How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Panamera cabin its saving grace?

2009-02-13 07:40
The exterior styling treatment might be an affront to most tastes, but Porsche seems to have spent most of its design talent on tailoring the forthcoming Panamera’s interior to perfection.

Due to be publically unveiled at the Beijing auto show in April before going on sale in Germany by September, Porsche’s traditional customer base should be heartened by the first interior images of the Panamera. It’s a world removed from the ghastly exterior styling.

Four-door, four-seater coupe

Though Panamera will major as a four-door grand tourer, it will not be a five-seater, configuring a more traditional four-seat, two couples and no kids, cabin arrangement. The most distinct feature of the Panamera cabin then, is the full-length centre console which splits the rear seats into individual cabin spaces.

Considering Panamera’s either rear- or all-wheel drive configuration (rendering an intrusive transmission tunnel along the cabin floor centre line) the split rear seating makes a lot of sense.

This is the view from the boot, showing the elongated centre-console running through the middle of the cabin. Bootspace is least in class though...

Textures and shapes owe more to fine British interior design than Porsche’s own sombre, geometrically perfect German heritage. The fascia trim panels are set at a stark 90-degree angle, contrasting sharply with the elongated, low-set centre console.

Four-zone automatic air-conditioning and a Burmester surround-sound audio system with 16 speakers and 1 000W should keep passengers cool and entertained.

Luggage capacity has specifically been designed to accommodate tall objects, enabling the stowage of up to four suitcases in an upright position. The boot fills up to 445l, which is five litres shy of Maserati’s Quattroporte and 60l less than a Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG.

Porsche is offering 14 colour and leather combinations for the interior, including four two-tone choices, and seven interior trim finish styles, from Olive Nature open-pore wood to carbon fibre.

All Panamera's will drive through a dual-clutch, seven-speed PDK gearbox. Let's hope it's up to task of transferring 700Nm in the turbo version...

PDK's big power test?

All three Panamera models will be powered by direct-injection 4.8l V8 engines from launch, in either two or four-wheel drive naturally aspirated form, or an all-wheel drive turbo.

In the entry-level S and four-wheel drive 4S, the V8 produces 298kW, whilst the Turbo’s dual-turbine V8 raises power to 372kW. All Panamera models will drive through Porsche’s new, heavy duty PDK dual-clutch gearbox, sporting seven ratios.

Allow us to paraphrase your thoughts concerning the Panamera styling, especially its less than capacious rear hatch section. "What were they thinking?" Exactly our point too.

Inside Wheels24

Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.