THIS Is How You Review A Porsche: National Post Experiences Panamera Engine Fire, Recommends Panamera Purchase

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Sorry for that crappy music. I didn’t put the music in there — JB

Once more in the Panamera breach, dear friends;

Or close up the blog with our press-car dead.

We (meaning I) have been awfully tough on Porsche’s Panamera this week, what with the Frank Greve article on corruption in the autojourno game and my own confessional regarding my Panamera experience.

To balance out the karma of the Porsche universe, I’ve found an article, published today, where the auto review for Canada’s National Post experiences a blown turbocharger in a Panamera Turbo S.

What happened, it was found out later, was that the right turbocharger (the Panamera has two) let go, pouring oil into the exhaust system. Unfortunately, the exhaust side of a turbocharger routinely reaches temperatures of 900C. Since oil burns at 500C, we had our impromptu car-b-cue. Covered in a fine patina of bromine (the fire retardant in portable extinguishers), clad in scorched bumper and dripping hot oil out its tailpipes, the Turbo S was a sorry sight and had to be medivac’d back to Toronto.

What the shill toady unbelievably corrupt pawn of people who consider him to be basically a robot who can be programmed to spew crap for a lower-middle-class wage journalist, David Booth, writes next may shock you, but it will almost certainly make you laugh.

The full review can be found here. Check it out if you like, but we will cover the relevant bits in the close reading which follows.

The article begins in medias res, as corner workers at the Shannonville race course run towards Booth’s Panamera.

the quad pipes belched a six-foot plume of flame as if the Panamera were trying to storm the Imperial Army on Iwo Jima. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t in the brochure.

What, you mean the part where the Germans helped take Iwo Jima? No, David, that part wasn’t in the brochure. David then goes on to discuss the likely cause of the fire, as detailed above: turbocharger blows up, oil goes into exhaust, massively hyperbolic, death-defying description of minor engine-area fire. Well, since this piece of shit $190,000 sports-car-cum-sedan blew up on a relatively tame track (Shannonville, while nice, is more of a large parking-lot autocross than, say, an inch-perfect recreation of Spa-Francorchamps), Booth then goes on to utterly eviscerate Porsche for building cars that can’t handle simple track work.


That’s what he does, right?

“So what’s the lesson in this, Dave?” you’re asking. “Don’t buy a Porsche Panamera Turbo S, right?’

Well, not quite. In fact, quite possibly the opposite. You see, though it was the wonky bearing that caused the turbocharger to go kaput (a German technical term related to rapid dispersion of lubricant), I may have contributed at least a little to its demise as my enthusiastic flailing along Shannonville’s long straight was not exactly the ideal way to break in a virtually brand new engine.

No, dumbass. Turbochargers don’t need to break in.

More tellingly, the Panamera’s big 4.8-litre V8 was completely unharmed by the conflagration, despite losing oil for more than half of Shannonville’s 4.03 kilometres with Yours Truly’s foot planted firmly to the metal. (Remember the dullard assertion – I had failed to notice those great plumes of smoke wafting behind me for almost an entire lap.)

That admission, right there, should make sure Mr. Booth never sets foot on a track again in his life. He wasn’t just being a “dullard” — he was risking the lives of others. Chances are that he ignored several flags along the way — that’s typical of journalists. I sat and watched Automotive Traveler’s Richard Truesdell ignore five black flags in a row a few months ago at a trackday event. If another driver had hit Booth’s oil, he could have been killed. It happens, and it happens because of people like Booth.

Okay, enough sanctimony, back to the unintentional humor.

The reason was simple. Porsche designs all its engines for the worst-case scenarios of racing.

One more time:

The reason was simple. Porsche designs all its engines for the worst-case scenarios of racing.

I’m sorry. Once more.

The reason was simple. Porsche designs all its engines for the worst-case scenarios of racing.

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

More by Jack Baruth

Join the conversation
2 of 72 comments
  • Disaster Disaster on Sep 06, 2011

    If by some miracle, you do get them to warranty the engine, what is the chance they will also pay to fix all the fire damage. How many things will fail later, from post inferno conditions?

  • Idriveaneon Idriveaneon on Sep 06, 2011

    A journalist washing Porsche's balls isn't that concerning to me... A rich person can afford to pay the price of listening to an idiotic review like this. But what happens if journalists start doing this for crappy everyday cars like the Chrysler 200? What if Fiat says, hey "fat bald journalist guy, you don't like the Chrysler 200? Well then say goodbye to your invitation to drive the new Ferrari F71X in Italy." I kind of wonder if this already happening. Before Fiat took over, Chrysler was every magazine's whipping boy, now cars like the 200 and updated versions of Journey, Patriot etc... get decent reviews. Are these cars really that much better, or does Fiat have some tricks up it's sleeves. Ahem Ferrari, Italian trips etc...

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.