Porsche Panamera hybrid engines, drive & performance

While not as agile as a 911, the Porsche Panamera hybrids are enormously satisfying to drive and fearsomely fast

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
3.4-4.7s 172-192mph Four 456-671bhp

Both the 4 E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid versions of the Panamera are fast cars by almost anyone's standards, with the Turbo S in particular offering supercar-like acceleration from a standing start, as well as tremendous in-gear flexibility to make motorway driving and overtaking utterly effortless.

The 4 E-Hybrid will probably be more than sufficient for most buyers, however. It's worth considering whether you really need to spend around £50,000 extra to go from the quick 4 E-Hybrid to the super-quick Turbo S E-Hybrid. Both cars boast superb handling, although their brakes can be a bit 'grabby' and take some getting used to.

An eight-speed PDK dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive are standard on both hybrid Panameras. Keen drivers may lament a lack of interaction and playfulness compared to manual-gearbox, rear-wheel-drive offerings, but Porsche would argue that's what its Cayman and 911 models are for.

Porsche Panamera hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

No Panamera hybrid is slow: the 'entry-level' 4 E-Hybrid completes the 0-62mph sprint in 4.6 seconds and even the long-wheelbase Executive model only adds a tenth of a second to that time. Top speed for the 4 E-Hybrid is 172mph, so it barely breaks sweat at the UK motorway limit.

True push-you-back-in-your-seat acceleration is the preserve of the Turbo S E-Hybrid, however. With just over 670bhp on tap, the range-topper scorches from 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds, which is supercar-fast. Find a long enough private track or quiet stretch of German autobahn and the Turbo will keep going all the way to 192mph.

Handling

Porsche seems incapable of making a car that handles poorly and the hybrid Panameras are no exception to this rule. As large four-seaters, they are unavoidably less nimble than Porsche's dedicated sports cars like the Cayman and 911, but their huge power and grip means they still feel swift and planted on a typical British B-road.

In more sedate driving, the Panamera is equally impressive, with a quiet interior and smooth ride when cruising on the motorway. Transition from electric to petrol power is almost seamless, but we do have one criticism: the regenerative brakes can take some getting used to, making smooth deceleration at low speeds tricky.