Porsche Panamera Diesel Sports Sedan: Is It Fast Enough? (Video)

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You could argue that there are two types of buyers looking for fuel efficiency.

The first are those who want absolutely the most gas-sipping car they can get their hands on--the Prius, the Volts and the VW TDIs of this world.

The second want cars like the Porsche Panamera Diesel luxury sport sedan--a car that offers the speed and amenities you expect from a prestige product, without having to pay a fortune on fuel bills.

British car journalist Chris Harris has been running just such a car for a few months now, and praises its varied qualities. But to answer claims that the Panamera Diesel simply isn't fast enough for a Porsche, Chris took it to the track to lay down some numbers.

Subjectively, he has no problem with the performance, even considering the other high-end vehicles he drives with regularity.

After all, the V-6 diesel's 247-horsepower, and 406 pounds-feet of torque developed from only 1,750rpm, can make for pretty rapid progress on the road. He also likes the build quality, handling, and even the divisive styling.

On the track, the car turns in a 6.9 second 0-60mph run--a tenth of a second off Porsche's claims--and on Millbrook's high-speed bowl (where we recently drove BMW's ActiveHybrid 5 at 100mph-plus speeds) the Porsche registers 150 mph.

However irrelevant some of these numbers are in daily driving, the idea is that--even judged against Porsche's high standards--the Panamera Diesel is still a quick car in real-world use.

Not only that, but it's a car that Chris has been achieving a regular 33-37 mpg from during daily use--where a more expensive Panamera Hybrid gets 25 mpg combined from the EPA, and a regular, 3.6-liter V-6 gasoline Panamera only 21 combined.

That leaves us with just one question--with a diesel Porsche Cayenne SUV confirmed for the U.S, when are we getting the diesel Panamera?...


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Comments (8)
  1. More reasons why journalists should never do MPG testing.

    OK so this thing is rated at 37.3 mpg on the European combined cycle which is about 20% higher than the EPA numbers or perhaps 30 mpg combined if it ever shows up state-side.

    Not bad really, for a car that size. But it also points up how inefficient their hybrid is when its combined MPG number is beaten by a straight up diesel.

    But why would anyone ask if it is fast enough to be a Porsche when they should be asking if it is good looking enough to be a Porsche. Who spends that much money on an ugly car.

  2. Well, quite ;)

    As for the MPG, Chris has been getting between 33-37 mpg depending on the journey, so the European combined figure doesn't seem as optimistic as it usually is - quite often the case with larger vehicles not specifically designed for efficiency.

  3. Pointing out again why Journalists should not be involved in evaluating MPG numbers.

    You seem to put more faith in values reported by one person, in uncontrolled weather, in uncontrolled speed,, uncontrolled fuel temperature, than in a standardized tests executed under repeatable conditions by a competent body of professionals. By any reasonable thinking, your reasoning should be reversed. Standardized test or at least large body of consumer data are needed for clarity.

  4. Would you be so kind as to point us to the EPA's documentation on the agency's testing methodology?

    How is it that multiple people have consistently reported considerably higher MPG values for VW Jetta TDI, for example?

    The point here is that one should not, and you specifically should not value EPA's methodology if it is obviously flawed, and if there is no insight into the methods the agency used to arrive at the result.

  5. John - while standardized tests are good for comparing vehicles like-for-like, it's undoubtedly far more interesting discovering what drivers actually get in the real world - particularly when a car is still returning good figures, even with a lead-footed car journo aboard.

    Standardized testing is consistent, but it rarely represents real-world economy to any degree. That's why even the EPA allows users to submit MPG details on its site, and the resulting spread of figures is much more useful to know than official tests. It shows you the best and worst, rather than an arbitrary average from a handful of miles of driving.

  6. This would be such an awesome car, if it only had a manual transmission. We love the way it looks, and I would have bought one immediately if it were not an automatic.

  7. Sounds great. Bring it over!

  8. Everybody is way off on the point of diesel sports cars. The goal is NOT top speed. When autocrossing or non-oval track racing, you want as much low end torque as possible. No spark ignition race car can match a diesel powered race car (a la Audi R10 TDI). Those who plan on racing a Panamera will most likely autocross it. It will be a beast.

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