When the Panamera was introduced in the lineup, it made much less fuss than when the Cayenne hit the catalogue. Why? Because it wasn’t an SUV and purists were much more receptive with the fact that it was a “car.”
At the beginning it was only offered as a sportback body style. Then the Sport Turismo rolled in with a wagon flavour. While people who buy a $150,000 Porsche don’t tend to treat every dime like manhole covers and certainly won’t give up performance to save on gas money, there is always some sort of satisfaction that comes with using only electricity to run your errands around town, no matter the size of your wallet.
A PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) with a half-decent fully-electric range can do just that. But the PHEV Panamera must live to the Stuttgart reputation and deliver ultimate performance when the errands are done and the path ahead is clear.
You can get the Panamera in no less than 21 varieties – and 9 of those bear the E-Hybrid designation. We took the wheel of a Panamera 4S E Hybrid Sport Turismo to see how this Porsche sportscar, hybrid and wagon’s multiple personalities blended together.
Dynamic Duo Under the Hood: A capable V6 and bigger battery pack for 2021
- Engine: 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6
- Power: 552 horsepower (134-hp from electric motor)
- Torque: 553 lb-ft
- 0-60: 3.5-seconds
- Quarter mile: 11.9-seconds
Straight out of the gate, slamming the accelerator pedal on the Panamera 4S E-hybrid will still nail you to your seat, even if the torque delivery is not done as “passionately” as it is with the V8 powering the 689-HP Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
The magic happens thanks to the combination of the thrust from both a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 and a 134-hp electric motor for a total of 552 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, which lets this somewhat heavyish wagon speed from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and also clock in an 11.9-second quarter-mile time.
The 4S E-Hybrid now uses a 17.9 kWh battery pack for 2021, which is 27% bigger than last year’s unit. It will let you travel for 19 miles (approx. 30 km) without using the gas engine. According to the manufacturer, you can travel 86 mph or 140 km/h on the small electric motor, but with only 134 horsepower, the full EV mode is better suited for city driving than trying to get up to those speeds.
Beyond the technical specs, a good PHEV is often judged on the transition between full-electric and gas intervention and how smoothly and swiftly. After taking this Panamera through its paces, we can say that switches from its eco-friendly, quiet personality to competition beast with lightning precision.
Compared to other wagons of its kind, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid is a quiet ninja. But as soon as one spiritedly slams the accelerator in, the electric-ICE combination system ditches the serenity and tag team the road like a Porsche should
When driving around the city and taking corners, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid is a quiet ninja. But as soon as one spiritedly slams the accelerator in, the electric-ICE combination system ditches the serenity and tag team the road like a Porsche should, with the low-end torque being ensured by the electric part, the signature Porsche noise and upper rpm power by the combustion engine.
Compared to other wagons of its kind, the Panamera lets you sit lower, with a steering wheel that resembles that of the 911, which is a reminder that this car is made for corners. And as you’re getting used to the controls and drive modes, the Panamera serves s delightful handling capabilities, no matter the complexity of the turn.
Our tester was fitted with the Sport Package which included Porsche PDCC and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+) and rear axle steering which made the experience even more competition-like.
Inside the Panamera Hybrid: A Complex Interior
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Inside the Panamera, the infotainment system remains a bit of a pain to use. The interior is loaded with controls and features; it will take some time to get used to. The touch-sensitive controls in the centre console may give you a hard time, but their purpose is still valid in terms of style.
The Panamera Sport Turismo only seats four, with a centre column lodged in the middle of the rear seats. And it offers only 430 litres of trunk space (which is slim for a wagon) but that’s the compromise when designers are non-negotiable on certain design cues and aerodynamics. Fold the rear seating and get 1,242 litres of cargo volume.
In the end, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid gives you the Porsche experience in all of its 552-horsepower wagon fury and unprecedented handling capabilities in a somewhat practical wagon – along with the option of executing your day to day, local driving without using any fuel – which is a conscience pleaser.
As they say, conscience can get expensive. And the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid is not of every wallet, neither is its option list. But that’s part of owning a Porsche. Check out the rest of our Porsche reviews here.