Porsche Panamera: A wasted opportunity

[singlepic id=868 w=320 h=240 float=right]By Cor Steenstra

As a designer what better job can you imagine than working for a sports car company like Porsche and then get assigned the project to make the first production 4 door car for that iconic brand? Wouldn’t you just love to go all out and get the best you have ever produced into that project? If you replied yes, you might be one of the very few, at least seeing what the people whop actually got this assignment within Porsche managed to produce.

Starting with the simple center line section, the key to a good design and the key to something well proportioned, harmonious, especially if the brand is Porsche.One must wonder how that can be so screwed up as they managed to do in this case. Even simple cheap 4 door coupes like the Passat CC we recently showed you did a better job than this.

Lets assume that for those nasty packaging engineers requirements you just could not get quite the center line out of it that you wanted, then you, as a good designer and especially for a brand like Porsche, make sure that the visual side view, the one where the highlights break off, the side view everyone will see, is perfect, fluid, harmonious, perfect…… Oooppsss. Sorry.. Didn’t quite succeed in that area either.

I did spend a lot of years consulting for Porsche and one of the things I learned from there is the meticulous attention to detail and surfacing, to “massage everything to perfection”. So, having not found that expected quality on the main two parts, I was scanning the rest of the body, looking for that all important perfection in the execution of the surfaces and the details…, and now I am wondering who the heck is in charge at Porsche?

Any blind designer with zero years experience would have been able to come up with something cool and impressive, seriously. It is not that hard. But what Porsche is showing us as the best they could do is a blemish on their renowned design reputation. If you would have assigned any Hyundai designer, heck, any designer of any new Chinese car company to make a proposal for a 4 door Porsche sports coupe, they would have all come up with something more impressive than this.

What gives?

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3 responses to “Porsche Panamera: A wasted opportunity”

  1. Brian Dennison says:

    I think the front is ok in it’s design. It leaves room for the design to be enhanced and tunned for a more aggressive look. The problem looks like the rear end of the car was chopped straight off of a 911. Most sedans have a flow to them, from the front, down the side, and across the rear end. This car looks as if they took a 911 and chopped it in half and added a 2ft section in the middle. I think what messes it up is the roof line. The car is square in the front but too round in the back, making it look like a torpedo in the rear.

  2. Mike says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Having a keen interest in any kind of transport design, and having been involved in customising various objects for years, i would ave expected alot more from Porsche.
    Looks like the the Brief for this project stated that the classic lines of Porsche’s previous models had to be adhered to and of course it had to be a 4 door model.

    What the brief forgot to mention was that even for a German car manufacturer as established as Porsche could go the extra mile and come up with a new twist on the old scheme.

    But it seems that to all our disappointment the best the design department could come up with is to cut two cars in half, one at the front of the door and one at the rear and weld the whole thing back together.

    I havn’t tried yet but i am pretty sure that if you take a side view of the previous model, ie, the really good looking, tried and tested, 2 door version and overlay two copies of the image in Photoshop, we would not be far off in achieving the same effect.

    Well to make a long story short:

    A big thumbs down for Porsche on this one.

    What i would really like to know is, why Car manufactures in this day and end, are not more bold in their approach to beat the recession?
    There are endless examples of Concept cars out there, which make anyone who sees one go:

    “what the ….., I want one off those, regardless of the price”

    but of course the thing doesn’t make it to production, even if it could be produced with not too much investment in new set ups in the factory.
    Why not slap the brilliant design on a tried and trusted Plattform, lets say a Golf GTI, Honda Civic, Ford Focus,…
    and go all out on the Design, which is after all all the customer and everyone on the street is going to see.

    I am not an expert on the field, far from it, but isn’t it common sense to not join the crowd of bland transport boxes and come up with something stunning, which no one else has? Humans are after all mostly “visual” animals and first impressions count, may that be in our choice of partner, house or surprise, surprise a car.

    i am still hoping that a new designed car is going to surprise us all.

  3. Brian Dennison says:

    One other thing is they really didn’t put the concept out there for some type of feed back. The car was presented as the final product at the shaghai auto show. I think if they would have showen a concept and guaged the publics reaction that would have let them know how far off they were in the design.

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