Porsche Panamera fully exposed in San Francisco?

Porsche's blasphemous new coupe prowls CNET's back yard.

Some surprise: This sure looks like a Panamera en clair to us.
Some surprise: This sure looks like a Panamera en clair to us. World Car Fans

Well, if Porsche were a stripper, it wouldn't be a very good one. The company has left virtually nothing to the imagination when it comes to the new Panamera four-door coupe. The world unveiling is set for Geneva in March 2009, but one is being driven around San Francisco with barely a rubber nose and glasses to disguise it.

A reader of World Car Fans snagged a slew of really good, clear photos. You'll notice a feeble attempt to mask the car's lines with a little tape and some bogus cladding around its ungainly rump, but this is basically an undisguised Panamera on a grocery run. Makes a mockery of Porsche's infuriatingly coy Panamera preview site.

These latest shots jibe with most recent sneak photos that have shown up online, but the San Francisco sightings aren't even sneaky. This isn't a desert proving ground or wide open autobahn--it's a tightly congested city where even a guy with one leg and lost house keys would have time to get upstairs and grab his camera before the Panamera got away.

So, I want to believe this is actually the most ambitious red herring ever foisted upon the car-parazzi--there's no way this pudgy black thing can really be the car that will convince the world a four-door Porsche coupe is a good idea. Can it?

We'll be in Geneva for the "unveil." I hope to grin ruefully at Porsche's ruse, not grimace painfully at the company's design.

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