42 journalists who had the honor of being invited by Porsche to what was called a “Plug-In Hybrid Technology Workshop” found themselves used as lab rats, and to produce a mileage rating that supports Porsche’s published results for the hybrid Panamera. It didn’t quite work out that way. Says a Porsche press release: (Read More…)
After several hours of slinging a 991 Carrera S around the track (review to follow), I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to relinquishing the keys to the Porker for the keys to the, uh, porker. I was here to drive both cars, and I’d already had plenty of up-close views of the Pano through the windscreen of the 911 as it clogged up turn 3, seeming to flop over on its flank like the wounded Bismark.
Back of the pack out on the grid, I waved several 911s and a heavily-modified Evo ahead out of politeness, not wishing to be the clot in this small, fast group of experienced drivers (with one notable exception). Nice and easy through turn one and two, squeezing on the throttle a bit through the back straight, with an eye to unforgiving concrete barriers and a thought to the coldness of the tires and the track.
Over the hump at turn two, swing wide out to the right and squeeze on the power as I straighten out the wheel, and suddenly I’m thinking: well that’s not right.
Not right at all…. (Read More…)
In his uneven but interesting book Guitar: An American Life, Tim Brookes notes that acoustic players “pick up a guitar in order to meet college girls but wind up talking to other middle-aged men about their fingernails.” I started racing so I could put my merciless, Edward-Green-shod foot on the neck of other competitors in the twilight zone that separates victory from certain death, but I’ve wound up spending my weekends telling other middle-aged men to unwind their steering wheels at corner exit.
This past weekend at Summit Point’s Shenandoah course, I preached long sermons from the Book of Corner Exit to three of those middle-aged men: a novice in a Panamera Turbo, a prodigy in a C6 Vette, and my own crumbling self, piloting a Coyote-powered Mustang GT in an ultimately futile attempt to outpace a colleague in a new 991 Carrera S. Together we pursued the discipline of the Quality Exit, with varying results. To misquote the poet: “O you who turn the wheel and look to chiclets, Gentile or Jew, click the jump to find out how we did.”
Two weeks ago, Bertel stole from me we brought you the very first pictures of the China-only RUF XL, a Porsche Panamera stretched by 40 centimeters exclusively for the limousine-orientated Chinese car market. The story has since been all over the internet.
Today, I present you the first pictures of the interior. This Porsche sure looks like a comfortable place to smoke a cigar, play with your second and/or third wife and to tell the driver to take it easy, or to go like stink. (Read More…)
German tuner Ruf is coming to China. He did what everybody should do who is setting up shop in another land: Do thorough market research. When he asked what Chinese like, the answer was: “Long!” With that in mind, Ruf made what the Chinese market (possibly) wants: A stretched Porsche Panamera. (Read More…)
The Porsche Panamera: should it exist? Eight years after the introduction of the Cayenne SUV, many enthusiasts remain steadfast in their conviction that Porsche should stick to sports cars with aft-mounted powerplants. While a two-ton four-door is certainly a lesser evil, has Porsche managed to offer one for which there is no available substitute? A $69,000 Cadillac CTS-V performs extremely well, in both objective and subjective terms. Why, then, spend tens of thousands more for a Panamera?
VW’s current strategy to design larger cars specifically for the US market isn’t the first time around. In the early sixties, VW gave serious thought to a six-seater rear-engine sedan to take on the Americans on their own (big) terms. Obviously inspired by the 1960 Corvair, which made a huge impression in Europe, but taken even further: the EA 128 was a fair chunk bigger and wider than the Corvair, right into mid-size territory. And with bench seats to seat six big Amerikaner. Even a wagon version (Kountry Knecht?). But where to get the underpinnings and six-cylinder engine for the AmiWagen? Where else: (Read More…)
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.
The best stories are those where you can barely wait to find out more. There are new heroes, new ideas and new sources of suspense… actually, all typically Porsche
So goes the opening to this video, introducing the new base-model V6 Panameras. Though some might argue that Volkswagen-sourced V6 engines are not in fact “typically Porsche” (an argument that carried more weight before the Cayenne came to town), a 300 horsepower engine in a 3,814 lb, four-door Porsche does technically qualify as a “source of suspense.” And attempting to charge $75k for a base Panamera V6 certainly requires a perspective that might be charitably described as “heroic.” On the other hand, it’s hard to get too down on this poor thing. You can’t blame a lazy dog for a veterinarian’s (or in this case, a CAFE standard’s) work. Besides, it’s still not as embarrassingly neutered as the Cayenne V6.