Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo review
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It’s tricky to figure out where the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – a shooting brake version of the Panamera hybrid saloon – fits into the market. Offered with two plug-in hybrid powertrains, with either a V6 or V8 petrol engine, it competes with everything from pure electric performance SUVs like the Jaguar I-Pace, to plug-in hybrids such as the Volvo S90 T8 and even Porsche’s own Cayenne E-Hybrid, right up to the Tesla Model S. So it has no direct competitors, yet it's arguably up against just about every other premium four-door GT.
The Panamera doesn't yet have an official pure-electric range, but our time in a Turbo S E-Hybrid suggested that you’ll get about 25 miles on a good day, or 20 in cold weather with motorway miles – which you can do in pure electric mode, as the petrol engine doesn’t kick in until 84mph. Plug the Panamera E-Hybrid into a standard, domestic three-pin socket and it’ll charge in eight hours, while a dedicated car charger will do the same in around four hours. You can pay extra to increase the maximum charging speed from 3.6 to 7.2kW, which means a charger of 7kW or more will deliver a full charge in some 2.5 hours.
Fuel economy for the turbocharged 671bhp 4.0-litre V8 Turbo S will be around 23mpg in normal use, while the 456bhp V6 gets that up to 28mpg, or even more if you drive gently. You have to go for the V6 model to get free access to the London Congestion Charge zone, too – the Turbo S just misses out on the sub-75g/km emissions.
But you probably won’t care, because the Panamera is so spectacular to drive and live with. This is a car of many characters: an effortless long-distance cruiser that can – particularly in the case of the Turbo S – turn into a maniacal supercar slayer with the press of a button. It’s hilariously brilliant, with performance to even rival Tesla’s finest, and a four-wheel-drive system that gives it playful but accessible handling.
The biggest practicality criticism is that there’s no space to store your charging cable, so you’re left with a chunky bag taking up much of the boot floor. It’s also disappointing that driver aids – including a reversing camera, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control – are all optional.
Still, the Panamera is a stunning car to sit in, live with and drive, and it appears to master every genre from eco-commuter to supercar, via luxury GT and family estate. With that many personas wrapped up in such a great-looking body, you could almost argue that the hybrid Panamera Sport Turismo models are good value. Almost.