LEIPZIG, Germany â€“ Porsche AGâ€™s first six Panamera buyers have taken delivery of the auto makerâ€™s breakthrough supercar.
The customers, all from Germany, on Monday picked up their prizes here, production site of the Panamera 4-seat supercar and the Porsche Cayenne cross/utility vehicle.
Porsche expectsAG will benefit from synergies associated with the Panamera, such as platform-sharing, an informed source tells Wardâ€™s.
The Panamera 4-door sedan, which competes with vehicles such as the Maserati Quattroporte, is based on a unique platform. And while Porsche and VW already share platforms â€“ as is the case with the Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 â€“ such arrangements could become more common once VW closes a E3.3 billion ($4.8 billion) deal to acquire a 42% stake in Porsche.
Media reports say Porsche Chairman Wolfgang Porsche expects the complex agreement, which also calls for the Gulf State of Qatar to claim a share of the legendary sports car maker, will become final by 2011.
The Panamera starts here at E95,000 ($138,867) and is scheduled to arrive next month in the U.S. where it will base at $93,000.
The car will be available in three models, each featuring a V-8 engine. The Panamera S and 4S offer 400-hp output, while the Turbo edition generates 500 hp.
Hybrid and V-6 models will launch next year, Wardâ€™s is told. A Cayenne hybrid will debut early next year.
Production, made possible here by an expansion that quadrupled the plantâ€™s size to 861,113 sq.-ft. (80,000 sq.-m), is set at less than 200 units per day â€“ divided almost equally between Cayenne and Panamera output â€“ but its capacity is 250 vehicles per day.
Wolfsburg-based Schnellecke Group provides line support so specialized Porsche assemblers can focus on production. Workstation cycle times range from four to six minutes.
A key element of the expansion is an indoor test facility to simulate turbulent weather.
In stark contrast to the siteâ€™s high-tech capabilities, grazing cows manicure green spaces around an outdoor test track.