What is it?
The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is a car intended to change the monosyllabic reaction you tend to get the moment you tell people that the Porsche you’re running is a hybrid: “oh”. Not so long ago we ran a previous-generation petrol-electric Panamera as an Autocar long-termer, and I can still remember the lukewarm reactions it met with.
The reasons for that reaction are myriad, of course – and not all of them to do with model positioning. So what would it take, do you think, to turn that “oh” into a “wow”? Nearly 700 horsepower, perhaps? A sub-3.5sec 0-62mph time or a near-200mph top speed?
Wonder no longer. As part of a new strategy with its plug-in hybrid derivatives, Porsche is introducing one as the range-topping model in each of its ‘passenger car’ lines (Panamera, Cayenne, Macan – but not 911 or 718, rest easy).
This new £140k Panamera is the first of them, and what it effectively does is to combine the 14kWh lithium-ion drive battery, 134bhp electric motor and high-voltage power electronics of the existing Panamera 4 E-Hybrid ‘PHEV’ with the 542bhp twin-turbo petrol engine of the Panamera Turbo.
The mechanical layout of the car (the electric motor is upstream of the gearbox) means the car’s eight-speed twin-clutch gearbox limits the car’s peak torque potential (which might otherwise have been in excess of 850lb ft). And yet you still can’t fail but nod in approval when you read this car’s vitals off the spec sheet; because 671bhp and 627lb ft from just 1400rpm seem like very healthy endowments for any four-seater GT.