The result is a four-seat plug-in hybrid that will break 62mph in only 3.4sec, bound from that speed to 124mph in 8.3sec and top 193mph, making this the most powerful hybrid saloon in the world, says Porsche, and the fastest. Faster still, though, is Tesla’s pure electric 525bhp, 713lb ft Model S, which storms 62mph in 2.8 (unachievable, in Autocar’s experience) sec.
Key features include four driving modes – electric, hybrid, sport plus and boost, which provides a momentary extra power surge – 48-volt electrics to drive the electric anti-roll bars, optional four-wheel steering, torque vectoring, carbon ceramic brakes, three-chamber air suspension, Porsche traction management and launch control.
The battery pack needs six hours to charge from a 10amp domestic socket, or 2.4 hours from a 30amp supply using an optional 7.2kW charger.
As with other hybrid Porsches, this Panamera’s driveline is configured to allow it simply to coast when the accelerator is released, energy recuperation occurring only under braking. Much effort has been invested to maximise the conversion of kinetic energy, and preserve electric range.
Dollner says that this is the most complex roadgoing Porsche yet engineered, offering no less than 6000 individual customer control options, and containing 100 million lines of computer code. An airliner carries a mere 10 to 15 million lines.
The Turbo S goes on sale this July costing £137,140.
Riding Aboard the Turbo S
There’s a crest on this Nardo test track that briefly launches this Panamera skywards. The crest is momentarily blind, your view a triple layer of Tarmac, Mediterranean sea and above that, sky. Despite its heft this Panamera hybrid lands well, feeling as thoroughly planted and secure as it does during the rest of this lap of a track replicating several Nurburgring switchback twists.
Le Mans 2010 winner Timo Bernhard is our chauffeur and until today he had not driven this car. He claims to be surprised at how keenly it points into bends, despite feeling the car’s not inconsiderable weight. ‘It responds as I would expect a sports car to respond in terms of feedback,’ he says.