We don’t get to talk much on here about the German luxury carmaker, Porsche – maybe something that we should do more often- but today, I am going to bring up a controversial topic. You might know by now that back in November of 2008, Porsche has unveiled their first four-door sedan, Panamera.
Initially, it was being said that the Panamera will be a direct competitor for the Maserati Quattroporte, Aston Martin Rapide and even the BMW CS Concept. Now many of you might argue that the cars are fairly different in design and purpose, but I would tell you that the Panamera is Porsche’s top luxury and only sedan, similar to what BMW had planned for the CS Concept: a high-end luxury sedan, the flagship.
From a price standpoint, it was rumored that Porsche Panamera will fall into the same range as the CS Concept, cheaper than the other famous luxury competitors. So, let me start by giving a few details about Panamera and how it compares to the now postponed cancelled CS Concept.
Full story and photos after the jump
Panamera is slightly longer than the popular Porsche Cayenne, but less wide. The base design is typical for a Porsche, but Panamera looks a bit distorted due to the two additional doors. The car has a length of 195.7 in, 76 in width and 55.8 height. It also weighs around 3,968 lbs.
Before we go any further with the Panamera technical specs, let’s see how BMW CS Concept does in terms of design, space and weight. Built on the new 7 Series platform (F01/F02), the CS Concept was unveiled for the first time in 2008 at the Shanghai Motor Show.
The CS Concept has an unique expression of classic notchback design highly individualised and varying according to your angle of vision. The front-end design is one of the most powerful elements in the CS Concept, the BMW kidney grille stands out as a powerful element typical of the BMW brand and due to the larger than usual size, it is the dominating element of the entire front-end.
It measures 200.8 in in length, 53.5 height and 77.87 width, slightly longer than Panamera, but lower height.
We don’t have the official weight for the CS Concept since it was still unclear which engine will power the luxury sedan.
The interior design of the CS Concept is being ranked as the best interior design ever produced by BMW, with high-quality materials and complete focus on the driver. The interior was designed by Nadya Arnaut, the very talented BMW designer who brought us the 2009 BMW Z4.
Now, let’s move onto the most exciting details: engines and performance. Porsche has developed a new range of engines designed specifically for the Panamera. They range in power output from 400hp in the Panamera S model, up to 500hp in the high-end Panamera Turbo. Both models are fitted with a V8 4.4-liter engine. Both will also get Porsche’s PDK 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Rumors say that a 3.6-liter V6 diesel option outputting 300 HP might be in works along with a V6-electric hybrid.
While all the models are rear-wheel drive, the Panamera Turbo is the exception by featuring the Porsche’s Traction Management (PTM) with extra-light, active all-wheel drive. The Turbo version is rumored to run from 0-60 in only 4.2 seconds.
Many rumors revolving the BMW CS Concept and possible engines, have been going around since the concept was unveiled. Initially, a 6.0 liter V12 based on the M5’s V10 was rumored to be the car’s top engine choice. If the car would have made it into production next year, I am pretty confident that a twin-turbo V8 engine would have powered a lower CS model.
While the Aston Martin Rapide has a set price of $180,000, the Panamera will go on sale in Europe for around $100,000 for the V6 RWD and up to $156,000 for the Turbo model. The CS Concept would have most likely be positioned around the same range, probably cheaper in the U.S.
At the end let me leave you with this. From unofficial sources very close to BMW, I have heard that the CS Concept is not indefinite canceled, but rather postponed due to the current economic situation and the company’s new direction. The CS Concept test mules were scheduled to show up this year, so the development of the car was well advanced.
Now, let’s enjoy the photos of these two great cars and let’s hope that in the near future, they will compete with each other, not in our imagination, but rather on the road.
BMW CS Concept