Porsche Panamera hybrid review
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||24-27 miles||79-86mpg||74-81g/km|
The Porsche Panamera is a large, fast and luxurious five-door hatchback, originally designed to rival the best luxury cars from Mercedes, BMW and Audi, as well as higher-end manufacturers like Bentley.
The first-generation car was heralded a huge success, and its successor arrived in 2017. It has been designed as a comfortable way for four occupants and their luggage to travel long distances at speed, as well as being an enjoyably sporty car for drivers on a variety of roads.
The Panamera was one of the first Porsches to incorporate hybrid technology, and since the company's 2018 decision to stop using diesel engines, the Panamera and the Cayenne hybrid SUV have been the models of choice for those looking for maximum efficiency from their Porsche.
Originally, there was just one Panamera hybrid, but today's second-generation car offers a couple of different flavours to choose from. The range kicks off with the standard, V6-engined Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, while there's also the more powerful Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, with a V8 under the bonnet.
Porsche also offers the two Panamera E-Hybrid drivetrains in the more practical Sport Turismo estate bodystyle. This review concentrates on the hatchbacks; we've evaluated the Sport Turismo hybrids separately.
Even the 'standard' Panamera 4 E-Hybrid puts out a considerable 456bhp, using a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine combined with a 134bhp electric motor to deliver some pretty impressive performance figures. Going from 0-62mph takes just 4.6 seconds (4.7 in the slightly heavier Executive) and it'll keep going to 172mph where road conditions and laws allow.
On the efficiency side, the hybrid Panamera should be capable of covering up to 27 miles on electric power alone, and if you make maximum use of that capability, you could see a fuel-economy figure approaching the claimed 86mpg.
The Turbo S E-Hybrid turns things up a notch, using a 4.0-litre V8 engine for a total power output of 671bhp (making it the most powerful variant in the Panamera range, hybrid or otherwise). Acceleration from 0-62mph takes just 3.4 seconds (3.5 in the Executive) and top speed is a heady 192mph.
As it uses the same 134bhp electric motor as the 4 E-Hybrid, the Turbo S's electric range is only slightly less, but its more powerful engine cuts claimed fuel economy to 81mpg.
If you go for the Executive bodystyle, the car's wheelbase is extended by 150mm and you get a 'lounge-style' rear seating area. This model is primarily intended for the chauffeur and VIP transport markets, and is the standard version of the Panamera sold in China, where chauffeur driving is the norm for wealthy car owners. You can buy one in the UK – but it's special order only and the car isn't listed on the Porsche GB website.
Whatever version of Panamera hybrid you choose, you get a quick, comfortable, capable and potentially very efficient means of transport. Although the 4 E-Hybrid lacks the truly startling straight-line performance of the Turbo S, it's probably the more sensible choice, especially when you consider it costs around £50,000 less.
Both versions handle very nicely, although a slight increase in weight over their petrol-powered equivalents will be noticed by keen drivers. Meanwhile, the brakes can be a bit 'grabby', making it hard to drive smoothly at slow speeds.
For a more detailed look at the Porsche Panamera hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.