Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid review, price and specs

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in preview of the 918 Spyder. Is it also a great sports saloon?

Evo rating
Price
from £88,967
  • Technical intrigue, refinement
  • Expensive, can't match diesel economy

What is it?

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid. It’s the company’s first plug-in hybrid, the second being the Porsche 918 Spyder, due later this year. It replaces the previous-generation, non-plug-in Panamera Hybrid and, like its predecessor, is a parallel hybrid – in other words its (rear) wheels can be driven by the car’s combustion engine, its electric motor, or a combination of both. At £88,967, there’s a rise of around £2500 over the car it replaces.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Technical highlights?

Combined power from the E-Hybrid’s supercharged petrol V6 and electric motor is 410bhp, of which 94bhp is delivered by the electric motor. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are claimed to be 91mpg and just 71g/km respectively. The 0-60 sprint takes less than 5.5sec, and the E-Hybrid can reach a 167mph top speed (it also tops 80mph when using electric power only, an impressive figure). It qualifies for London Congestion Charge exemption and reaches full electric charge in four hours. The E-Hybrid could also, in theory, complete a lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife on electric power: its claimed ‘E-Power’ range is 11-22 miles.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The E-Hybrid is launched at the same time as the Panamera’s first major range update, with refreshed styling and the introduction of new technology, including the frequent gaggle of electronic safety systems (lane departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring, etc) and a smartphone app that allows remote control of some of the car’s features.

What’s it like to drive?

Initially, the E-Hybrid doesn’t feel like a Porsche. The familiar creaminess of the controls, consistent brake pedal feel and alert responses are dimmed slightly. The sole remaining echo of that signature Porsche feel is in the taut body control: disappointing, but unsurprising when you consider the E-Hybrid weighs 2095kg – 285kg more than the regular Panamera S (which also has a petrol six-cylinder).

E-Power mode is the default on start-up, delivering lazy but adequate performance. Refinement is off the scale, as you’d expect. The electric motor is virtually silent, with just a muted rumble from the tyres reminding you that you’re connected to the road surface rather than floating just above it.

You can reach 84mph on E-Power alone, but the petrol engine is always primed for additional urge, and likewise when in petrol-engine mode the electric motor can boost performance on kickdown of the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.

In terms of handling, the E-Hybrid offers balance and security but little of the connection we expect of Porsches: the steering is direct but vacant, and brake feel is poor. Ultimate grip and agility is high, but trying to extract performance from the E-Hybrid is a joyless experience. The diesel Panamera is markedly more alert.

Advertisement - Article continues below

How does it compare?

The official mpg and CO2 figures collude to a point where the E-Hybrid costs similar to a BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics in company car tax. If your commute is short, includes a congestion charge area and has a power point at either end, then the E-Hybrid makes some sense. But if you enjoy driving, the £62,992 Panamera Diesel is a far better option.  The wonderful V8-powered Porsche Panamera GTS, meanwhile, costs little more at £93,175 and judging by the times we’ve driven each, it’s mpg figure won’t be worlds away from the E-Hybrid’s.

Anything else I need to know?

If the salesman points to the trip readout after a few miles of a test drive, you’ll witness an astonishing number. But continue beyond the initial electric phase and the number slowly falls as the petrol engine generates charge for the battery and has to push around the weight of said battery. For us, the E-Hybrid eventually settled at around 26mpg for general usage: a long way off real-world diesel Panamera figures and around the same as the standard petrol V6 car.

Specifications

EngineV6, 2995cc, supercharged, plus 70kW electric motor
Max power410bhp (combined) @ 5500rpm
Max torque435lb ft (combined) @ 1250-4000rpm
0-605.5sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed167mph (claimed)
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

6 Nov 2019
Visit/audi/r8/201931/entry-level-audi-r8-v10-rwd-added-to-the-range
Audi R8

Entry-level Audi R8 V10 RWD added to the range

6 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/v90
Volvo V90 estate

2019 Volvo V90 T6 R-design review - the great estate?

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/maserati/granturismo/201792/maserati-granturismo-zeda-run-out-model-revealed
Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo Zéda run-out model revealed

It’s out with the old, in with the new as the final GranTurismo paves the way for Maserati’s ambitious electrified future
12 Nov 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019