Posted by on Nov 23, 2008 in Palaver, Racing |

I saw the photo above here. My first reaction was to wonder if it was a Photoshopped joke, perhaps a nice hoax from the Onion. Apparently it’s not. It is, rather, an early photo of Porsche’s forthcoming Panamera.

It may be the ugliest car I’ve ever seen. Looks like a manatee that dressed up as a shark for Halloween.

It is also precisely what high-performance cars shouldn’t be: long (16.3 feet) and heavy (about 4000 pounds). Here’s a point of reference: my Honda Ridgeline, a four-door pickup truck, is 17 feet long and weighs 4500 pounds.

Even the name is ridiculous. It’s meant to evoke the Carrera Panamericana, a storied open-road race run in Mexico back when men were men and their helmets were leather. But somehow “Panamera” sucks all the Latin heat from the phrase – death by focus group.

And given the size of the car, it’s not as if the name had to be shrunk to fit. Hell, they could have named it Panamericanananana.