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.