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

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
this is how you review a porsche national post experiences panamera engine fire

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 [s]shill[/s] [s]toady[/s] [s]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[/s] 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 [s]piece of shit[/s] $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.

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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...

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.