Lest you think the Porsche Panamera’s engine portfolio is too limited (presently, you can choose either a 4.8-liter V-8 or a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V-8), Porsche will unveil its entry-level sedan — the V-6-powered Panamera and Panamera 4 — at the 2010 Beijing auto show in April.
Both models will use a new direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 300 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is standard, channeling power to the rear wheels on base models, or to all four wheels on the all-wheel-drive Panamera 4. Porsche hopes the V-6 models, which are fitted with an automatic engine start/stop system, will achieve significantly higher EPA fuel economy estimates than their V-8 siblings. No tentative or official numbers have been released thus far.
Certainly, there may be a handling benefit by opting for the V-6. Porsche says the V-6 is nearly 66 pounds lighter than the Panamera S’ V-8, and curb weight for the rear-wheel-drive car drops to a reasonable 3900 pounds.
Both new V-6 models will be introduced to the world at the Beijing Motor Show on April 23 and Porsche has set base prices in the U.S. at $75,350 for the base model and $79,850 for the AWD Panamera 4, including a $950 destination charge. Even with the fee, the V-6 cars undercut the V-8 model’s base price by $10,000 to $15,000.