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I thought this was interesting. Porsche has announced that they are making a 4-door sports car... unless my friend at Porsche is playing a trick on me:

Official announcement:

We can finally put months of anticipation to an end. Porsche announced today it will develop and produce another model line. To be called Panamera, the new car will be a premium-class sports coupe with four seats, four doors, and a choice of front-mounted engines driving the rear wheels. Some of the rumours, it seems, were right.

Our new model will be built in Leipzig, pending further discussion, and is scheduled to enter the market in 2009. The car’s name, of course, is derived from the legendary Carrera Panamericana long-distance race.

In his comments to the media this morning, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking said "The Panamera is a perfect fit for Porsche. It has all the typical DNA characteristic of a genuine sports car. In terms of performance, design, and driving dynamics, it meets Porsche's high standards in every respect. Through this sports coupe we are making our customers a highly attractive offer in the top performance segment.”

The media, in the all its recent speculation, got a few key things wrong. The Panamera will not be built on a platform shared with any other manufacturer, as has been written. Dr. Wiedeking was clear about this: “We will be developing a separate platform for our fourth model line at our Weissach R&D center,” he said.

Also, there are no plans for a joint venture with another carmaker. The strategy to ensure the profitability of this new model line Porsche will be to cooperate more closely with selected system suppliers. Furthermore, Porsche will develop and build the Panamera using the company's own resources, investing more than Euro 1 billion. Expected sales are at least 20,000 units a year, worldwide.

Like the 911, the Boxster and the Cayenne, the Panamera will bear the "Made in Germany" stamp of quality. Domestic share of the Panamera’s overall assembled value will be approximately 70 percent. The heart of the car – the engine – will come from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and there will be several engine types available.

Production of the Panamera in Leipzig would potentially create some 600 new jobs there. In the course of the project, approximately 400 more new jobs will be created at Porsche's original plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where the engines for the fourth model line will be built, and at the Weissach Development Center.

The introduction of the Panamera will create additional opportunities for PCNA and its dealers, whose investments in facilities are now even more valuable.
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