That number is the giveaway of course. This is no Porsche Panamera; this is the Panamera’s daddy. It’s the 1990 four-door prototype – the original “Lear jet for the street” as then-Porsche boss Ulrich Bez described it, and next to it the very first proper four seat concept they created, the 915. The former was all set to go into production in 1994 but was axed in ’92, officially because sales were down – and unofficially because Ferry Porsche didn’t care for it.
So much so it was said that the one and only prototype had been destroyed. The “four-door Porsche” remained Stuttgart’s dirty little secret, even after the 2009 launch of the first-gen Panamera, the 989’s spiritual successor if hardly its design apogee. Then in 2014, by now with the idea of a four-door Porsche sedan accepted far and wide, the Porsche Museum came clean and showed the “destroyed” prototype as part of its Project Top Secret exhibition.
And hey presto here it is again at Goodwood for Revival – the first time it has been outside Germany. And with work to do, too: reminding people that a four-door Porsche can indeed look as perky as a sports car, something the new Panamera is far more successful at than the tubby-looking original.