My Car Quest

June 24, 2022

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

Text and photos by Wallace Wyss –

When you get up in this price range, there’s lot of offerings but it pays to know what suits your needs. I wasn’t buying one, just test driving, but it appears to be almost the ultimate choice between driving, handling, comfort and oh, yes, it’s a hybrid.

The Panamera E-Hybrid models are available in three body styles: the fastback Sport Sedan, the Executive (longer wheelbase for more back seat room) or Sport Turismo (their phrase for the dreaded word “station wagon”).

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid models with a system output of 455 hp form the entry level. The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid models with a system output of 562 hp are new additions to the family. At the top: the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid models with 690 hp system power and a maximum torque of 642 lb.ft. Our test car had the V6 mated to a 8-speed automatic.

In the case of hybrids, the total horsepower is quoted by combining the output of the combustion engine with the electric motor which in this case was 134 hp. The internal combustion engine builds up power and torque with increasing speed. The maximum torque of the electric motor is available immediately. The maximum electrical torque is even available even at low speeds – for incomparable acceleration from a standing start.

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

Why does Porsche even need these hybrids? Because lots of family men like Porsches
but the traditional sport car is not a four door four seater so these models offer four doors, and four seats, all the fun of driving a fast Porsche plus every option you can think of.

There is the all electric Taycan, but not everyone is ready for full electric that has to be plugged in for several hours at night. With the Panamera you get the electrical cord but if you don’t have time to plug it in, you can continue to drive on the internal combustion engine.

The Specs

– Base price (as tested): $140,000

– Powertrain: 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 | 17.9 kWh battery | 8-speed dual-clutch automatic | all-wheel drive

– Horsepower: 455 combined @ 5,400 to 6,400 rpm

– Torque: 516 lb-ft combined @ 1,800 to 5,000 rpm

– 0-60: 4.2 seconds (est. with Chrono package)

– Top Speed: 174 mph

– Seating capacity: 4

– Cargo volume: 14.2 cubic feet (43.8 with rear seats down)

– Curb weight: 4,967 pounds

– Range in Electric only mode: Up to 31 miles

– EPA fuel economy: 51 mpge | 23 mpg combined (gasoline only)

The Panamera is a model introduced 10 years ago and has been enormously successful. As of 2021, Porsche currently offers 21 (!) versions of the Panamera, all the way from the base model to the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

Pricewise, our test car slots between the non-hybrid Panamera 4 Sport Turismo and Panamera 4S, though you can consider it the base hybrid Panamera model.

After it comes the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive. Porsche’s chose to mark hybrids with lime green brake calipers but being an artist I wasn’t tickled with the color choice.

The Panamera has been with Porsche for ten years but has had periodic styling updates-most recent full-width taillights of the 911—and more aggressive front end look. The unassisted 3.0-liter V6 engine has been replaced by a new 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque.

In 4 E-Hybrid trim, the electric motor adds 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque for a total of 455 hp and 516 lb-ft. If you decide to toodle about in whisper mode, all electric mode, you press that button and the 17.9-kWh battery can move the nearly 5,000-pound sedan an estimated 31 miles before you have to go back to the internal
combustion engine (providing the battery is full, if it’s not it will let you know all electric mode is not possible).

Forget that news from 10 years go that electric cars are slow. Under acceleration, the battery allows it to pull strong right at the outset as the internal combustion engine joins it.

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

The car was very comfortable. In the rear there was a console dividing the floor space – for four in all including the driver. If your passengers are kids, in the rear you could still seat three.

Upfront, eight-way power seats feature heating and cooling, but you only get heating in the rear. Trunk space is just a notch over 14 cubic feet roughly four carry-on suitcases and two backpacks.

Underway it’s a smooth ride all the way. When you go to Hybrid Auto mode, the Panamera seizes every opportunity to run on the electric motor until you floor it and then the internal combustion engine roars into life. It’s a luxury car that steers like a sports car with plenty of feedback.

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

RE-GENERATIVE

What that word means is it takes all the momentum of the 5000 lb. car slowing
and uses that weight to drive a generator which packs in electricity in the
onboard battery. One you decide to speed up, though, the thoughts of saving electricity go out the window, When Sport or Sport Plus the rappy exhaust wakes you up and you’re no longer saving electricity.

A MUST PLUG IN

A word about plug-ins. This is a plug-in hybrid. Hence you must plug it in several hours a day. Being an apartment dweller, I didn’t have a place to plug it in and tried driving it hoping to charge while driving (there is a mode for that). But compared to starting out with a full battery, it can’t operate that way it is supposed to and your mileage plummet—in my case from 50 mpg (combined gasoline electric) to 20 mpg. I would not recommend buying a plug-in hybrid if you never have time to plug it in. I am sure plug-in hybrids are very satisfying to owners who use them as the manufacturers recommend but skipping the plug-in part will not have
the car performing like you wish.

Our test car had the adjustable Porsche Active Suspension Management—or PASM—which, much like the transmission, seems to deliver the right amount of soft cushioning at any given moment. The roads in SoCal have a lot of potholes, cracks, etc, but in this car you barely noticed.

Arrayed against the Panamera are other six-figure luxury sedans from Mercedes, and Audi. But either of those brands have hybrids with a sports car look like Porsche. In a way the Panamera hybrid allows you to have sport car looks, four door sedan room and some measure of ecology (being hybrid). Some of the options which raised my eyebrows were over $5000 for the wheels, over $4000 for the paint.

But if you ordering it at the dealer you can delete options you don’t want. There’s
no denying it is an expensive car but since it does the jobs of a four door sedan and a sport car and has an ecological ace in the hole, I’d say those are enough reasons to consider it.

In sum, I am sure with more learning time I could adjust my driving style to drive in 8th gear when on the highway, in Hybrid mode, lifting my foot to coast when possible
and recharging the hybrid battery. I’d take as much pride in coming home with a full hybrid battery as I used to in accelerating through the gears. The Panamera Hybrid is a car that can still deliver you Porsche performance but economy too, (if you plug it in at night).

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the co-host of KPFK-FM’s’ Autotalk show, broadcast weekly on 88.3 FM.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Summary
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Article Name
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Description
The Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid models are available in three body styles: the fastback Sport Sedan, the Executive (longer wheelbase for more back seat room) or Sport Turismo (their phrase for the dreaded word “station wagon”).
Author

Comments

  1. Crazy prices! I’d rather have your old Lambo and a cheaper EV. Maybe the Kia EV 6?

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