1989 Porsche Panamericana Concept Car
No, this isn’t the Porsche Panamera that we know now as a 4 door sports car, this was the fabled 1989 Porsche Panamericana Concept Car. This was a rather unique and interesting concept car that has largely been forgotten. The Porsche Panamericana was originally built as a concept car that the designers hoped would be produced as a limited edition car for the 1992 model year. However, Porsche was in the midst of a growing financial distress time, so there was no budget for producing this car. The car did live on, however, in a way. The design influenced the later 911 Targa and Boxster, which went on to be fabulously successful.
Unique Concept Car With Futuristic Features
The concept was built using the 911 Carrera 4 as its base, using plastic and carbon fiber body panels to make its unique look. This was way ahead of its time, as most cars did not start using carbon fiber until many years later. One of the most notable features was the use of the wide, open fendered body panels.
This configuration was meant to accomodate drivers in many situations. Multiple tire configurations would allow someone to put wider slick tires on the car if they wanted to race it around a circle track, more aggressive off-road tires for rally track use, or various sizes of tires for street use. The car also featured these one of a kind special tires with the Porsche logo stamped in the tread pattern, which are quite interesting. I don’t expect those would have been available at Discount Tire.
1989 Porsche Panamericana Concept Car – Form Meets Function
The car obviously resembles a Porsche Boxster and Cayman, as the designer of this car was also the designer of the Boxster. One interesting feature to note is that the car had an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.3, which is really good, despite the lack of traditional fenders.
This model was dubbed a 964 series, and the motivation was provided by the Carrera 4 flat-six 3.6 liter engine. It had 250 horsepower and 229 lb ft of torque and a 5 speed manual transmission. This enabled the concept car to travel from 0 – 60 in a respectable (for that era) 5.8 seconds and a top speed of around 160 MPH. Porsche never produced the Panamericana, so it forever remains in the museum as a legacy to what may have been, but never was.
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