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by George Skentzos

Porsche is set to debut its new Panamera on the world stage when it is unveiled for the first time in the metal at the Shanghai Auto Show in China on April 20.

In the lead up to this, the brand has outlined several innovative technologies featuring in the Gran Turismo which are world debuts themselves.

These include the first automatic start/stop in conjunction with automatic transmission, air suspension with additional air volume on demand, as well as active aerodynamics with a multi-stage, adjustable rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo.

While a few of these technologies already exist in the market, they will now be offered for the first time in a production car in the luxury performance sector in conjunction with the launch of the Panamera.

World first technical innovations for Porsche Panamera

The Panamera certainly does not shy away from performance with a range of naturally-aspirated and forced-induction V8 engines on offer; however this need not be at the cost of fuel economy.

The pioneering introduction of a start/stop system in a premium car with an automatic transmission will see fuel economy of the Panamera S with the PDK at just 10.8 litres per 100km in the New European Driving Cycle.

Another highlight is the adaptive air suspension with its capability for extra volume whenever required – an absolute innovation in automotive technology – offering an even greater compromise between driving dynamics and comfort.

World first technical innovations for Porsche Panamera

Its chassis has been constructed from a range of lightweight materials such as all kinds of steel grades, light alloys such as aluminium and magnesium, as well as plastics, chosen to meet specific requirements and functions.

The lightweight doors feature a load-bearing structure made of laser-treated pressure-cast aluminium, an aluminium outer skin and door window frames made of thin-walled pressure-cast magnesium – an example of the intelligent structure which has resulted in the Panamera’s comparatively low weight.

It is also the first car in its segment to feature a complete cover on the under-floor which not only improves its driving dynamics, but also the aerodynamic efficiency which in turn contributes toward improved fuel economy.

A more visible innovation is the active four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo, which optimises the car’s aerodynamics and performance by managing control angles and surface geometry geared to driving conditions.