Can reduced running costs offer the best of both worlds with the new Panamera?
We’re loving the new Panamera, and here it is with a V6 petrol engine and some beefy electric additions to the powerplant. In theory this ought to be a pretty perfect combination – the new Panamera with the claimed ability of achieving over 88mpg.
The good news keeps on coming. This is a better, improved version of the old Panamera hybrid and yet the old E-Hybrid cost over £9000 more. Put it this way, this new hybrid is more powerful than the new Panamera 4S and yet it costs nearly £9000 less. You want more?
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
Price £79,715 (range starts at £59,746)
Engine: 2.9-litre V6, twin-turbo, petrol, plus electric motor
Top speed: 173mph
Gearbox: Eifht-speed dual-clutch automatic
Fuel economy: 88.5mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 56g/km
This is a seriously quick car. It starts with a 2.9-litre V6 and then it adds the electric power. That gives a total of 456bhp with oodles of torque. The 0-62mph time is now just 4.6 seconds. And note that torque figure, enhanced by the electric drive. You get max torque from just 1100rpm, that’s like tickover.
Add in a range of 30 miles on just the electric power and, if you stay below the national speed limits, it won’t trouble the V6 at all within that range. So, what’s not to like?
In among all those fabulous figures there is another one which gives pause for thought. It’s this one: at 2170kg this E-Hybrid is a whopping 320kg more than a standard Panamera.
Even with all those other figures, that’s the one you can’t get away from. Whatever the engineers did, they couldn’t find a way to make this handle like the best of the Panameras. At the edges, which come up sooner than you’d like, it gets ragged and doesn’t really respond to the usual tricks of getting it back in order.
The other issue is that the car may be silent in electric-only mode but the transition to bringing in the petrol engine is not great. The V6 sound surprisingly gruff when it chimes in, and you’re aware this is a far from seamless transition.
So when you’re really driving it hard, this car quite quickly shows its limitations. It can’t live with others in the Porsche range or even in the Panamera range. That may not matter.
Because back from the edge this is utterly gorgeous. In silent electric mode it’s so smooth it’s uncanny, so silent, so ferociously torquey at the same time. And with the V6 running gently, and the air springs soothing away the bumps, it’s all deeply wonderful, giving you time to appreciate the glorious cabin.
The electronics are of strikingly high definition, the quality of fixtures and fittings is exemplary and you can imagine you and yours staying in here for quite some time, like until the land runs out.
A couple of caveats. We simply don’t believe the official fuel figures, but then, who does?
As it stands, this is a compromised Panamera. That may not matter to you. Depending on your circumstances, the savings at the pumps, in tax, in initial purchase price and elsewhere, may swing the argument. If you’re looking for that luxury GT car, then the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid fits the bill. If you’re thinking there may be times when you don’t want to cruise, you want to nail it – then we’d consider the diesel version.
Either way, the new Panamera range is offering up some truly delightful options.