2011 Porsche Panamera

No, you didn’t misread the spec box. This Panamera’s as-tested price exceeds $100,000. And it packs a mere three-fourths of a V-8 beneath its hood, the first production Porsche passenger car ever to offer a V-6 powerplant. We’re puzzled too. 

But then we caught our breath, tested this true 4-seater with its 300-bhp 3.6-liter V-6 and came up with a highly respectable 5.4-second dash to 60 mph, with a quarter mile of 14 flat and a triple-digit trap speed. And with its optional ($3510) 20-in. wheels and Corvette-league Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s (255s front, 295s rear), its precise negotiation of our slalom borders on telekinetic, with absurdly quick, sure-footed transitions and minimal body roll, all the more impressive in light of its bulky feel from behind the wheel. And with a stout 0.96g of lateral grip, you can centrifuge your lucky passengers all day long. Our tester’s optional Sport Chrono Package Plus ($1480) and Porsche Active Suspension Management ($1990) figure into these impressive numbers as well.
It’s hard to love some aspects of the Panamera—its Kardashian-esque rear (and the Carrera White paint only accentuates the pneumatic look), the poor rearward visibility and the brusqueness of the PDK dual-clutch transmission’s tip-in—but its world-conquering handling and high-console, button-rich interior that seems lifted straight from a corporate jet go a long way toward justifying the cost. Still, when you’re in for $100K, you may feel you shoulda, coulda had a V-8. 

2011 Porsche Panamera
List price $74,400
Price as tested $101,669
Curb weight 4105 lb
Engine, tranmission 3.6-liter V-6, 7-sp paddle-shift manual
Horsepower, bhp @ rpm 300 @ 6200
Torque, lb-ft @ rpm 295 @ 3750
0-60 mph 5.4 sec
0-100 mph 13.6 sec
0-1320 ft (¼ mile) 14.0 sec @ 101.4 mph
Top speed 160 mph*
Braking, 60-0 mph 113 ft
Braking, 80-0 mph 196 ft
Lateral accel (200-ft skidpad) 0.96 g
Speed thru 700-ft slalom 71.2 mph
Our mileage, EPA city/highway est 19.0, 18/27 mpg

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