DRIVEN: Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Review
Following a short test drive of the Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid here is Rattanak Kiri’s first drive review of the car.
What’s the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid all about?
The Porsche Panamera is a four seater luxury sports car that combines a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor that has a plug-in charging ability. The car can do around 20 miles on the electric power alone; there aren’t many sports cars that can say that.
So being a Panamera, this means that the car has the stretched 911 look about it. It’s a proper four seater car with every ounce of luxury that you expect from a super executive car, and somehow it is also a proper sports car at the same time. And if that wasn’t complex enough, now Porsche have created a plug-in hybrid version of the Panamera which really takes this car to the next level.
The Panamera has really had a Marmite effect on car enthusiasts. Some love the stretched 911 look, whilst others hate it. For me, it’s grown on me and I quite like it, and I would challenge anyone to make a better looking four door Porsche.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid comes with a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine mounted at the front, and a 95bhp electric motor as well. This means that combined the car creates 416bhp and 590Nm of torque. All that power goes through an eight-speed Triptronic S gearbox, through to the rear wheels. This means that this four seater luxury car can get you from 0 to 60mph in 5.5 seconds and will keep going all the way up to 167mph. This is more sports car than you could ever need.
How does it drive?
Being a proper hybrid car there are a few surprises with the Panamera S E-Hybrid. The first one is when you get into the car, put the key in the ignition, and turn it on; you won’t hear any more than a bong from the dashboard to let you know that the engine is ready. In fact you can drive the car up to 80mph without even using a single drop of petrol. So tootling along in the luxury Panamera can be blissfully quiet, relaxing, and peaceful.
But don’t worry, when you want that sports car performance the Panamera S E-Hybrid can come to life instantly, all you need to do is push the throttle a little bit harder and when required the petrol engine will spark up and deliver all the requested power. And when you no longer need it, it will seamlessly cut the engine off again to save fuel. How easy is that?
If you want to go flat out in the Panamera and you want that engine to be always on, you can simply put the car into sports mode with one button, this will give you all the benefits of that petrol engine and electric motor working together, delivering peek performance all the time.
On the outside the Panamera looks like a very large car, but once you are inside, the car is a lot more manageable to drive on the road than you would expect. The handling feels as impressive as any of Porsche’s sports cars. The car is somehow manufactured in a way that defies physics for a car of this size; the steering is accurate, the brakes are exceptionally good, and it simply handles like a much smaller more nibble car than it should do.
So focusing on the hybrid element of the car, you can do 19 miles on pure electric power, after the batteries have been exhausted the petrol engine will automatically cut in to allow you to carry on your journey. Whilst driving using the engine the car will also recharge its batteries. Being a plug-in hybrid you can also charge the car whilst you aren’t using it, which will keep the cost of running it right down.
What’s it like inside?
Inside the Panamera you are in a capsule of luxury, you are surrounded by soft leathers, finely manufactured aluminiums and high-quality plastic. The first time you get into the car you can feel a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of buttons, but if you’re anything like me, you will soon find that most of the buttons power gadgets; and I like gadgets.
The Panamera is designed to be a real four-door sports car, and the space in the back is generous; there is room enough for even the tallest of people. In the back you will also find the same quality interior and an array of buttons to mess with too.
The experience of driving the Panamera gives you all the thrills of driving a 911, with the bonus of having torque-filling power because of the electric motor, and still achieving 91mpg, which is outstanding. The Panamera also has all the practicalities of a large four-door executive saloon car. All of these features together in one car really just leaves you feeling smug. If you can afford it, there really are no down sides that I can see, what a machine.
Porsche have absolutely nailed what they wanted to achieve with the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Firstly there is lots of room for adults, secondly there is no doubt that the Panamera has true sports car capabilities and has the essence of being a Porsche at its core, and thirdly having this brilliant hybrid setup in the car gives it insane mpg figures and rock bottom emissions. Porsche really have created a car that many people would think isn’t possible.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Engine: Supercharged 3.0-Litre V6 with electric motor
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic S
0-62mph: 5.5 Seconds
Top speed: 167mph
Economy combined: 91mpg
Author: Paul Hadley