Porsche’s new Panamera is a brutally handsome car. As today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe ’11 attests however, the first generation was far less of an aesthetic success. Of course, this one may prove far cheaper than the pretty one.
Wow, the results from last Friday’s vote (remember all the way back then?) went completely off the metaphorical rails. I totally figured that most of you would have easily gone $19,500 for a first year C3 convertible, even with the three-speed stick. I mean, there may not have been a lot of stick stirring to be had with that ’68 Corvette, but geez louise you would‘ve been pure sex doing it.
Instead however, discussion focused on my poor wording of the ’68 having one-year only wheel size, and in the end that ‘Vette came up short with an 82 percent Crack Pipe loss. I still wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers.
Cars have come a long way since 1968. Consider Porsche as prima facie. In 1968, that German manufacturer’s U.S. production portfolio consisted entirely of air-cooled, rear-engined sports cars. Hell, that lineup was even made up of only a single platform and two engine options as the mid engine 914 wouldn’t debut for another year.
Now compare that with today when Porsche offers a brace of sports car platforms, crossovers in two sizes, and an executive express that will soon birth a sport wagon. Geez I feel bad that I haven’t shown anywhere near that kind of maturity and personal growth over the years.
Porsche’s maturation has come with some growing pains, and as example some consider the styling of the 2010—2016 Panamera to be... well, painful.
This 2011 Porsche Panamera 4 is a fine exemplar of the breed. How does looking at it make you feel? Is there a certain sense of ennui surrounding its styling? Maybe it pisses you off, considering that it could have easily have looked like this.
Yeah well, shouda-coulda-woulda. In the end, Porsche gave us a Panamera that kind of shit the bed in terms of looks, but which was still a big ol’ hairy ball to drive. This one’s a bit less of a ball owing to the fact that it’s all-the-time all-wheel drive system is fed not by a 400-plus horsepower V8 but by the 300 horse 3.6-litre V6 which is a derivation of that full-tilt boogie mill.
That means that it rocks an odd 90° configuration, but also possesses the eight’s direct injection, VarioCam Plus valve actuation, and dry sump lubrication. Contemporary tests indicated that the V6 Panamera was pretty quick—5-seconds to sixty, 160 mph top speed—with the added benefit of eking out a couple more MPGs over the insanely fast V8 cars.
Backing up the V6 is a ZF seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox which you can let do its thing or can screw with via the silver surfer buttons on each side of the steering wheel.
That wheel is leather wrapped and seems to have held up well over the car’s 118,000 miles. The same can’t be said for the center armrest which looks a little grimy. The rest of the interior appears livable, and the beige color makes the deep seating and small greenhouse a little less oppressive. Also, if you like buttons you’ll like this interior since it has more buttons to push than your last ex.
Stepping outside we see… ugh, oh yeah, it’s a Panamera. Everything about these cars is fat and ungainly. At least this one rocks some sweet wheels. Those five spoke parallels give the car’s flanks some much needed bling. Red trim on the badging, superfluous hatch trim, and front finder heat extractors attempt to do likewise, but mostly just remind me of the last time I went fishing. The white paint doesn’t do the car any favors either.
The ad is posted by a dealer—let’s call him Mike—and notes that the car is fully loaded, comes with its service records along for the ride, and drives “like new.” It also has a clean title and apparently equally clean accident history. What more could you ask?
Well, I’m sure you’re asking about that $22,999 price tag. You won’t find as many V6 Panameras out there as V8s, and here we’re seeing a pretty sizable discount owing to the lower cylinder count. Not only that, but you don’t even need a job or a social security number to buy this ride off of Mike, he’s just that willing to make a deal. He also hablas español like a baller if you’re deep into that.
What’s your take on this Panamera and that $22,999 price? Does that seem like a good looking opportunity for a questionable looking car? Or, does that price make this a Panamera that you’d pan?
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