Porsche reveals five tech firsts

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 01 Apr 2009 Views icon2001 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Porsche reveals five tech firsts
Porsche has revealed the key technologies of its new Panamera prior to the car’s world debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in China on April 20. Among the advanced features are five innovations in technology offered for the first time in a production car in the luxury performance sector. These include the first automatic start/stop in conjunction with automatic transmission, air suspension with additional air volume on demand, as well as active aerodynamics with a multi-stage, and adjustable rear spoiler moving up when required on the Panamera Turbo. The powertrain: maximum performance and efficiency The unique combination of comfort, performance and efficiency offered by the Panamera begins with the powertrain. The car comes exclusively with high-tech power units featuring the most advanced and fuel-efficient Direct Fuel Injection. The consistent reduction of internal friction from these engines is further enhanced by innovations such as electronic map-controlled coolant/temperature management, as well as ancillary units offering enhanced efficiency. By introducing the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission, Porsche is offering a double-clutch gearbox for the first time in this market segment, contributing both to enhanced fuel economy and to an even higher standard of sporting performance. Far superior to a conventional automatic transmission in its efficiency, the PDK transmission is able to save even more fuel through its long, overdrive top gear. At the same time it offers outstanding performance with driving dynamics through its optimum gear ratio increments and unparalleled, ultra-fast gearshift without the slightest interruption of engine power to the wheels. Another first is the start/stop system in a premium car with an automatic transmission. In conjunction with other specific improvements enhancing the efficiency of the overall vehicle, which include tyres with minimum roll resistance and disc brakes with residual brake forces likewise reduced to a minimum, the fuel economy of the Panamera S with the PDK is equal to 26.2mpg (10.8 litres/100km) in the New European Driving Cycle, which is remarkable considering the car’s superior performance. Chassis and suspension: driving dynamics and comfort all in one The Panamera’s chassis and suspension is not a compromise between sporting performance and superior comfort, but rather a combination of the two. In its basic setting it offers a very high standard of driving comfort. And, at the touch of a button on the active PASM damper system, it turns into a thoroughbred sports suspension. Another highlight, the adaptive air suspension with its capability for extra volume whenever required – an absolute innovation in automotive technology – is featured as standard on the Turbo and an option on the other models. The driving dynamics and motoring comfort may be enhanced additionally on all models by active PDCC stability control available in combination with a fully controlled limited slip differential on the rear axle. Through the Sport Plus button, the optional Sports Chrono Package enables the driver at the touch of a button to choose the uncompromising high-performance set-up of all drivetrain and suspension systems including Porsche Traction Management (PTM) with its fully-controlled all-wheel drive. PTM comes as standard on both the Panamera 4S and the Panamera Turbo. Body: light and functional The body is the synthesis of lightweight technology typical of a sports car — superior comfort, generous space, and efficient aerodynamics. The most advanced production methods and materials are used on the Panamera's body, chosen to meet specific requirements and functions. These include all kinds of steel grades, light alloys such as aluminium and magnesium, as well as plastics. The lightweight doors feature a load-bearing structure made of laser-treated pressure-cast aluminium, an aluminium outer skin, and door window frames made of thin-walled pressure-cast magnesium. Thanks to this intelligent lightweight structure, the Panamera S, for example, weighs just 1,770kg. The rear seats set new standards in the luxury performance class in terms of both comfort and adjustability. Perfectly contoured as single seats, they offer maximum comfort through their wide range of electrical adjustment and seat climate functions and headrests tailored to the seats. The Panamera also comes with a highly functional luggage compartment. Tilting forward individually, the seat backrests with additional through-loading provide luggage capacity of up to 1,263 litres and keep the floor of the luggage compartment smooth and on one consistent level from front to rear. The Porsche Panamera is the first car in its segment with a complete cover on the under-floor that also extends all around the drive-train tunnel and rear exhaust silencers. This clearly helps to reduce both air resistance and lift forces on the axles, which in practice means lower fuel consumption and improved driving dynamics. The visible highlight of the overall aerodynamic package is the active four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo. Through its efficient management of control angles and surface geometry geared to driving conditions, the rear spoiler helps optimise the car’s aerodynamics and performance. Acoustics: sporting sound and superior touring comfort Achieving a perfect balance of sound on the exhaust system, the air intake and engine as well as the car’s aero-acoustics, the development engineers at Porsche have succeeded in giving the Panamera a harmonious, characteristic sound pattern, bringing together seemingly contradictory requirements. Aero-acoustics, for example, were analysed on a clay model right from the start in the development process, and then were optimised by way of numerous technical improvements with specific, individual effects. The result is a truly low level of noise within the interior, and one that is appropriate for the luxury performance segment. At the same time, the typical Porsche sound full of power and dynamism comes out clearly when accelerating. Using both new and proven technologies, the Porsche engineers in Weissach have succeeded in intelligently solving all conflicts of interest during the development of the Panamera. The result is a car with a wide range of features most appropriate for such an outstanding Gran Turismo: the engines are powerful and dynamic, efficient and clean. The Panamera also combines comfortable touring characteristics with a sports driving experience typical of a Porsche. And despite the car’s dynamic proportions and coupé-like silhouette, the interior, quite apart from offering space and superior comfort, is further distinguished by its outstanding function and practicality.
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