Since its release in October of last year, the Porsche Panamera has been a very popular model, and to keep the momentum rolling in the right direction, Porsche is now planning a V-6 version of the four-door Panamera. Not only will the new engine give the Panamera even better fuel economy and a lighter curb weight, but it should also make the car even more popular by creating a lower-priced base model. The 2010 Porsche Panamera and the 2010 Porsche Panamera 4 will now have starting prices that are lower than its main rivals including the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.
Porsche states that the 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that is to be used in the Panamera is brand new, but other vehicles under the Volkswagen Group also use this same engine including the Porsche Cayenne SUV. The only difference between the new Panamera engine and the one found under the hood of the Cayenne is the overall output. With 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, the Panamera's new engine produces an extra 10 horsepower and 22 lb-ft of torque compared to the Cayenne. This engine weighs 66 pounds less than the V-8 currently used in the S and 4S, so the 2010 Porsche Panamera is expected to have a curb weight of 3,880 pounds which should further help fuel economy.
Like the current Panamera lineup, the V-6-powered models will only be available with the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox with power going to the rear wheels on the base Panamera and all four wheels on the Panamera 4. A major difference in the PDK for the V-6 models is the fact that it is equipped with Auto Start Stop function for even better fuel economy. Although specific numbers haven't been announced, the lighter and less powerful Panamera models are expected to get combined fuel economy rated at more than 20 miles per gallon. The current Panamera S and 4S are combined at 19 mpg, while the Panamera Turbo has combined fuel economy of 18 mpg.
Other than improved fuel economy, the biggest advantage the new models will have is a price point that is much lower than some of its competitors. The base Panamera will have a starting MSRP of $74,400 and the Panamera 4 will have a starting MSRP of $78,900. This puts the entry price for the newest Porsche a full $15,400 cheaper than the current lineup and well below the pricing of the BMW and the Mercedes. The base model Panamera will now be priced more competitively with a car that it is more often compared to in terms of the four-door coupe styling, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, which starts at $72,400.
The V-6 versions of the 2010 Porsche Panamera are going to make their official debut at press preview before the Beijing Motor Show on April 23, 2010.