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October 19, 2009

Porsche Panamera: As ugly as an inside-out monkey

panamera 1b.jpg

Nobody does disdainful, contemptuous, pedal-to-the-metal car automotive design criticism like Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, and his take on Porsche's first four door is no exception.

And this brings me on to the Porsche Panacea, which sits in the mix like an apple core on a birthday cake. It seems to have no purpose at all.

I understand, of course, why Porsche chose to build a four-door saloon. It’s the same reason Lamborghini started work on such a thing, and Aston Martin too. These are small companies and it makes economic sense to squeeze as many models as possible from every component. You have the engine. You have the chassis. And you have a lot of people who won’t buy anything you make because they want four doors.

The trouble is, while Lamborghini and Aston Martin clearly employ talented stylists to ensure an elongated, widened four-seat variation on a two-seater theme does not end up looking like a supermodel who’s gone to fat, Porsche plainly gave the job to a janitor.

I actually wonder sometimes whether Porsche employs a stylist at all. Plainly, it had some bloke back in the Thirties, when Hitler created the ancestor of the 911, and it had someone else in the Seventies and Eighties, when it was making the wondrous 928 (the 944 wasn’t bad either), but today, God knows who’s in charge. Someone who, I suspect, has never been to art school.

The original design for the Boxster was exquisite but then someone obviously said: “Instead of making this, why don’t we make the actual car we sell look like that pushmi-pullyu thing from Doctor Dolittle?”


The Cayenne is one of the few cars that look better when a footballer has added 39in wheels, spoilers and wings. Because the bling detracts from the hopeless starting point.

The Panamera, though, is worse. People have tried to be kind, saying that it’s challenging and that it’s unusual. But the simple fact of the matter is this: it’s as ugly as an inside-out monkey. It’s dreadful. Part Austin Maxi, it looks like someone with no talent at all was trying to describe what they wanted to a blind person, over the phone.

I'm getting the feeling that Clarkson's not particularly fond of the Panamera, but I could be wrong.

Posted by Mike Lief at October 19, 2009 09:58 PM


Jeremy is correct. I agree with him. It is an ugly car, for that much money, forget about it.

Posted by: Michael Uhl at October 20, 2009 05:51 PM

Google images of "Ashton Martin Rapide" for what a great looking 4-door sports car looks like.

Posted by: Ashton Martin at March 20, 2010 06:55 PM