Most auto enthusiasts contemplating sensible commuter autos in the world today think of the Toyota Prius as the standout. The automotive technicians at Porsche’s engineering HQ in Weissach, Germany, embrace a completely different point of view concerning performance and efficiency.
The fastest Porsche race car ever, the 919 Le Mans Prototype, is a hybrid. So is the fastest Porsche road car ever, the 918 Spyder. Porsche hybrid powertrains are not about siphoning the last mile out of a gallon of gas; they're about efficient performance. The Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid exemplifies that POV.
There are six 2019 Panamera E-Hybrids to choose from: Panamera 4 E-Hybrid ($102,900 MSRP), Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo ($106,900 MSRP), Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive ($107,400 MSRP), Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid ($186,200 MSRP), Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive ($196,600 MSRP), and Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo ($190,200 MSRP).
Thecarconnection.com explains: “The Panamera may appear to be a sedan, but it's literally if not creatively a hatchback. The styling is cohesive, with a taut body and no wasted lines. The long hood and headlights resemble those on the Cayenne SUV. The hips flare, although less than on the Porsche sports cars. As if to underscore its place in the luxury atmosphere, a thin strip of red LED lights at the rear reads "Porsche." Inside, the Panamera could double as a coder getaway. It’s full of screens: Two 7.0-inch displays in the gauges and a 12.3-inch screen mounted tablet-style in the dash. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid makes 462 hp and can go 30 miles on all-electric power. The Turbo S E-Hybrid carries 680 hp under its long hood.”
All trims use a twin-turbocharged V6, paired with an electric motor, a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery and an 8-speed dual clutch automatic, offering a 31-mile electric-only range. Porsche states its hybrid models achieve 457hp combined, reach 60mph in 4.4 seconds (with the Sport Chrono Package), and have a top track speed of 172mph.
Luxury enthusiasts looking for a touch of eco will like the fact that it starts up in Pure EV Mode and travels up to 30 miles on pure electric at 86 mph, before using up the battery's power and switching to Hybrid Mode, which delivers different combos of electric motor power and gas power to achieve that efficient performance Porsche drivers crave. Plugged in to recharge, the 14.1 kW/hr battery takes 12 hours to top off using a 120V, 10-amp connection. Porsche claims that with a 240V, 40-amp connection, charging time decreases to under three hours. The S E-Hybrid is $10,000 more for this reason alone.
With a base price just under $102,900, the large luxury plug-in sedan seats 4 passengers. The hybrid sports sedan’s interior is luxurious. Says thecarconnection.com: “Inside the cabin, the Panamera’s instrumentation is pure high-tech gloss, except for the traditional shift lever. The instrument panel is low and vertical, with a high center stack that holds a 12.3-inch screen and capacitive-touch switches. Two 7.0-inch screens border an analog tachometer in front of the driver's eyes. It’s all tightly composed and fitted with high-dollar materials that look as they should.”
Says Edmunds: “There's a long list of stand-alone or bundled options for pretty much every trim level since Porsche believes that owners should be able to customize their cars to personal taste. You can option the 4 and the 4S with most of the Turbo's standard equipment. Additional highlights for the lineup include various wheel, paint, interior trim and leather specifications; speed-sensitive steering assist; a sport exhaust; power-closing doors; a heated steering wheel; a 21-speaker Burmester audio system; 18-way adaptive sport seats; eight-way power rear seats with memory function; ventilated front and rear seats; massaging front and rear seats; four-zone climate control; a rear touchscreen interface; power rear sunshades; and a dual-screen rear entertainment system.”
The Panamera E-Hybrid’s driving experience offers impeccable performance and handling – considered standard for a Porsche.
Says motortrend.com: “A sporty limousine with the efficiency of a hybrid: on paper, this big Porsche adds up to a boiling mass of contradictions. On the road, however, it's a car that's greater than the sum of its parts. Select E-Power, and the sophisticated powertrain control system enables the big Porsche to be propelled solely by the electric motor when there's sufficient charge in the 14.1-kW-hr battery. Hybrid Auto mode automatically shuffles between the internal combustion engine and the e-motor to deliver optimal efficiency. Porsche's traditional Sport and Sport Plus modes are anything but traditional in the E-Hybrid. In Sport mode the battery charge is always maintained at a minimum level to ensure the e-motor can support the internal combustion engine. In Sport Plus mode the battery is charged as quickly as possible to allow the e-motor to help deliver maximum performance at all times. Drivers can also instruct the system to preserve the charge in the battery to ensure the car can be driven solely on the e-motor at their destination. Or they can direct it to completely recharge the battery on the go by allowing the internal combustion engine to produce slightly more power than is needed to drive the car.”
Porsche has made the point that many large luxury cars are often used for relatively short urban and suburban hops – round trips of less than 20 miles. Drivers who can identify with this lifestyle and afford the price may find the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is exactly what they're looking for.
REWRITTEN JULY 2019
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