Porsche is expanding its Panamera family for 2011 with a pair of new entry-level models, both powered by an all-new, Porsche-designed 3.6-liter V6 engine. The Panamera and all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 will make their first public appearances in China at the Beijing Motor Show in late April and go on sale here in June.
Near visual clones of their more powerful and pricier V8-powered siblings, the Panamara S, Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo, the 2011 Porsche Panamera and Porsche Panamera 4 models have sport matte-black rather than bright window surrounds and a single chrome exhaust outlet on each side of the rear valance rather than the twin pairs used on the eight-cylinder models. However, the real news here is underhood, where a new 90-degree, direct-injected six cranks out 300 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque which will be shipped to either the rear or all four wheels via Porsche's slick Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed double-clutch transmission. Sourced from the automaker's engine plant in Zuffenhausen and destined for use in other Porsche future products, this all-new six is about 66 pounds lighter than the V8, which should help improve the Panamera's already excellent balance, even if it does sacrifice 100 horses in the absolute thrust department. While no U.S fuel economy numbers were provided, Porsche says the new six also will offer significantly better mileage than the V8, and also escape all gas-guzzler taxes.
Pricing for the 2011 Porsche Panamera will start at $75,375 while the 2011 Porsche Panamera 4 opens at $79,875, putting each about $15,000 below their Panamera S and Panamera 4S counterparts.