Porsche had entered a niche when they launched the first iteration of their four-door luxury sports sedan, the Panamera. And it was born with a handicap. It was ugly. The Panamera was always a great car to drive but the looks were too hard to get over, considering the competition were the likes of the Maserati Quattroporte and the Aston Martin Rapide. But Porsche learned and gave us the current generation Panamera which saw a massive improvement in the cosmetic department. Much to our delight, they further bettered the car under the skin as well. And now, they’ve premiered the new flagship model, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
Powering the S E-Hybrid is the same 4.0-litre turbo V8 from the Panamera Turbo S that makes 542bhp. Last year, that engine got it around the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 38 seconds, setting a lap record for four-door production cars. Now, Porsche has paired that turbocharged V8 to an electric motor bringing the total output to 670bhp.
It uses the same boost strategy from the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Panamera Turbo S E-hybrid has 850Nm of torque on offer, all of it on offer right above idle speed. All that power and torque can launch this 2.8-tonne sedan from 0-100kph in 3.4 seconds and give it a top speed of 310kph. Like the other Panamera models, this one also has an 8-speed PDK transmission to send power to all four wheels. It’s brilliantly quick but it is still a very expensive luxury sedan and so there’s air suspension, for maximum ride comfort when you’re sitting in the back. Or simply when you have to drive all civil when in the city and can’t really put your foot down.
The 100kW electric motor in this hybrid Panamera gets its power from a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery which takes 6 hours to get fully charged, using a standard charger. Take the fast-charging optional extra, that time gets cut down to 2.4 hours. In pure electric mode, that battery will give you a range of around 50kms. But when you run out of electricity, or if you get bored and press the pedal harder, the on-board computer automatically switches to the ‘Hybrid Auto’ mode and you get the full 670bhp of both the electric motor and the V8 at your command.
Should you feel the need for a bit more legroom at the back, you can have the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive which is the extended wheelbase version. There’re plenty of cool features as standard, chief among which would be the ceramic brakes, dynamic chassis control, active suspension management and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus. It also gets handy rear-axle steering as standard to make it easier to drive in the city. Either way, you still get that ultra cool Iron Man kind of retractable rear spoiler.
Question is, can it retake the throne of the ‘Fastest Four-door around the Nurburgring’ back from the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio by beating its time of 7min 32s? We can’t wait to find out…
Porsche had another new Panamera debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the Panamera Sport Turismo. The Sport Turismo, is a five-door estate version of the standard Panamera, with a bigger boot grafted onto the back. It is also the first one to feature three rear seats, well two-and-a-half. The two outside ones are individual seats and middle third seat makes for what Porsche classes as ‘4+1’ arrangement. But you can spec it as a four-seater. You also get more headroom in the Sport Turismo. Instead of the cool space spoiler, it gets a natty one on the roof, but it is still adaptive to how you’re driving. It’s available with a total of 5 engines, starting with the 330bhp V6, the 462bhp E-Hybrid, the faster 440bhp S, 442bhp 4S Diesel and the mighty 542bhp Turbo at the top of the range.
The Sport Tursimo in the Turbo S E-Hybrid version doesn’t exist yet, but we hope it happens soon. We already have the 600bhp plus Audi RS7 Sportback performance and the Mercedes AMG E63 Estate, but a 670bhp Porsche estate would be quite something.