EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE: the #Porsche-Panamera-4
Panamera for tax avoiders Hybrid tech is a stepping-stone to the future / Words Kyle Fortune
E-Hybrid is like having your entire meal in one sitting. Starter, main and pudding. Luxury, sports and economy car all in one. As fusions go it’s an interesting prospect, and one that requires the mating of a 2.9-litre #V6
biturbo petrol engine to an electric motor, some batteries and a plug.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is the Panamera your accountant will like, its 56g/km of CO2 emissions offering sizeable tax advantages, while the quoted 112.9mpg promises serious fuel pump avoidance. The reality will be different, but the 4 E-Hybrid at least offers a useful 31 miles of electric-only range, which will easily cover the majority of commutes. It defaults to that #E-Power
mode, and will drive at speeds in excess of what’s allowed in the UK on the motorway using batteries alone; just don’t expect them to last those 31 miles if you plan on doing so. Beyond that you’ll need the 2.9-litre V6 biturbo’s assistance, which can be accessed earlier if you turn the steering wheel- mounted mode switch through Hybrid Auto, or, if it’s the weekend, Sport or Sport Plus. Do that and the combined force of both motors is accessed, giving you the full 456bhp and 516lb ft, for 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. Quick then, with naughty noises too; but clever as all that drivetrain management may be, there’s the odd knock though the eight-speed #PDK
transmission and, for all the pace, there’s a disconnect between car and driver.
That’s particularly true of the brakes. Tasked not only with stopping but also to regenerate energy while doing so, they rob the pedal of anything approaching conventional feel. The accelerator feels similarly strange. This, plus the greater mass that blunts the other-worldly agility of the conventionally powered Panamera, sees the sports element of the mix somewhat lost in the messy whole.
There are glimpses of brilliance. In E-Power mode it’s quick, quiet and smooth, a real glimpse of a plug-in future, though it’s hampered by the need to haul all that old tech along just in case – fully electric Porsches are on their way, but hybrids like this are a necessary stepping stone. Forget the Porsche badge and it’s among the best hybrids out there, but consider it as a Porsche first, and hence a car for drivers, and it’s less convincing.
Some of the Panamera’s excellence is in there, but it’s mired in a load of other flavours: ones that might combine, but ultimately ependently of each other. For now, that is – the breakthrough isn’t far away.