From £63,9138
Petrol-electric Porsche Panamera has real-world pace to spare and looks like good value next to its rangemates. Not without one or two drawbacks to drive – but still impressive.

Our Verdict

Porsche Panamera

Four-seat grand tourer bids to redefine performance in the luxury class

What is it?

The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is more fresh meat for the lower end of the Porsche Panamera range – which is a confusing enough place to negotiate as it is.

There’s the entry-level Panamera, the Panamera 4, the 4S and the 4S Diesel to choose from down here already: sub-£100k options all, powered by no fewer than three different engines and offering the choice of either one driven axle or two.

Into that mix now enters the four-wheel drive Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, adding V6 petrol-electric power to the existing choice of V6 petrol or V8 diesel engines – and that’s not counting the V8 petrol or V8 petrol-electric options on offer if you’re prepared to spend upwards of £100,000 on a car with that ever-alluring 'turbo' badge on the bootlid.

The hybrid slots into the range between the regular Panamera 4 and the pair of 4S models on price, being slightly slower-accelerating than both of them on paper – but, confusingly, also more powerful than both.

Its combustion engine is a detuned version of the twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 from the 4S, which produces 326bhp and 332lb ft of torque. Electrical motive force comes from a 134bhp, 295lb ft motor mounted upstream of the car’s eight-speed ‘PDK’ gearbox and four-wheel drive system. So the car is technically similar to ‘plug-in’ hybrids from BMW, Mercedes and Audi, which use electric and piston engines driving a common transmission - rather than those made by the likes of Mitsubishi and Volvo with their ‘electric rear axles’.

Like other Panameras, the car offers four doors, four seats and a large liftback-style boot, and all are combined with a curving roofline that Porsche hopes you’ll consider sufficiently ‘coupé-like’ to consider the car more elegant and desirable than the average three-box saloon. And if you don’t, the 4 E-Hybrid will also be available as a Sport Turismo shooting brake.

What's it like?

Given you’re getting an extra 22bhp and 110lb ft here compared with the 4S and you’re freeing up nearly £10k on what you might have spent on that car, you might consider this the sweet spot of the whole Panamera range. It doesn't drive that way - not quite, anyway - though this is still a car with a lot going for it.

Real-world performance is always better represented by in-gear acceleration than standing-start times, after all – and in manual mode, picking up from humdrum speeds in a fairly high gear, the E-Hybrid feels both instantly muscular and brisk.

The car offers ‘electric’, ‘hybrid’, ‘sport’ and ‘sport+’ driving modes, covering about 25 miles on a full battery charge in the first of them – and doing so with plenty of performance for town motoring and in typically hushed calm. The contrast when you move from zero-emission mode into ‘sport’, however, is a big one – the car’s twin-turbo V6 growling angrily and conjuring a distinct performance flavour.

When punting the car around at urban speeds, the Panamera’s eight-speed twin-clutch gearbox can struggle to make the car feel at once responsive and smooth – but when you’re accelerating hard out of town, it works quickly and blends together the dual sources of torque very well. The faster it revs, the less gutsy and special the car’s powertrain feels – but it never feels less than assertive on the road.

Another advantage the E-Hybrid gets over the more expensive 4S petrol is adaptive air suspension as standard, which makes the Panamera ride and handle with an impressive mix of suppleness, isolation and good body control. The weight penalty of that hybrid drive battery does present itself under particularly high lateral loads but isn’t a barrier to enjoying the car at normal road speeds when it feels commendably precise, and both agile and well-balanced for a car of its size.

Should I buy one?

For outright driver appeal, few luxury GTs beat the Panamera. This particular one would still rank behind both a Turbo and a 4S Diesel for us, for different reasons – but if you’re looking to beat the rush and switch to electrified power in your modern performance GT sooner rather than later, there are few more commendable ways to do it.

Equally, if you’re simply a Panamera buyer looking to make your money go as far as possible, the E-Hybrid’s got plenty of rational appeal – and it’s a vastly better car to drive than its immediate predecessor was.

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

Where Feltham On sale now Price £81,141 Engine V6, 2894cc, twin-turbocharged petrol; plus electric motor Power 456bhp at 6000rpm Torque 516lb ft at 1100-4500rpm Gearbox 8-spd twin-clutch automatic Kerb weight 2170kg Top speed 172mph 0-62mph 4.6sec Fuel economy 113.0mpg CO2 rating 56g/km Rivals Lexus LC500h, Tesla Model S 90D

Join the debate

Comments
16

4 September 2017

probably 25mpg in the real world just anexcuse for tax cheating

4 September 2017
Ski Kid wrote:

probably 25mpg in the real world just anexcuse for tax cheating

Quite true. about £6000 per year company car tax saving for a higher rate payer (which anyone affording this as a company car will be!) not a massive amount but for relatively little loss of performance or space worth having, possibly save another £2500 on congestion charges if daily into Central. To anyone on this 'grade' purchase cost won't matter as the company or their own company will foot that bill.

4 September 2017
It may not be a diesel, but it leaves me cold, as do all the electrically supported offerings.

And a shuddering prospect to own and maintain after a very few years.

Cars are becoming short-life appliances.

10 September 2017
eseaton wrote:

It may not be a diesel, but it leaves me cold, as do all the electrically supported offerings. And a shuddering prospect to own and maintain after a very few years. Cars are becoming short-life appliances.

I could tolerate hybrids which are charged from the engine and gather extra power by regeneration from the brakes, to give a little power boost when needed or to cover a few miles in a city centre without using the engine.  But, as soon as a car requires being plugged into the mains it becomes a fail.  It's stupid and makes no sense.  Plus as you say they are a horrible prospect second-hand.

Additionally, as you also point out, there is a need to make cars last longer, not a shorter time.  Longevity is everything where environmental consideratons are concerned, because the real issue for motoring isn't pollution, it's making the best use of the Earth's finite resources.

For example, even many normal family cars are rolling out of factories on nineteen and twenty inch wheels, and this is also untenable because when these cars reach the bottom end of the market they will have no future for those who run bangers, due to the fact that a simple set of tyres would cost twice the value of the car.  We are heading for a situation where, for differing reasons, thousands of cars will be redundant long before their serviceable life has ended.

Manufacturers should stop fannying around with idiotic electric cars and set about adressing this matter urgently.  Electric cars are going nowhere.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

4 September 2017

And people think EV's are heavy. on a more serious note are Panameras keeping cheaper 4 wheel drive all for £81,000, saving could be used for parking dent repairs as it takes up so much room

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 September 2017

Driving cars is about to become crap.  I'm not looking forward to 2040 one tiny little bit.

4 September 2017

Confusing. Heavier and dynamically inferior to the Panam S, yet £10k cheaper despite a huge level of increased tech (which has its own appeal). It's not just the tax man who is subsidising this model. Probably the one to have, but still too big for the UK.

5 September 2017

Porsche are having real problems shifting Panamera's especially in it's biggest single market, North America, since the Telsa Model S and are having to be inventive with prices without being seen as dumping them on the market.

BMW are having the same problem with sales of the 3 series in USA too only this time it's against the Telsa Model 3.

The consumer wins at the end of the day though!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

10 September 2017
xxxx wrote:

Porsche are having real problems shifting Panamera's especially in it's biggest single market, North America, since the Telsa Model S and are having to be inventive with prices without being seen as dumping them on the market.

BMW are having the same problem with sales of the 3 series in USA too only this time it's against the Telsa Model 3.

The consumer wins at the end of the day though!

Here he is again, the electric car genius, pontificating about his beloved company, yet revealing his complete and utter lack of knowledge on the subject by once more spelling the company name incorrectly.  If he cannot grasp that simple detail, there is no reason to believe that the rest of his views on electric cars are anything but bollocks.  Electric cars are going nowhere.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

15 September 2017
bowsersheepdog wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Porsche are having real problems shifting Panamera's especially in it's biggest single market, North America, since the Telsa Model S and are having to be inventive with prices without being seen as dumping them on the market.

BMW are having the same problem with sales of the 3 series in USA too only this time it's against the Telsa Model 3.

The consumer wins at the end of the day though!

Here he is again, the electric car genius, pontificating about his beloved company, yet revealing his complete and utter lack of knowledge on the subject by once more spelling the company name incorrectly.  If he cannot grasp that simple detail, there is no reason to believe that the rest of his views on electric cars are anything but bollocks.  Electric cars are going nowhere.

Bit grumpy, I won't spend much time on the person who thinks "EV's are going nowhere fast" and can't understand why people like SUV style cars. Obviously clueless when it comes to the car market, have you got Betamax and a Plasma television?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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