By on June 8, 2010

In my off-site review of the Porsche Panamera Turbo, I wrote

After years of reminding auto enthusiasts that pure power and performance numbers don’t make for a perfect car, Porsche has gone ahead and proved the point themselves.

So. Take a sedan which is primarily notable for its racetrack performance… and remove that performance. What do you have? You have the Porsche Panamera V6.

Here’s the scoop on the engine:

The new Panamera models feature an all-new, Porsche-designed 3.6-liter, 90-degree V6 engine with Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) that develops 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Built on the same line as the normally aspirated and twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 engines found in the Panamera S, 4S and Turbo, this new engine propels the Panamera and Panamera 4 from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 and 5.8 seconds, respectively (5.8 and 5.6 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package Plus option). Top test track speeds are 160 and 159 mph, respectively.

Porsche tends to be conservative with 0-60 numbers, but be aware that the special-advertising-section crew at Car and Driver managed to squeeze a 5.8-second romp out of a 2007 Camry XLE V-6. Be aware, as well, that a Panamera is a bit heavier than a Camry (3,880 lbs plays 3,483, according to the manufacturers) and doesn’t have much more power. Freeway racers will want to stick with the tried and true champ from Georgetown, KY.

There’s something odd, as well, about the idea of Porsche developing an “all-new” 3.6L engine that makes the same power as the 3.6L flat-six which debuted eleven years ago in the “996″-generation 911. It’s difficult not to consider this as the crown jewel in Porsche’s Museum Of Corporate Cynicism; a truck-derived car with a truck-derived engine, sold to henpecked men whose spouses would never dream of letting them own a Nine Eleven.

With that said, there’s actually a value-for-money side to this story. The BMW 740Li costs $74,550, weighs considerably more, doesn’t have much more power, and won’t corner as well. If you are buying your ticket at the Nordschleife gate and see a 740Li behind you, rest assured you’ll smoke that fool from Flugplatz to Pflanzgarten II. Unless you engage (and pay for) Launch Control, however, the race into Whole Foods against your neighbor’s Toyota might be a bit tougher to win.

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62 Comments on “A Bargain At $74,400, But Watch Out For Camrys At Stoplights...”


  • avatar
    joeveto3

    In my fantasy world, I’d have to spring for the V-8. I don’t think my ego could stand the sneers from the other Porsche owners who had the “better” Porsches.

    “Ooooo, you bought the 6…”

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      You will still be sneered at if you buy a Panamera. In fact, if you buy any Porsche, there will be an owner of some other model who will be sneering at you.

    • 0 avatar
      jckirlan

      I have always maintained that; if you drive a Porsche or read Playboy, the onus is on you to prove you’re not an a**hole.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Turbo tuner kit to take advantage of the reduced lump weight in 5.. 4.. 3..

      What Porsche won’t do to defend their precious price points, other more enterprising chaps will:

      http://www.tpcracing.com/products/TPCRacing-987-Cayman-S-Turbo-Kit/

  • avatar

    It is for humiliating the kinds of people who buy cars like this that the Ford Mustang was invented.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      You’re assuming that anyone who buys this car would be humiliated by being smoked off the line. They won’t be.

      As a daily driver, six seconds to sixty is enough. That’s faster than my TSX and the number of times I’ve actually wanted more power on the street is few. The number of times I’ve wished that everyone else – including drivers of cars much, much faster than my TSX – would get up and go a little faster is many.

      Now, should Porsche be making daily drivers? That’s a different discussion. But they are, and if it’s your thing, I don’t see why you shouldn’t buy a Panamera instead of a 740i.

    • 0 avatar

      Brian, I’m sure your TSX is a fine ride. But it doesn’t have a Porsche badge on the nose. A car with a Porsche badge should aspire to sporting activities. The fact that this one can’t deliver when challenged makes it ridiculous. There’s really no good reason to buy this over a TSX other then pretense. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.

      And btw, not all of us feel that 6 sec is “enough” for a daily driver. I feel safer in something in the 4.6-4.8 range, provided it comes with a good suspension and big brakes. There are several cars that will meet or exceed that for what this pig costs. Some even have 4 doors, nice interiors, and way-better-than-Porsche reliability and upkeep costs.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      And it’s for humiliating Mustangs that the Impreza STi and Evo exist…

      I’d love to run a STi against the V-6 Panamera – More power, less weight = Subie win.

    • 0 avatar
      hurls

      It still amazes me how much 0-60 times have dropped in mainstream cars over the past two decades or so (since I’ve been driving, in other words). E-30 M3 (which I don’t think anyone would argue is a great car to drive):
      * (2.5 L-16v I4) – 238 PS (175 kW; 235 hp) − 0-60 mph: 6.1 s. Top Speed: 154 mph (248 km/h) (note: the fastest EVO III version)

      I’d say that well into the early 90s, sub six second was just about supercar territory. Now my slow-ass 4 cylinder A4 WAGON hits low sixes with an auto and quattro. I’m not sure what DD scenario needs more than that to feel “safe”. Unless you spend a lot of time playing frogger with logging trucks.

      That said… I don’t get this version of the Panamera at all :)

  • avatar
    ajla

    The first chance I get, I will be asking the owner of a Panamera V6 if his/her 3.6L DI V6 is the same as the one used in the Camaro.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    300hp out of a V6 is nothing to laugh at. In fact, it’s pretty cool that today’s V6s are making more power than most of yesterday’s V8s.

    I like the Panamera, and were I to buy a Porsche, it would most likely be the model I would choose. It has nothing to do with being henpecked, I’m single after all. If I’m going to spend that much money on a car, I’d want enough space that I could take a few of my buddies along for the road trip.

    Also, while the Camry may be capable of a similar sprint, I’m sure the Panamera does it with a lot more poise.

  • avatar
    PG

    “Speed Sport Life”? Great. Another car blog. Like I don’t waste enough time at work.

  • avatar
    niky

    The Nordschlieffe? So you can show the world that your $74k Porsche can almost keep up with a run-of-the-mill hot hatch on the track?

    Aside from the fact that Porsche interiors are fantastic (for the price, they should be), I don’t see why anyone would want to pay such big money to be seen being chauffered around in a squatting frog instead of, say, a new 7-series or Jaguar… both of which look much better.

    The new Cayenne’s rear end is a fair bit better than before, though, so hopefully the next facelift the Panamera gets will fix the rear styling… but I sincerely doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The BMW 7 series is a good looking car (though I liked the original Bangle version too). The new Jaguar XJ doesn’t do anything in pictures, though the magazines all say you have to see it in person, so maybe I need to make a trip to the local Jag dealer to lay eyes on one. If comparing to the previous generation X350 series, you are right, nothing comes close.

      As far as Porsche interiors go, I’ve always found them lacking for the most part compared to BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi, etc. The Cayenne in particular has had a very cheap interior (maybe the new version fixes this, I haven’t been in one yet). The Panamera, at least from photos, does look like a huge improvement for Porsche.

  • avatar
    DearS

    A relative performance bargain even next to a Bentley or Rolls. Still $75k is hard to come by. I’ll need to settle for a 5 series bimmer, an E34 that is.

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    The v6 is for Europe and Asia. They sell it in the US with a token effort at best.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Stylewise, I don’t like the Panamera, but the Camry is a horrendous looking car. But the Porsche looks more substantial so it wins. The interior of the Porsche is unbelievable. It’s built to last forever, unlike the Tonka toy interior of the Camry. The speed is comparable, and both good. So I’d rather have this speed happen from the inside of a Porsche. Nuff said.

  • avatar
    niky

    The Cayenne interiors have always struck me as wonderfully posh compared to the X5… I don’t really like BMW plastics… though the 7-series is pretty nice. Might not be all that great compared to the Q7, though… still… Alcantara… everywhwere…

  • avatar
    Mike999

    From the author’s perspective you’d think Porsche has always built the Fastest Car on the Block.
    That’s Never been the case.

    Get over it with the V6 already, this is a Porsche V6.
    This is 2010 with 7 Billion with a ‘B’ People on the planet.
    China, is rapidly industrializing.
    This car is built for REAL WORLD conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      Actually you’re right, Mike999. In the ’60s Porsche made the 912, in the ’70s the 914, and later the 924. Much as I love Porsches, they’ve never been a company that makes only race-worthy cars.

      And besides, in the real world 6.0 seconds 0-60 is plenty fast enough at least 98% of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      So, in this seven-”B”illion-person real world, with a resource squeeze coming the likes of which has never been seen in history… enormous sedans costing more than twenty people’s annual wages in some countries are okay as long as they’re V6-powered? Just checking.

  • avatar
    Mike999

    I just read your post again.

    Let me get this straight, you think someone in a Porsche is going to Drag Race it? against a Camry?

  • avatar
    twotone

    $75k? I’d go for a 2007 S65 AMG with <30k miles for well under that price. 0-60 or 1/4 mile title for title — any Panamera takers?

    Twotone

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      wsn’s rule:

      Whenever someone states that a used A car is better than a new B car, you can be pretty sure that the A car is a junk (because no one wants it new).

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      @wsn

      The fact that a given vehicle is available used means that nobody wants to buy them new?

      I know it’s toker Wednesday on TTAC, but jeez…

  • avatar
    wsn

    Not that I can afford one at the moment, but a 330hp Infiniti M37 got just as many curves, can probably smoke this car, and save you $30k.

    I will probably buy (new) one in a few years if everything goes well.

    BTW, if V8 is your cup of tea, you can buy the 420hp M56 instead and save $20k (instead of $30k).

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    My first thought on seeing 3.6L and 300 HP was that they aren’t even trying. What’s the Z have? 330 HP out of 3.7L? And it costs how much? I’m sure this Panamera is a fine car, but those are seriously plebeian numbers for a Porsche.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I can understand complaining about choices not offered, but why complain about something you don’t have to take?

    If you need to have the most power out there, get the V8. There are plenty of us who would be happy with the V6.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    If 0-60 acceleration is what counts, then almost all Porsche owners – including Boxster S owners – are going to be terribly embarrassed if they try a stoplight race against my buddy’s almost-stock-looking 3/4-ton Dodge!

  • avatar
    John

    In a time when you can get a family sedan for 25-30k with a 280-300hp V6, I would expect more than that in a 75k sport sedan. What’s the point of buying a Porsche if it can hardly keep up with a Camcordaltimabu? Porsche manages to get 320, 345, and 385 hp out of the boxer 6 in the Cayman S, 911 Carrera, and 911 Carrera S. I think they need to try a little harder than to just throw a VW engine in and call it a day. Maybe I’m wrong about the VW engine thing, but I do believe the Panamera engine is shared with the new Cayenne triplets. Am I to believe they designed a whole new V6 for them when VW/Audi already have a capable 3.6l V6? Maybe they did, and if I’m wrong let me know, but it seems that would be a real waste of money. Is speed everything in a sport/luxury sedan? When it is a Porsche it better be. Otherwise whats the point? I’m guessing the point is to sell a more fuel efficient version to all the badge hunters out there in order to help meet fuel economy requirements.

  • avatar
    IGB

    OMG! I can’t believe the responses. May you all (most of you anyway) be condemned to drive V6 Camry’s for the rest of your automotive existences. And then brag about how the oatmeal in the steering linkage retards the torque steer.

    I drive a fast car and I don’t drag race. Ever. The Panamera V6 would be fine. It’s beautiful from the drivers seat. Probably drives beautifully too. It will never be cross shopped with the milque toast that is being touted above.

    The price is not high for the overall content. You couldn’t give me 10 Camry’s for 1 Panamera and that’s over $200,000 in Camry’s and over 2600 roaring Camry horsepowers quelled by enough oatmeal to supply 3 nursing homes for years.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    TPC probably won’t be interested in developing a low pressure turbo for this thing – not racy and too few sold in the US. Too bad, the Saab turbo philosophy was entertaining – frugal until you summoned the pressure.

    I don’t do DE or AX and I have never owned a car with a V8 and not a one has had 300hp. I can’t figure out what you’d do with more hp in traffic anyway – run up on some dawdler’s bumper even quicker, maybe?

  • avatar

    Does this make the camery a “sleeper”? Put a CAI in her and you’re smokin!

  • avatar
    65corvair

    I will sneer at you. Real Porsches have flat sixes behind the rear axle, like my 65 Corvair!! In fact Corvairs had flat sixes before Porsches did!
    Get the 911, it’s got a back seat, sure it a little small, but you aren’t going to ride back there anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckR

      Get the 911, it’s got a back seat, sure it a little small, but you aren’t going to ride back there anyway.

      Neither is anybody over the age of 10.

      It is however a nicely upholstered shelf for sacks of groceries.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Brand new 3.6 V6? Why not just use the VW/Audi supercharged 3.0 V6?

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    For that sum, please order me a new M3 sedan & let me keep the change.

  • avatar
    essen

    You can’t lower the price of that ugly car enough to make me want to purchase it, even if it had a V-8. I’d go loaded 5-series.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    I think the real danger for the Porsche-ophile would be the potential spanking they would get from a turbo 4cyl Sonata. (You know once we see the numbers for the Sonata.) That would be true humiliation.

  • avatar

    Everyone here is mistaking “fashion accessory” for “car”.

    Porsche has sort of the same problem that BMW has. You are known for a serious sports effort. This makes you cool and “a winner”. The design is visually sophisticated and pleasing as well as functional. Over time, it attracts the sort of folk who lease the M3 but return it early because “it rides hard”. These folk can afford to make this decision, even with lease penalties.

    You realize there are a lot of them, who want the automotive Rolex, but don’t really USE much more than a Camry or Accord will provide as well.

    Suddenly the “M” X6 arrives. The Panamera is the same thing. Sell the Bling, the Badge, but in the end, it will get you to the Club with four golf bags just like the Camry, and with the same “event data recorder” readouts, sans one good boot getting onto the highway so the friends can see the V8/V10/Turbo/Mr. Fusion in action.

    Enthusiasts, especially those who can’t buy the car in question, tend to wonder why they exist, and the reason is, when everyone else has a Mercedes, you want the AMG version, and when too many of those exist in the parking lot of your peer group, you have to go Bentley, Aston or Ferrari.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    I fail to understand the obsession with straight line acceleration. Unless of course you are talking about dragsters. There is much more fun to be had spanking someones ass on a twisty mountain road where you know, real driving skill might be involved :) I would love to see how said Camrys brakes feel after a few of those stoplight races in a row. A fast car is not necessarily a good car.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      If you are right here, then why would Porsche even offer a V8 Panamera? I mean, the V8 don’t really corner better or break better than the V6 due to the extra weight.

      Please don’t make excuses for charging $74k for 300hp.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Most Camry V6 tests I have seen put it in the 6.0-6.2 second times, espcially the more optioned up and heavier XLE trim levels. I have driven several 07-09 Camry V6 cars and none would stop watch the 5.8 second time C&D got so they must have found a specially prepped version from Toyota because we all know how they like to over hype there products. A good example is how Toyota overrated the 3.5 engine in 2005-2007 at 280 Hp when in reality it only outputs 268 in the Camry and Avalon(269 in the Rav 4. The Porsche V6 makes 300 HP and 295 torque compared to Camrys 3.5 V6 which makes 268 HP and only 248 torque at a rather peaky 4700 RPM’s. That gives the Porsche a 47 lbs ft torque advantage. We all know that torque is what winds races over out right HP so my money would go to the Porsche in a dead nuts race. My money would also go on the Porsche for litterally everything else too including braking, handling, interior quality etc.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    @wsn,

    “Please don’t make excuses for charging $74k for 300hp.”

    To say That they are charging 74K for 300hp is missing the point. There are obviously other parts of the car involved than just the engine.

  • avatar
    probert

    Germans are socialists so I refuse to drive the products of a dangerous political philosophy. This V6 “peoples porsche” is just another example of this tawdry system.

    I want a Tatra.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    A new Porsche buyer is by definition a wealthy enthusiast so I don’t see very many V6 models being sold. With this car’s polarizing styling I don’t see very many typical BMW/MB sedan buyers even considering it. At its price point I think most buyers in this segment would opt for V8 MB or BMW. I happen to like the styling but if I was able to afford a car in this price range it wouldn’t be one with a 300hp V6.

  • avatar
    wp8thsub

    Just rice out the Panamera with a big fart can muffler and call it a day. Who needs power when you can have noise?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Is a manual available for the V6 version?

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    I would prefer a previous generation Jag XJR.

  • avatar

    Why did they use a V6 instead of their own flat? At least it would have some real heritage for the name. But maybe it is for the best, just keep it non-authentic.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Porsche uses a different engine family for their front-engined products. The 928 and 944 used VW-derived four-cylinders and a V8. The Cayenne uses V6s and 8s… so it makes sense to build the Panamera to use them, too.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    I´m not sure about the buyers of the Panamera, but something like 95% of cardrivers doesn´t care about if they can outrun other cars at stoplights.
    Mustang? :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jrbxdh5Bjcw

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Thanks for the link Buckshot. Every so often its good to be reminded of what a complete a—-le Clarkson is.

      BTW.. The V6 Mustang is 210 hp, not 300. Can’t let a few facts get in the way of good “domestic bashing story” eh?

    • 0 avatar
      Buckshot

      Afaik the bashing here is not restricted to just non-american cars.
      Clarkson exaggerates a bit, but Ford Mustang is hardly “The Holy Grail” even if the construction is old.


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