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2010 Porsche Panamera

Porsche’s much-anticipated 2010 Panamera “four-door coupe” does not go on sale until the fall of 2009, but we caught the four-passenger car doing hot laps at the Nürburgring, revealing a number of 911-esque styling cues, especially in the headlights.

2010 Porsche Panamera 2010 Porsche Panamera -2We credit the Carrera for the turn signals and, unfortunately, the Cayenne for the greenhouse. We don't know where else to point the finger for the droopy, bloated rear end. Additionally, we see nothing to get excited about on the side panels, and the profile is—dare we say?—a trite conventional. All in all, the car certainly is no raving beauty, and the use of 17-inch 996 wheels doesn't help. We have to hope these are for the entry-level Panamera, with at least 18-inchers on tap for most models.

Meanwhile, we’ve been working to sort out the pedigree and powertrain for this Mercedes-Benz CLS fighter that Porsche officials tell us is a joint venture with the VW Group—contrary to original statements by Porsche chief Wendelin Wiedeking that Porsche was developing a separate platform for a fourth vehicle in its lineup. Of course, Wiedeking’s assertions in 2005 that there would be no joint venture with another automaker preceded what is amounting to a takeover of Volkswagen by Porsche.

Some of the confusion could stem from reports that the body of the Panamera will be built at a VW plant in Hanover, Germany, with final assembly at Porsche’s Leipzig plant—pretty blatant job sharing at least at the manufacturing level.

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