I think the Porsche Panamera has a problem. No, not a mechanical one, but rather an image problem. The thing with Porsches is that they’ve always been inspirational cars. Something you desire and work towards. Even if it wasn’t a 911, cool people still drove 944s and 928s. Even the 914 was a fun little sports car that certainly wasn’t fast but had a ton of style and uniqueness about them. But with the Panamera, that isn’t true. No kid has a poster of a Panamera on their wall. Nobody goes to the Porsche dealership to see a new Panamera. It exists to compete in a class with other mid-size sedans and hopefully steal sales from people who traditionally bought an E-Class or 5 Series every three years. That is fine, but it surely isn’t in the same league as all the other Porsche cars when it comes to collectability and long-term ownership. So what happens to them?
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I paid a visit to the local Porsche dealer over the long weekend to check out the wares, specifically the Macan S. As great as the PDK transmission is, I would still prefer the Macan with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Given that is not on the option list, it has fallen down a few notches on the list of potentials for my second vehicle. One car that was available for a time with a manual gearbox of which few are aware is the Panamera. After it first debuted, certain rear-drive models, including this Panamera S for sale on the western border of Germany near Saarbrücken were available with a 6-speed manual. Few, if any, Panameras made it to the US with three pedals. I personally have yet to come across one. Even still, in Europe, these big sedans so equipped are rare.