test: 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid review



+ Plug-in Hybrid is the technology of the future and it’s available today
+ Engine(s)


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We finally had the opportunity to test drive a car we’ve been waiting for a long time. Electric cars and hybrids have been on the market for several years now, but none of them have been truly functional on a day-to-day basis. Electric cars are practically useless in sparsely populated areas with no electric plugs available and a long charging time. On the other hand the hybrids hybrids with a couple of kilometers battery power available is inadequate, and does not change the real-world fuel consumption of petrol engines. Therefore, a plug-in hybrid from a sports car manufacturer sounded very appealing to us.

Engines and performance

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid E has the same supercharged 3.0 -liter 333hp petrol engine as the Audi S4/S5, combined with a 95 hp electric motor. The combination gives a mighty 416 hp and 580 Nm of torque, which launches the 2000 kg (4,619 lbs) body weight forward at an impressive pace. The power seems to be adequate for any situation as the strong petrol engine is powerful by itself, but the low end torque of the electric motor leaves the driver with the impression of a more powerful engine than the specs would promise. Rear tires are spinning effortlessly and constantly upon request. The 8-speed automatic transmission is an ideal companion to the powerful engine and it functions very quickly and discreetly. Compared to a Panamera S the hybrid technology weighs almost 300 kg (660 lbs) more and this extra weight can be felt in tight corners. However, Porsche’s engineers have done an excellent job in hiding the weight in normal driving. It’s chassis is so good from the start that even with the extra weight, it is still at the top of it’s class and the steering feels precise and responsive.

The Panamera E-Hybrid is an excellent gran turismo car, and even in high speeds(more than 250 km/h; 155 mph) it is extremely stable and comfortable. It doesn’t matter if one is driving at speeds of 100 km/h (62mph) or 200 km/h (124 mph), the external noise is subdued that one can have a telephone conversation or listen to music in almost perfect silence. No other car manufacturer combines sportiness and comfort so well at this time.

If the performance of the electric and gasoline engine combination is impressive, driving on electric alone at speeds of 100 km/h (62 mpg) is even more fascinating. The car glides in everyday traffic in a Blade Runner-type quiet hum. The car works surprisingly well driving in electric only mode in day-to-day traffic. We cannot say that this is a rapid car on electric alone, but as a daily river on work commutes, the performance is quite sufficient, and the knowledge that all the 416 horsepower are waiting under your right foot is sufficient to keep calm. A silent car with sportscar looks attracted a lot of attention in bystanders, on the other hand many pedestrians had a hard time noticing us because of the same silence. Simply put, this car is COOL!

Practicality, comfort, and the interior

Charging the E-Hybrid’s batteries is simple. All you need is an electric socket. The 80 -liter fuel tank of the car is on the right side, while the left side hosts the charging socket under a similar cap. We tested the charging hotspot in a shopping center and attracted a lot of attention among the ordinary electric vehicles This hybrid stands out from the crowd with it’s sleek design and large 20 -inch Turbo II -rims. SMS activation offered by the charging hotspot locks the charging cable in place, while the other end of the cord is fastened to the car, so the electrical cord is virtually unstealable. Charging the batteries was so easy that people will no doubt start using this service as hybrids become more common, rendering the few current charging points totally inadequate. As we do not have a lot of experience with electric cars and plug-in hybrids, we were surprised to see 2 of the 4 hotspots reserved even early on a Saturday morning.

It is hard to imagine that the gorgeous and sporty Panamera is similarly sized as the Mercedes-Benz S- Class and BMW 7 Series. The Panamera is often compared to smaller cars as it’s excellent performance and agile chassis allow this. It is more than 5 meters long (197.44 in.) and it’s width is also a respectable 1.9 meters (76.02 in.). It’s length and aerodynamic design (drag coefficient of 0.3) lead to the B-pillar being way back. The rear window is also small. When changing lanes there is always fear that there might be a car in the blind spot hiding. The visibility is particularly poor with a child seat installed in the back. When reversing, the visibility relies solely on mirrors. Fortunately, the technology to tackle these nuisances is available: just remember to tick the lane change assist and rear view camera options from the options list when ordering.

The build quality in the interior is superb. Both the front and rear seats are very comfortable and spacious even on long journeys. We recommend the optional adaptive sports seats, which offer unmatched adjustments. We feel that these seats are among the most comfortable sporty seats on the market at the moment. The same level of comfort is offered on the back seat, as they also have a broad range of adjustments. This car is equally appealing for the passenger as for the driver, but we prefer the driver’s seat.

The E-Hybrid has a unique green instrument panel, which combined with the corresponding color of the calipers emphasize the car’s eco-friendly, but sporty look.

The Luxor Beige interior makes the already-luxurious Panamera interior even more luxurious-looking. The overall appearance is sporty and stylish, yet practical. A long row of buttons highlight Porsche’s philosophy of complex menus. The light dash hampered visibility in bright weather and we would prefer a more dark dashboard. The cargo volume could also be put to better use if the tailgate inside cover had a net that could be pulled up to the roof. This would allow, when appropriate, to load the luggage up to the roof level of the car. In particular in the E- Hybrid, this would offset the approximately 100 liters of luggage space that is lost due to the size of the battery compared with the basic version (335 liters vs 445 liters).

Our test car was equipped with the BOSE sound system, which in our opinion is sufficient, but on the other hand the expensive Burmester high-end sound system might be a justified purchase in such a quiet and relaxed car, if a high-end sound system is ever justified.

It is very likely that the same plug-in hybrid engine will be released with the Cayenne facelift model expected to arrive next year. With its all-wheel-drive system we are certain it will be a huge success. People with daily commutes of approximately 30 km (approximately 20 miles) may do so solely on electric, but only if there is an electric socket available for charging at home or at the workplace. Most of the shopping centers also have charging spots and the operating range with electric may be further extended. Electric-only cars are the future, but but in sparsely populated areas they are not yet practical. In our opinion a plug-in hybrid is the best combination of performance and economy available on the market. Diesels are also good, but the S E-Hybrid’s powerful petrol engine will take the win in a performance comparison.

We can highly recommend the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid for everyone living in the city who drives a fairly short commute, have the possibility to plug their cars into chargers at work or at home, and to people who want a fuel-effiecient sportscar, but don’t need all-wheel-drive. The Panamera E-Hybrid is a near-perfect combination of sportiness , luxury and driving pleasure in a fuel efficient package. What more could one want? If this is the future of the electric car, then bring it on! Top-end technology is expensive and the high base price of the E-Hybrid will limit the number of customers, but we are sure that there are many people interested in such an extremely functional package as this car is.

Test results

0-100 km/h: 5.8 seconds (moist road, full tank and 2 passengers)
Test consumption: 7.8 l/100km

Technical Specifications

EngineTiptronic S
Engine layoutFront Engine / Rear wheel drive
Cylinder layout / number of cylindersV engine / 6
Displacement3.0 Liters
HorsepowerCombustion Engine: 333 hp Electric Motor: 95 hp Total Output: 416 hp
@ rpm5500 rpm
TorqueCombustion Engine: 325 lb.-ft. Electric Motor: 229 lb.-ft. Combined: 435 lb.-ft.
Compression ratio10.5 : 1
PerformanceTiptronic S
Top Track Speed167 mph
0 – 60 mph5.2 s
$ 99,000.00
EngineTiptronic S
Engine layoutFront Engine / Rear wheel drive
Cylinder layout / number of cylindersV engine / 6
Displacement3.0 Liters
HorsepowerCombustion Engine: 333 hp Electric Motor: 95 hp Total Output: 416 hp
@ rpm5500 rpm
TorqueCombustion Engine: 325 lb.-ft. Electric Motor: 229 lb.-ft. Combined: 435 lb.-ft.
Compression ratio10.5 : 1
TransmissionTiptronic S
Manual Gearboxn/a
Tiptronic S8-speed Tiptronic S
BodyTiptronic S
Length197.44 in.
Width (w/ mirrors folded)76.02 in.
Height55.8 in.
Wheelbase114.96 in.
Drag coefficient (Cd)0.29
Curb weight4,619 lbs
Towing capacity (braked / unbraked)
CapacitiesTiptronic S
Luggage compartment volume (with seats folded)40.08 cu.-ft.
Fuel tank21.1 gal.

Photo gallery and videos

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