MONDAY - Back to work after a 350-mile weekend in our Porsche Panamera plug-in hybrid, a fascinating experience because although one associates Porsches with efficiency, decent fuel economy is at best a by-product of what they offer.
Just as well, it turns out: my gently driven 35mpg wasn’t so different from what I get from our V6 diesel Range Rover Sport, a heavier car with a bigger frontal area.
Still, in nearly every dynamic way the Panamera is a fine car. I loved the consistent feeling of deliberateness and precision about every pedal, lever and switch, faithfully imported from the sports cars, and the long wheelbase and low seating made it high-miles comfortable despite suspension rates that also made it steer and handle.
The plug-in Panamera’s conclusive advantage is that, if bought by a business, it qualifies for a 100% first-year write-down because its 15 to 17-mile electric range drops its CO2 below the critical 75g/km threshold. Good wheeze if this applies to you, although I’m not sure our government should be buying Porsches for the business community.
TUESDAY - There’s rising concern about the suitability of diesel cars for our future motoring needs. As you’ll be aware, a recent campaign by various academics and a Sunday newspaper has made an impressive case for believing that legislators erred in the past by emphasising reduced CO2 levels instead of better air quality (lower NOx and particulates), a strategy that encouraged more diesel sales.
How does this affect me? We continue to prevaricate at home over replacing the Steering Committee’s 58-plate Fiat 500 diesel, a car that complies with the outgoing Euro 5 emissions regulations, not the much tougher Euro 6 standards that are due to be introduced this September.