A brief departure from the spas
Well I thought I could spruce this blog and talk about stuffs which do not concern with the world of spas for a change. After all the blog title “Sanctuary Brunei” is quite a broad name and I suppose it is up for one’s interpretation of what kind of things it entails.
Besides having a quality time in a spa, every now and again I surf the pages of The Sartorialist to embrace and learn the latest street styles all worn by real people instead of copying things straight off the runway but today I am going to talk about my enthusiasm in cars. The idea started when this morning doing my usual fitness routine at the gym and I happen to read an article about the recent launching of the Porsche Panamera. Just trying to pronounce the name is such a tongue twister, it evokes such an exotic and mysterious feeling to it.
The luxury sports saloon cars are all the rage nowadays, and this frenzy has reached Brunei. Saloon cars sell considerably well unlike roadsters. Bruneians have a penchant and passion for cars; it’s one of those things by which you could splash your money on and a benchmark to show how wealthy you are. Partly due to the hot, summer that we experience all year round and how silly it is to ride a cabriolet or any soft top roadster since the air pollution can be sometimes unbearable; that’s why we Bruneians like the saloon to accommodate our love for air-conditioning and anything new.
I agree with autozine.org that the market condition now is very different, the sports luxury saloon segment has been booming in the past few years. Look at the Mercedes CLS and another recently launched Mercedes E Class Coupe, people are buying cars and paying more money because they see the passion and evokes that certain emotion which is anonymous with sports car. However with the recent economic recession, they also like to be more practical in things – the more people and space that can be accommodated the better. Just look at the billions invested to produce new entries to this sport luxury saloon segment such as Maserati Quattroporte and the forthcoming Aston Martin Rapide. Its prospects is certainly far more optimistic that that in the early 1990s.
In this way, Panamera is born.
So I went to Qaf Autokars to touch and feel the ultimate supercar on the market at the moment. Upon entry, there it was, intimidating beauty. You knew that this car is going to be something great and will bruise the egos of other cars within the vicinity. Then I noticed that this new addition to the Porsche family is quite big by any standards. I actually am surprised; believe it or not, it exceeds the Cayenne SUV in all dimensions bar height! It’s hard to ignore this car and certainly appeals the market group that Porsche is aiming for.
The sales consultant was surprisingly friendly unlike the intimidating feeling of the showroom, I was at ease and able to take a few shots of the car for the blog. The good thing, I was given the rare opportunity to be on the driver’s seat! The interior of the car is easily the best ever cabin built by Porsche and definitely beats any Mercedes or BMW. The materials – leather, wood trim and alloys are used inside the cabin, these are top notch items, and “fit and finish meets what you would expect from a German luxury saloon”. I like the cars made by the Volkswagen group, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche; the company surely knows how to compensate (if there is any) any of their shortcomings from the use of soft-touch dashboard and leather.
The entry-level Panamera is to be powered by a 3.6-litre Volkwagen narrow-angle V6 good for 300 horsepower. Add an electric motor and it will become a 350hp hybrid. For now, you can buy only the more expensive V8 models – Panamera S and 4S are both powered by a 400hp, 4.8 litres V8, their difference lies in RWD or 4WD only. The naturally aspirated V8 models are priced from B$ 235,000 to B$ 329,150. Porsche Panamera is quite an expensive car and possibly the most expensive ever in the automobile market here in Brunei. I’m not sure it’s indirect rival and sibling (under the Volkswagen umbrella), the Audi R8 compares with this in terms of the price and performance. But then again, the abovementioned cars are different than each other, one is an expensive but cheaper Lamborghini equivalent and the other is a sports luxury saloon car. Both cars appeals to different markets but then again today are different times, saloon luxury cars can now appeal the most automobile enthusiasts out there.
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