Porsche’s four-door ‘Gran Turismo’ Panamera will finally make its public debut at Auto Shanghai 2009 in China from 20-28 April. The car will be unveiled at a press conference on 19 April ahead of sales in late summer.

Last November, Porsche’s China manager said the car would be launched there by the fourth quarter.

Helmut Broeker said the Panamera would combine high-perfomance sports sedan and MPV characteristics to rival the BMW 7-series and Audi A8 and hoped sales would match the Cayenne SUV.

Porsche recently boosted its Chinese dealer tally by three to 30.

The Panamera will have V6 and V8 direct fuel injection engines developing 300-500 bhp. Both normally-aspirated and twin-turbo V8s will be offered.

Transmissions are six-speed manual gearbox or the recently launched seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) (aka double-clutch gearbox).

A ‘Sports Chrono Package’ “giving the car even more sporting and dynamic engine and gearshift characteristics, and enhancing the dynamic performance” will also be available.

Normally-aspirated versions are rear-wheel drive while the top turbo model gets Porsche Traction Management with extra-lightweight, active all-wheel drive. This is an option on lesser versions.

Steel suspension with variable dampers is standard while a new, adaptive air suspension offering additional air volume is optional.

In the ‘Sport Plus’ mode, the air suspension lowers the car to imporve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce the centre of gravity, enhancing driving safety and reducing fuel consumption. A chassis control option actively compensates body roll in bends and at the same time improves the car’s responsiveness and smoothness on bumpy roads when driving in a straight line, Porsche said.

The car’s ‘intelligent lightweight technology’ uses a mix of of high-strength steel, lightweight alloys such as aluminium and magnesium and high-tech plastic materials to reduce weight to boost fuel economy and improve handling and ride.

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