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2011 Panamera Turbo - Upgraded/Upgrading

 
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:28 AM
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2011 Panamera Turbo - Upgraded/Upgrading

Bought a black CPO black PTT three years ago with all of the performance options (Sport Chrono and every active suspension acronym) and immediately did some minor cosmetic tweaks. Blacked out all of the chrome except for the logos and painted the side vents to match the car.

Would have done more after that but quickly became apparent mine had the squirrelly/jerky PDK issues that made the car a bit of a PITA in anything other than sport plus back road driving ... and even then it would exhibit some quirks that made that it less than ideal. So I was really just waiting until I wasn't underwater on the loan/value so I could trade it in for something new.

Fast forward two years and the month of torrential downpours we were getting last year clogged the drain plugs in the tail/hatch which somehow sent water into the area where the battery and many of the control units are located. $10,000 repair bill (luckily covered by insurance) and the car was in the shop for several weeks because every time they'd replace one thing something else further up the chain would start throwing errors.

Even though nothing that was replaced had anything to do with the engine or transmission it was very ... very obvious within a mile of driving it away from the dealership the Panamera was better than it had ever been ... finally the car I'd read about in all of the reviews. Over the next month kept waiting for the day I'd fire it up and find the gremlins had taken hold again but, one year later, the car is still a blast to drive. (we have some theories about the "why" and I'd be happy to expand on this item if anyone is interested).

So I've been back in upgrade mode for the last few months now that I'm planning to hold onto the car for a while.

Done so far:
  1. Finally found a set of wheels I liked better than what was on the car. I had the Turbo IIs, which I didn't hate ... but didn't love. Picked up a set of used (but pristine) Turbo IIIs that were either painted black from the factory or done to that level of quality by the prior owner.
  2. Tracked down a set of the GTS style headlights. I'd always felt that, on my black car, the black "frame" on these would visually extend the curve of the fender and really happy with the results. (picture attached, you be the judge)
  3. Did the FVD ECU tune. Only did that a couple of weeks ago so not ready to give a full review but, for now, the one word that sums it up so far is ..... WOW!
In the works:
  1. Played around in Photoshop with a picture I took after getting the new wheels. Want to tweak the look of the tail lights to do for the rear of the car what the headlights did for the front (image included). Found a place that has done something like this before (not just using a a sheet of applied tint) and I'm going to send them a set of new tail lights to work on this week.
  2. Bought a set of the grill pieces for the front and I'm going to modify them then have painted to match the car.
  3. Getting the FVD PDK tune. That requires sending the TCU to Germany so I'm going to buy a used one, "sync" it to the car and have them modify that one. That will let me swap back to stock if I need to ... and I won't be without the car while waiting to get the flashed TCU back from FVD.
  4. Few cosmetic changes to the interior.
  5. Found a nice condition used set of the exhaust tips for my car (mine has the sport exhaust so they don't show up very often) that I'm going to have refinished.

So I have a question about that last one ... the tips. If you look at the picture I included I want to have the forged piece (green arrow) of the cosmetic shell and the actual pipes ceramic coated in black for durability and so they look about the same between washes when there's a bit of exhaust soot on them. But I want the other part of the shell (red arrow) to contrast with the black.

I really like factory black chrome look that Porsche does on some of their tips but seems like most places say actual black chrome isn't very durable. Can anyone tell me if that factory finish is really black chrome or something else? And, if whatever it is does hold up pretty well if you take care of them?

I'm also just thinking of having that part done in just a medium-dark gloss gray so I'm looking for suggestions for how to best do that with something that won't lose the gloss over time.

Any suggestions on that last item would be appreciated.

I haven't taken that many pictures of the car during this upgrade phase ... want to wait until I have the current to-do list knocked out ... so just including one I took of the front of the car when I was at a friend's shop doing the ECU flash that shows the new (to me) headlights on the Panamera.


"Black" headlights.


Tail lights ... bottom how they look now, top how I want them to look.


Exhaust tip pieces for reference.
 

Last edited by RBeam6; 05-19-2019 at 04:29 AM. Reason: issues getting content to load
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:38 AM
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My suggestion is powder or ceramic coat the tips. This will be more durable the standard high-temp paint. Love to hear the feedback on the FVD PDK tune.
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:46 AM
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Looks great so far!

subscribed for thoughts on the PDK tune as well...
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:05 AM
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Definitely will be doing ceramic on the forged piece and actual pipes but you don't have that many options with ceramic and think I want the shells to be something that's a little shiny to set it off. They don't get as hot as the other bits and I'd be willing to give up some durability to get the look I want.

I've been pretty busy in the couple of weeks since getting the tune so haven't put a lot of miles on it but it's nothing but positives so far. The car feels a little smoother now just driving around town and when you get into it the power is very linear and predictable in the curves but the difference from stock is not subtle. In sport plus it's a beast and if you have sport chrono you still get that extra 10%ish during hard acceleration but with the tune it's available up to red line.

Price of the tune includes the MyGenius tool and the whole process is super easy. Plug it into the car and it downloads whatever information they need about your car and then you email the file it gives to the engineers in Germany. If they get it during their regular business hours you have it back that day ... think I got mine back in about 2 hours and then loading it to the car took about 20 minutes. Felt great right after but apparently the ECU needs some time to adapt so you need to drive the car some before you get the full benefits.

Don't know if it's better or worse the the others out there (definitely the cheapest compared to actual tunes and not piggy-backs) but if you've been thinking about getting one I suggest calling their Florida warehouse and talking the Rhonda. She's very knowledgeable (and very nice) and was able to answer all the questions I had .... and didn't try to upsell me on anything. In fact, after telling her what I was looking to get from the upgrade, she actually suggested that a couple of the other bits I was considering would probably be money better spent elsewhere.
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:09 AM
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Oh, sorry .... missed that the first reply specified feedback for the PDK tune.

I'd imagine I'll be doing that within the next 2-4 weeks and will update here when it's done.

For some reason my post prior to this is being "moderated" and in that I gave some impressions of the ECU tune.
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:11 PM
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Excited to hear about the pdk tune, I have been contemplating it for a while. I would suggest doing the downpipes I did the catless fvd pipes, but itís still really quiet iMO I will do a resonator delete and see how loud it is after that . Keep us posted on the pdk tune. But honestly it sounds like that panamera may just need to be totaled becaues of all the problems. But good luck
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by turbo_mikePTT View Post
Excited to hear about the pdk tune, I have been contemplating it for a while. I would suggest doing the downpipes I did the catless fvd pipes, but itís still really quiet iMO I will do a resonator delete and see how loud it is after that . Keep us posted on the pdk tune. But honestly it sounds like that panamera may just need to be totaled becaues of all the problems. But good luck
I think the TCU tune is the only other performance "enhancement" I'll be doing to the car. I have an extended warranty and my dealer knows that I do the software upgrades and lets me know if anything they're doing to the car will require hooking it up to the computer so I can flash it back beforehand. Even if some of those those things you mention don't specifically violate the warranty the more stock the mechanicals look the easier it is for them to have plausible deniability should anything major ever go wrong.

And 600(ish) horsepower is more than enough to get me in trouble for now.
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by turbo_mikePTT View Post
I would suggest doing the downpipes I did the catless fvd pipes, but itís still really quiet iMO I will do a resonator delete and see how loud it is after that . Keep us posted on the pdk tune.
I have FVD cat-less as well with the new version Akrapovic. It's really not that loud with the flaps closed and even when flaps open it's civilized and WAILS at WOT. I would suggest not removing the resonator with no cats as it will produce drone while cruising.
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by XLR82XS View Post
I have FVD cat-less as well with the new version Akrapovic. It's really not that loud with the flaps closed and even when flaps open it's civilized and WAILS at WOT. I would suggest not removing the resonator with no cats as it will produce drone while cruising.

Yea good point I really want something on the ridiculous side seeing that I almost never drive the car, was thinking about just a legit straight pipe only tips no muffler but donít want to remove my PSE just yet.
 
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:48 PM
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I think once the mufflers are removed it gets past the point of sound that produces a great symphony. Best setup is cat-less with a high quality cat-back. I like that the Akrapovic offers a partial bypass of the mufflers when the flaps are open.
 
 
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