big challenge for Porsche will be distribution. Another challenge would be aftermarket services. The company has to really work hard in this regard, says Majeed.

The sedan will be available in three models, the rear-wheel-drive Porsche Panamera S, the four-wheel-drive 4S, and the Turbo. The Porsche Panamera S develops 400hp@6500 rpm. The sedan can go from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 175 mph. The Porsche Panamera 4S develops 400hp@6500 rpm and can go from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 175 mph. The Turbo model develops 500hp@6000 rpm; and can go from 0-60 mph in just 4 seconds, delivering a maximum speed of 188 mph.

The Panamera offers customer various options to customise the interiors. The car also marks the world debut of many key technologies in a production car in the luxury performance range. Some of these include the first automatic start/stop in conjunction with automatic transmission, air suspension with additional air volume on demand, active aerodynamics with a multi-stage, adjustable rear spoiler moving up when required on the Panamera Turbo.

Porsche has only two dealerships in the country at present, one each in Mumbai and Delhi. The company plans to increase the number to 11 over the next two-three years. The other cities under consideration include Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Ludhiana. The company is appointing dealers in Hyderabad, Kochi and Chennai and is hopeful of having Porsche centres in six cities in India by 2010.

Porsche has received excellent customer response to both the sports cars and the Cayenne model range. The Cayenne is Porsches best selling model in India with a majority share

of the overall luxury petrol SUV market. The company hopes to sell 225 units (including the Panamera) over the next 12 months.