Porsche’s first-gen Panamera was a fugly car. There, I said it! Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe S edition attempts to correct that with a body kit by Masonry. Let’s see if its price makes it even more attractive.
In 1987, Mead Data Central pursued a trademark suit against Toyota on the grounds that the Japanese company’s Lexus luxury brand would confuse consumers, potentially damaging MDC’s Lexis-Nexis brand.
MDC lost that case on appeal, and considering the 62% Nice Price win earned by last Friday’s 1996 Lexus LX 450 off-roader, it was probably in their best interest that they did. After all, if it weren’t for Lexus, would you have ever even heard of Lexis?
Pretty much everybody has heard of Porsche. Most irritatingly to some, many of those people refer to the company and products as Porsh, leaving its proper name to only be used when there is more than one or as a possessive.
What most people know about Porsche is that they became famous for building a series of highly regarded rear-engine, air-cooled sports cars. Of course, that’s not all they’ve ever built, and in fact as the oldsters often say: “they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”
Today Porsche is exclusively water-cooled. They still make models with the engine hanging out in back like a baboon’s ischial callositie, but that 911 is now in the minority, as the company now makes three front-engined models and a similar number with the mill stuck in the middle with you.
One of those “fronts” is the Panamera, which is the company’s first-ever consumer-offered four-door sedan. It’s not Porsche’s first four-door rodeo however, as their high-performance SUV, the Cayenne, rocks a like number of portals. They’ve also dallied with the form before, with the dachshund-like 989 prototype from 1991. Even farther back than that, in the mid-fifties Porsche engineered the 542 sedan for, of all companies, Studebaker. Neither of those cars saw day one of production, but the Panamera did.
And it was… interesting.
You know how when you’re going on a blind date and people tell you the other person has “a good personality” and you know that’s code for their perhaps not being conventionally attractive? Understand that those same intermediaries are probably telling your date the same thing about you.
If attractiveness was the only criteria for dating and eventual reproduction however, the world would by now be filled exclusively with good looking people. Have a look around and you’ll realize that’s not the case. The rest of us are getting busy too. That’s a good thing. Plus, a decent haircut, better posture, and a confident attitude can and will overcome a multitude of imagined aesthetic deficiencies.
That’s what has happened to this 2010 Porsche Panamera S which attempts to overcome the base car’s homely appearance with a 971 body kit from Mansory. That wide-fendered kit overcomes some of the factory’s most egregious styling faux pas. It’s far more aggressive, much vent-ier, and rolls on 22-inch wheels. The ad says the kit was professionally installed by a Southern California shop, and that the cost of the conversion was $25K, while the wheels and tires added another $5K.
There’s 55,000 miles on the car overall, and it looks to be free of flaws. Pop open a door and the first thing you’ll notice (at night at least) is custom Porsche-logo puddle lights to remove any doubt the make of car you are climbing into. The interior looks stock which means tight for four, and impossible for five owing to a central tunnel prominent enough to keep East and West Germany apart. The leather and ebony wood both look to be in fine shape and will probably take attention away from the common Volkswagen parts sprinkled throughout the cabin.
Mansory offers mechanical upgrades along with their body kits, but it seems this car eschews the extra go with its extraverted show. Under-hood is a stock 400-bhp 4.8-litre all-alloy V8 with a seven-speed PDK (one of the best gearboxes I’ve ever experienced) and RWD backing that up. That’s still nothing to sneeze at. Maintenance is said up to date, and the ad notes that the car runs like new.
When it was new, and un-Masonry’d, the Panamera S was a $100K car. This one, with the Mansory bodywork and six years worth of miles, is asking half that. That’s $49,990 and it’s now your duty to say whether that’s enough of a drop considering the car’s description in its ad.
What do you think, does this Mansory-bodied Panamera look worth a ten-spot short of fifty grand? Or, is that price an ugly truth you refuse to accept?
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