Photos by John Grafman
Two global debuts for the long haul: Panamera Executive and 911 RSR
At the Los Angeles Auto Show 2016 Porsche is presenting not one but two long-distance sportscars to the world for the very first time, though both have very different characters. This will be the first global unveiling of the Executive versions of the Panamera and the completely redeveloped 911 RSR. With its extended wheelbase, the Gran Turismo presents itself as a four-seater touring vehicle with further enhanced levels of comfort in the rear seats. The 911 RSR, on the other hand, is designed for endurance races on the track. This aerodynamically refined machine represents the greatest evolution in the history of Porsche’s GT top model for the world of motorsport.
Long version with sporty comfort: global debut of Panamera Executive
The new Panamera Executive models are highly luxurious versions of the Gran Turismo with a longer wheelbase, combining dynamic performance with outstanding comfort. With this long version, Porsche is satisfying the needs of customers who demand maximum space in the rear. Four different versions are available: the Panamera Turbo Executive (404 kW/550 hp), the Panamera 4S Executive (324 kW/440 hp), the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive with a plug-in hybrid drive (340 kW/462 hp) and the Porsche Panamera 4 Executive with a new three-litre V6 turbo engine (243 kW/330 hp), which is also celebrating its world première in Los Angeles.
All four models share the same body that has been extended by 150 millimetres to benefit the rear passengers in particular. The added space provides extra legroom for even greater levels of comfort. In addition, all Executive models feature enhanced equipment levels. The standard equipment includes features such as adaptive air suspension, a panoramic roof system, electric comfort seats with comfort headrests in the rear, heated seats at the front and rear as well as rear roll-up sunblinds. The Panamera 4S Executive adds further refinements such as rear-axle steering with Power Steering Plus, a reversing camera and soft-close doors. As the top model in the range, the Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive benefits from the most comprehensive standard equipment, which includes a four-zone air-conditioning system, LED main headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and ambient lighting.
A winner for the future: the new long-distance race car 911 RSR
The new 911 RSR is a complete redevelopment: The chassis, body structure, engine and transmission have been redesigned from scratch. The aerodynamic concept of a 911 has never been so radical. The car features a hanging rear wing, like that of the 919 Hybrid. Combined with the large rear diffuser, this improves downforce and aerodynamic efficiency significantly. The most spectacular innovation under the carbon fibre shell is the six-cylinder flat engine, which is now located in front of the rear axle. With this new race car, Porsche is re-inventing the successful concept of the 911 GT1 which, in 1998, delivered the company’s 16th overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After the 911 GT3 and the 911 GT3 Cup, the spearhead of Porsche’s GT race cars now also uses the same, state-of-the-art six-cylinder flat engine range. All cars now feature a four-litre, naturally aspirated engine with direct petrol injection and rigid valve drive. In the new 911 RSR, the engine delivers around 510 hp.
The first public appearance in Los Angeles forms part of the double world première of the 911 RSR in the USA. The new long-distance race car will contest its first race at the 24 Hours of Daytona, on America’s East Coast.
The USA remains one of Porsche’s main sales markets. Up to and including October 2016, the sportscar manufacturer delivered 178,314 vehicles around the world, representing a three percent increase over the same period in the previous year. This success can be attributed to the excellent reputation the company enjoys among its customers: In 2016, Porsche once again triumphed in the overall classification of the renowned J.D. Power APEAL study conducted by the US market research institute J.D. Power. In addition, the Porsche 911, Boxster and Macan achieved first place in their respective categories.
The Panamera range is growing: Long version and new three-litre V6 turbo as entry-level engine
Debut of the Panamera Executive models, as well as the Panamera and Panamera 4
Porsche is continuing to expand the model range of the new Panamera: At the Los Angeles Auto Show, the sportscar manufacturer will be presenting the luxury saloon with a new 243 kW (330 hp) V6 turbo petrol engine, along with an extended Executive version as yet another body option. The new V6 turbo is a highly efficient and agile entry-level addition to the impressive range of engines. Power is up by 20 hp from the corresponding engine of the previous Panamera generation. At the same time, Porsche was able to reduce the consumption of this completely redeveloped six-cylinder petrol engine by up to 1.0 l/100 km. The new 330-hp engine is combined with rear-wheel drive in the Panamera and all-wheel drive in the Panamera 4, plus a long wheelbase in the Panamera 4 Executive.
While the Panamera and Panamera 4 with 330 hp redefine what can be expected at the entry-level end, the Executive models of the big Porsche, with their 150 millimetre longer wheelbase, expand the body and equipment portfolio at the top end of the model line. Designed as a chauffeur saloon, this Porsche is available in the all-wheel drive versions Panamera 4 Executive (243 kW / 330 hp), Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive (340 kW / 462 hp), Panamera 4S Executive (324 kW / 440 hp) and Panamera Turbo Executive (404 kW / 550 hp).
The new Porsche Panamera Executive versions are equipped even more exclusively. The standard features are supplemented with a large panoramic roof, heated comfort seats with multi-way electrical adjustment in the front and rear and adaptive air suspension with an electronically controlled damper system (Porsche Active Suspension Management / PASM). The roll-up sunblind behind the headrests in the rear also comes as standard. The standard equipment of the Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive is even more comprehensive: Among other things, both models benefit from rear-axle steering and soft-close doors. As the most powerful model, the Panamera Turbo Executive is equipped with standard features such as four-zone climate control, LED main headlights including Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and ambient lighting.
As an option, all Porsche Panamera Executive models are available with a newly developed, large rear centre console, which can also be equipped with two integrated folding tables and an inductive antenna connection for an additional smartphone, depending on the market. Similarly to the existing Panamera models, the exterior of the Executive versions can be further individualised with a Sport design package.
Another useful equipment option, particularly for the Executive versions frequently used as chauffeur saloons in China and the USA, is the latest generation of Porsche Rear Seat Entertainment. The 10.1-inch displays integrated in the backrests of the front seats can be detached for a wide range of uses; when needed, they transform the rear of the Panamera into a fully digitalised workplace. The high-quality displays can also be used as tablets outside the vehicle.
With regard to the model line, the fully redeveloped second generation of the Panamera was introduced in the summer of 2016. The four all-wheel drive models Panamera 4S, Panamera 4S Diesel (310 kW / 422 hp), Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Panamera Turbo are already available on the market. With the addition of the new 330 hp versions and the Executive models, the Porsche Panamera range now comprises ten different models with power outputs from 330 to 550 hp.