With the plug-in hybrid version of the second-gen Panamera, it seems as if you can have your cake and eat it, too, for it combines ample power with minimum fuel consumption.
The 462 HP output is not a surprise, but the official average consumption of just 2.5 lt/100 km (94 MPG US)and CO2 emissions of 56 g/km surely are. Plus, says Porsche, you can travel for 50 km and up to a maximum speed of 140 km/h in purely electric mode, accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.6 seconds and top out at 278 km/h (170 mph).
So far, the new Panamera has received nothing but high praise by every reviewer. While there’s no denying the credentials of the Turbo, we suspect the 4 E-Hybrid will be lauded even more and, with a price (in Germany) of €100,553, could very well be the pick of the range.
Tearing a leaf out of the 918 Spyder’s book, the Panamera’s electric motor makes its 136 HP and 400 Nm available instantly, whereas in its predecessor the pedal had to be depressed by at least 80 percent of its travel. The petrol engine is a new 2.9-liter V6 biturbo with 330 HP and 450 Nm of torque and, for the first time, the dual-clutch PDK transmission has eight gears (the previous generation used a conventional auto with a torque converter).
Weissach’s engineers have managed to increase the energy content of the liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery from 9.4 to 14.1 kWh without making the unit, which is integrated in the boot floor, any heavier. Charging takes 5.8 hours and can be reduced to just 3.6 hours if the customer chooses the optional 7.2 kW on-board charger and a 230-Volt, 32-Amper connection.
The Sport Chrono package comes as standard and, via the steering wheel-mounted selector, the driver can switch between six modes: the familiar Sport and Sport Plus, for when he/she feels like going all out, and an additional four that are specific to the E-Hybrid.
The pure electric E-Power is the default mode every time the Panamera is, ahem, fired up, Hybrid Auto combines both the electric and petrol engine for maximum efficiency, E-Hold prioritizes conserving the battery charge level and with the E-Charge the V6 is continuously charging the battery.
In line with its character, the instrument binnacle’s features hybrid-specific displays flanking the analogue rev counter like, well, the 918 Spyder, and there is a power meter that shows info about the amount of energy being produced, consumed or recovered.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will make its official debut at the upcoming Paris Auto Show, but the order books are already open. In North America, it will become available in summer 2017, with pricing to be announced at a later date.