2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
Think of it as a more comfortable, more attainable four-door 918 Spyder…by Jonathan Lopez, on LISTEN 37:53
Porsche first unveiled the Panamera in 2009, dropping the cover on its four-door’d 911 lookalike at the 13th Auto Shanghai International Automobile Show in China. Drawing its name from the Carrera Panamericana open-road rally from the ‘50s, the Panamera was a clear break from the brand’s sports coupe history. However, like the Cayenne SUV that came before it, the Panamera quickly established itself as one of Porsche’s staple model lines, selling well across several markets, especially in the U.S. To help broaden the sedan’s appeal even further, Porsche introduced the Panamera plug-in hybrid in 2013, followed by a second-gen release in 2016. Now, Stuttgart has introduced another electrified variant called the Turbo S E-Hybrid, and rather than just providing green sensibilities, the hybrid bits make it faster. In fact, with a twin-turbo V-8 and electric motor under the hood, the Turbo S E-Hybrid is the most powerful model to wear a Porsche badge at the moment, save for the 918 Spyder. Pair all that go with four-door comfort, oodles of cabin luxury, and even a long-wheelbase variant, and this thing looks to create a whole new niche all for itself.
And why not? We’re long past the era when hybrid tech was reserved solely for Prius wannabes, and electrified powertrains are now commonplace in both sports cars and in racing. For example, Audi, another VW product, was the first to take top honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a hybrid with its R18 E-Tron diesel in 2012. Now Porsche has adopted similar technology for the Panamera, even pulling influences from the uber-fast 918 for inspiration.
Porsche says “the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is another compelling demonstration of the performance advantages of hybrid technology, “ and that it seeks to combine “performance, comfort and efficiency [in] a perfect three-way combination.”
Basically, Porsche is making its surprisingly fast Panamera even faster by adding a fat dose of electrification. And we like that, even if it still looks… well, like a Panamera.
The new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will premiere in the metal at the Geneva International Motor Show early this March, and will also be offered in a long-wheelbase Executive edition. The specs between the Euro-bound model and U.S.-bound model are identical, which leads us to ask – is this thing basically a four-door 918 Spyder?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
On the outside, you would be forgiven for not realizing what the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid has waiting under the hood. The exterior has the same basic look as Panameras of the past, with a distinctly
esque nose, and a long, sloping roofline ending in a rounded tail.
To my eye, it’s not exactly the prettiest Porsche ever made, but hey, that’s just me – I’m sure there’s at least a few readers out there rocking a Panamera wallpaper on their phone or laptop background. And that’s fine, because as they say, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
The low nose rises in the sides to encapsulate plumped-up fenders, housing standard 21-inch wheels in each of the corners. Not only are these rollers enormous in diameter, but they also offer a design similar to what’s used for the 911 Turbo.
Standout features include enlarged intakes in the nose, with horizontal lines added in the form of dividers and bright corner daytime running lights. The headlights sweep back into the front fenders, and are studded with five individual lighting elements. The hood gets a raised muscle bulge that adds an extra bit of beefiness to the whole front end.
The low nose rises in the sides to encapsulate plumped-up fenders, housing standard 21-inch wheels in each of the corners. Not only are these rollers enormous in diameter, but they also offer a design similar to what’s used for the 911 Turbo. The roofline rises and falls in a single arc, while the window line adopts a teardrop shape similar to the headlight housings. In the front fenders are slim vents that add an extra bit of sportiness.
Below the requisite polished badging is a black aero insert that connects quad exhaust pipes, with each pipe finished in a round, polished tip.
Moving to the tail, we find a broad hatch lid with thin, horizontal lines for the taillights. The narrow taillights are connected by a single red strip that runs the length of the lid, visually enhancing the car’s width even further. Below the requisite polished badging is a black aero insert that connects quad exhaust pipes, with each pipe finished in a round, polished tip.
Porsche also adds that the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is outfitted with standard adaptive aerodynamics, and although the press release neglects to go into detail, it’s probably safe to assume these include active grill shutters in front, and a self-raising spoiler in back.
Opt for the Executive, and Porsche will add an additional 5.9 inches in length, giving you a considerable amount of space to spread out in the cabin. The Executive will also come equipped with more standard equipment to make the most of the extra space.
And like I mentioned in the intro, this model will be offered in two wheelbase iterations, including the standard model, and the long-wheelbase Executive edition. Opt for the Executive, and Porsche will add an additional 5.9 inches in length to the vehicle, giving you a considerable amount of space to spread out in the cabin. The Executive will also come equipped with more standard equipment to make the most of the extra space (check out the Interior section for more info). It should also be noted that the Executive edition will be very nearly as quick as the SWB edition as well (check out the Drivetrain section for more info).
As a reference, we’ve listed the length of a few other long-wheelbase sedans below, plus our estimate for the longer Panamera.
|Rolls-Royce Phantom LWB (Inches)||239.8|
|Audi A8L (Inches)||207.4|
|Jaguar XJ LWB (Inches)||206.6|
|Mercedes-Benz S-Class LWB (Inches)||206.5|
|Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive (Inches)||201.6 (estimate)|
The Competition’s Exterior
Tesla Model S P100D pictured on the left, Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan pictured on the right.
Here’s the thing – there’s pretty much no competition when it comes to finding something that combines four-doors, high levels of luxury, supercar levels of performance, and a hybrid powertrain. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is pretty much all on its own in this segment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a few entries from elsewhere and see how they size up.
First on the list – the Tesla Model S P100D. This is the California EV-maker’s top dog when it comes to its sedan lineup, boasting a solid combination of luxury, practicality, and unbelievable EV speed. Outside, it looks like pretty much any other Model S. The overhangs are short, with a pointed, beak-like nose, sharp headlights and C-shaped daytime running lights, and very little in terms of an opening for letting in air. The profile sweeps the eye rearwards towards a truncated tail, falling away from the windshield apex at a coupe-like angle. The window line enhances this look thanks to a rakish rise in the lower character line, with the window surrounds finished in polished metal. The door handles are also finished in polished metal, and are smoothed into the door to help reduce aerodynamic drag, while large multi-spoke wheels are mounted in the corners. In back, the trunk terminates in an upturned flick, while c-shaped taillights bookend a polished metal strip bearing the Tesla logo. Don’t bother looking for a tailpipe.
Tesla Model S P100D pictured on the left, Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan pictured on the right.
For my money, I actually like the Tesla the best. While the Mercedes looks good in an “old money” sort of way, I prefer the sci-fi cues of the Model S. You could even call the Tesla understated, considering what’s waiting for anyone bold enough to dig into the accelerator with gusto.
Moving on, our second Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid competitor comes from Germany in the form of the Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan. While it might not have a hybrid powerplant like the Porsche, it does have plenty to offer when it comes to interior luxury, speed, and four-door comfort.
To help this thing standout, Mercedes gave the S65 Sedan a thick layer of AMG gloss on top of the normal Mercedes curb appeal. That means a mesh grille insert for the enlarged intakes in the front nose, a broad and bold chrome grille, and LEDs for the headlights and daytime running lights. The wheels are 20-inchers with forged construction and AMG styling, while up top you’ll find a panoramic moonroof. The profile is more traditional in its profile, bearing something closer to a three-box design compared to the coupe-like Tesla and hatchback-esque Porsche. In back is a prominent strip of polished metal marking the trunk, while below are two sets of squared exhaust pipes, also connected by a chrome horizontal strip.
For my money, I actually like the Tesla the best. While the Mercedes looks good in an “old money” sort of way, I prefer the sci-fi cues of the Model S. You could even call the Tesla understated, considering what’s waiting for anyone bold enough to dig into the accelerator with gusto. And again, the Mercedes looks good – it’s got a nice blend of refinement and DTM boisterousness. But it’s just not as sharp and snappy as the Model S.
As for the Panamera, well… like I said, it’s not the prettiest Porsche of all time. And I’ll just leave it at that.
|Tesla Model S P100D||Mercedes-AMG S65|
|Track front/rear (Inches)||65.4/66.9||64.6/64.7|
Mounted high on the dash is a single analog timer, included as standard with the Sport Chrono Package.
The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid offers a cabin space that’s less cluttered than other Porsches, especially models like the Cayenne. And that’s a good thing, because while the Cayenne gets a look that connotes a sense of being in a fighter jet cockpit, I prefer the more streamlined approach taken by the Panamera.
First, there’s a three-spoke steering wheel that gets thumb-length controls for various function and features, while behind the wheel is a set of digital readouts to provide the driver with vitals. The tachometer is mounted front and center, indicating the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid’s focus on speed. In the center stack, we find a large, horizontal touchscreen, with the central tunnel controls arranged in a perpendicular layout with a glossy face. The dash and door inserts get a fine silver mesh type material, while solid silver surrounds are used for the steering wheel spokes, vent surrounds, and control surrounds. Mounted high on the dash is a single analog timer, included as standard with the Sport Chrono Package.
That horizontal infotainment screen measures in at 12.3 inches in diameter, and provides the main hub for operating the onboard Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system.
The controls on the central console are all touch-sensitive, giving them a nice, clean look without the bumps and ridges of hard buttons. That horizontal infotainment screen measures in at 12.3 inches in diameter, and provides the main hub for operating the onboard Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system. Porsche says that both the driver and the driver can access this for individualized control and functionality.
Navigation is equipped as standard, as is the Porsche Connect Plus system and various online functionalities. And if you happen to be an iPhone user, you’ll get to enjoy Apple CarPlay support as well.
If you do decide to go for the Executive edition, you’ll get eight-way power adjustable rear seats, comfort head rests, and four-zone climate control.
One cool feature (literally) is the ability to remotely set the climate control for either air conditioning or heating, which means the cabin will be at just the right temperature before you even open the door. This is common amongst plug-ins, and adds a nice bit of luxury on top of an already luxurious package.
Finally, if you do decide to go for the Executive edition for those six or so extra inches of wheelbase, you’ll get standard kit to match, including eight-way power adjustable rear seats, comfort head rests in the rear, and four-zone climate control.
The Competition’s Interiors
Tesla Model S P100D pictured on the left, Mercedes-Benz AMG S 65 Sedan pictured on the right.
Compared to the Porsche Panamera, the Tesla Model S offers much less refinement and opulence. The control scheme is also significantly simplified, with the various function controls contained within the central touch screen, plus just a few hard buttons on the three-spoke steering wheel. However, there are a few pretty cool standout features worth noting. For example, the Model S gets something called Bio-Weapon Defense Mode, which employs a medical-grade air filter to block 99.97 percent of airborne pollution, including bacteria and viruses, helping you to breath easy no matter where you’re driving.
Tesla Model S P100D pictured on the left, Mercedes-Benz AMG S 65 Sedan pictured on the right.
Hands down, the best interior here belongs to the Mercedes. Everything about it shouts luxury and ease, and the options list is long and varied.
Dominating the center stack is a 17-inch touchscreen, which is mounted vertically and provides the central hub for infotainment and vehicle system controls. Other features include navigation, a high-definition back-up camera, and smartphone support. Behind the steering wheel is a digital gauge cluster, while the rear bench seats three across, meaning seating capacity is capped at five. There’s also storage in the nose of the car (a.k.a. the “frunk,” or front trunk) for enhanced practicality. Finally, there’s the advanced autonomous drive system known as Autopilot, which offers auto steering, auto braking, Smart Summon, self-parking, and more.
Comparatively speaking, the interior of the Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan is obviously far more luxury-oriented. The whole thing is simply dripping with high-end materials, from the brushed metal surrounds and trim, to the wood inserts, to the acres of hide upholstery. The look is equally sumptuous, and is a handsome thing to look at whether you’re in the front seats or in the rear. The air vents get horizontal slats and a rounded design, while the controls are laid out in subtle switches in the dash and central tunnel. The dash is also equipped with two horizontal display screens, mounted side-by-side to form a single cohesive readout for either driver information or infotainment.
If asked to spend a few hours in one of these three, it’s Merc or nothing for me.
The rear seating is equally exquisite, offering space for two passengers to relax in the utmost comfort, such as watching a movie via the screens mounted to the seatbacks. Standout features include LED ambience lighting, an AMG-specific control scheme, available Ash wood trim, carbon fiber trim, and piano black lacquer trim, heated 12-way adjustable power seats, a massage function, and a refrigerator box for the rear.
Hands down, the best interior here belongs to the Mercedes. Everything about it shouts luxury and ease, and the options list is long and varied, offering both packages for enhanced comfort and even a bit of sportiness if you want it. By contrast, the Porsche seems to favor sportiness over luxury, while the Tesla is all about technology and the autonomous drive systems. So then, if asked to spend a few hours in one of these three options, it’s Merc or nothing for me. Yes please.
|Tesla Model S P100D||Mercedes-AMG S65|
|Headroom front/rear (Inches)||38.8/35.3||39.7/37.4|
|Legroom front/rear (Inches)||42.7/35.4||41.4/43.1|
|Shoulder room front/rear (Inches)||57.7/55.0||59.7/59.1|
|Hip room front/rear (Inches)||55.0/54.7||N/A|
|Cargo volume seats up/down (cu ft)||26.3/58.1||16.6|
Engine And Drivetrain
If you take a peek under the Panamera’s 911-esque front end, you’ll find Porsche has mounted the same twin-turbo V-8 as can be found in the old Panamera Turbo. Displacement is rated at 4.0 liters, while output is a sizable 550 horsepower when running full chat on the dino juice. As a reference, the old Panamera Turbo produces 520 horsepower from its twin-turbo V-8.
Mated to this old school ICE is an electric motor, which helps it along with an extra 136 horsepower all its own. And since finding total output from high-performance hybrids is far more convoluted than simply adding the two big numbers together, I’ll just cut to the chase and say the whole shebang produces a whopping 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. Don’t ask where the extra six horses went.
The whole shebang produces a whopping 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. That’s supercar levels of output, and although the power is stuffed into a very heavy four-door luxury sedan, it produces supercar levels of speed as well, with the 0-to-60 mph sprint taking just 3.2 seconds. Top speed is 192 mph.
That’s supercar levels of output, and although all that power is stuffed into a very heavy four-door luxury sedan, it produces supercar levels of speed as well. The 0-to-60 mph sprint takes just 3.2 seconds, while the long-wheelbase Executive model is just one tick slower at 3.3 seconds. Those numbers are blisteringly quick, no matter what the package is, and given Porsche’s penchant for underselling its acceleration numbers every so often, you might as well scratch a few tenths from the numbers for the real-world times. Also of note is the car’s top speed, which clocks in at an impressive 192 mph.
But as you might expect, Porsche is quick to point out that the new hybrid Panamera is also surprisingly efficient despite its supercar-like performance, posting fuel returns of 2.9 liters for every 100 km in the New European Driving Cycle. Of course, if you calculate that out, you’re looking at over 81 miles per gallon, which is absurdly high, in my opinion. And that’s because it’s not the correct MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) measurement that the U.S. uses for plug-in hybrid vehicles, so don’t pay it too much mind if fuel economy is a chief concern. Not that it should be with a car like this, but either way, Porsche says it’ll provide more accurate estimates from the EPA closer to market launch.
Porsche says the all-electric mode provides 50 km (31 miles) of emissions-free driving with the battery full of electrons. So if you’re looking for a way to convince your significant other that the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is a reasonable, practical purchase, just say it’s more economical than a Prius.
One number we can pin down for sure is the all-electric range, which Porsche says comes in at 50 km (31 miles) with the battery full of electrons. That puts it at the same level as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, while beating the 25 miles posted by the Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid.
So there you go, prospective buyers – if you’re looking for a way to convince your significant other that the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is a reasonable, practical purchase, just say it’s more economical than a Prius.
Okay, so maybe that’s a ridiculous argument. But in the face of a sedan with almost 700 horsepower, it’s understandable if you get a little outlandish with the justifications, right?
Moving on, the electrified beating heart of the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid uses a set-up that’s similar to the old Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, but rather than employing the older model’s twin-turbo V-6 and electric motor combo, the new Panamera simply adds a V-8. Part of this crossover tech includes something called an electric clutch actuator, or ECA, which is basically an electromechanical actuator for the decoupler in the hybrid module. Porsche says this device “ensures quick response and exceptional comfort.”
Like other modern PHEV’s, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid offers owners the chance to remotely manage charge times.
To handle the cog swaps, the Turbo S E-Hybrid gets a standard Porsche Doppelkupplung eight-speed automatic transmission, otherwise known as a “PDK” dual-clutch gearbox. Making the grip is a standard active AWD system, complemented by the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system.
Providing the electricity is a lithium-ion battery pack, which is kept at an optimum temperature by a liquid cooling system. Energy capacity for this unit is rated at 14.1 kWh. Plug it into a standard 120-volt outlet, and the battery will take 12 hours to go from empty to full. If that’s too long for your taste, you can go for the faster 7.2-kW charger option as a replacement for the standard 3.6-kW unit. Plugged into an appropriate 240-volt outlet, the 7.2-kW charger will top off the battery in a much-quicker three hours.
Like other modern PHEV’s, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid offers owners the chance to remotely manage when the car is charging to help get off-peak electricity rates and eke out a few extra bucks. This is done through the Porsche Connect app, which can be loaded into both smartphones and the Apple smart watch. Alternatively, you can use the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system to manually control your charge states.
It should also be noted that every time you start the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, it automatically defaults to the all-electric “E-Power” mode, which is how you get those 31 miles of zero-emissions motoring. However, once you squeeze on the throttle with enthusiasm, or once the battery juice is running a little low, the car will automatically switch to its “Hybrid Auto” mode, which obviously fires up the V-8 complement. You can also control the various drive modes manually, if desired.
Finally, this top dog Panamera gets Porsche’s universally necessary Sport Chrono Package equipped as standard. Not only does this add that timer on top of the dash, but it also adds a new layer of sportiness to the whole package, upping the sharpness to the engine tune, transmission settings, chassis control, and suspension.
|Engine||front-mounted 4.0-liter V-8 with an electric motor|
|Battery type||liquid-cooled 14.1 kWh lithium-ion|
|0 to 60 mph||3.2 second|
|Top Speed||192 mph|
|All-electric range||31 miles|
|Charge times||12 hours with 3.6-KW charger; 3 hours with 7.2-KW charger|
The Competition’s Engine And Drivetrain
Note: Tesla Model S P100D pictured on the left, Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan pictured on the right.
Here’s where things start to really differ, given the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid’s unique position in the segment. Starting it off is the Tesla Model S P100D, which heads the Model S line as the most potent variant currently available. The number in the same is a reference to the battery pack, which is rated at a 100-kWh capacity, while the letter is a reference to dual-drive layout. Essentially, you get one motor in the nose driving the front axle, and another motor in back driving the rear axle, making this thing essentially AWD. The onboard computers will automatically calculate optimum torque levels in a variety of road conditions, yielding high levels of traction, even in low-grip situations.
However, the biggest draw for this thing is simply its insane acceleration. Put it in the right mode, mash the throttle, and voila – you’ll see 60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds thanks to ludicrous levels of horsepower and Earth-twisting levels of torque. And while testing these numbers all day every day may sound like a hoot, you’ll wanna stay off the long skinny pedal if you’re trying to go the distance. Average range for the P100D is about 330 miles per charge, with roughly nine hours needed between plug-ins when using a 240-volt wall connector. Step up to the 72-amp connector, and you’ll get an extra 300 miles in six hours, while a supercharger station will top you off in an hour and 15 minutes.
|Drivetrain||Front & rear motor, AWD|
|Motor Type||Dual three-phase four-pole AC induction motors with copper rotor|
|Battery Type||100-kWh lithium-ion battery|
|Power||259 HP front, 503 HP rear; 680 HP combined|
|Torque||277 LB-FT front, 525 LB-FT rear; 791 LB-FT combined|
|0 to 60 mph||2.5 seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|City/highway/combined range (miles)||297/337/315|
|Time to charge||9.5 hours with 48-amp charger, 6.3 hours with 72-amp charger|
I’ve gotta give it up to Porsche for its new hybrid V-8. Nearly 700 horsepower is an incredible amount of power, and paired with a pop-to-the-shops all-electric range of 31 miles, the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is a nice mix of absurd performance and surprising practicality.
Let’s move on to the Merc. While you wouldn’t be wrong for calling this thing a dinosaur compared to the Porsche and Tesla, it’s one of those terrifying, apex predator dinosaurs with 9-inch teeth and a taste for herbivores. That’s because lurking under that three-pointed star on the nose is a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 engine, massaged by AMG to produce an incredible 621 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 738 pound-feet of torque at 2,300 rpm.
That’s a lot of output, no matter what way you look at it. Mated to the V-12 is a SpeedShift Plus seven-speed automatic gearbox, which sends each of those ponies to the rear axle. And although the S65 Sedan literally weighs two-and-a-half tons, the V-12 manages to motivate it to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is rated at around 186 mph. And since we’re comparing this to a hybrid, we might as well mention that it returns 13 miles per gallon in the city, and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. Also of note is the inclusion of a lithium-ion battery, which Merc says offers a higher energy density while reducing weight. Although, I’m sure the weight savings is a drop in the ocean for this street-bound luxury liner.
While this is probably the most “apples-to-oranges” section of the review, I’ve gotta give it up to Porsche for its new hybrid V-8. Nearly 700 horsepower is an incredible amount of power, and paired with a pop-to-the-shops all-electric range of 31 miles, the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is a nice mix of absurd performance and surprising practicality.
The 12-cylinder symphony of the Mercedes is a treat, and the technology of the Model S P100D is impressive, but if I were to have just one of the three for daily driving, I’d take the electrically energized Porsche V-8.
|Engine||6.0-liter AMG V-12 biturbo|
|Horsepower||621 HP @ 4,800-5,400 RPM|
|Torque||738 LB-FT @ 2,300-4,300 RPM|
|Transmission||AMG SPEEDSHIFT® PLUS 7-speed|
|0 to 60 mph||4.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||186 mph|
|Curb weight (Lbs)||4,969|
Chassis And Handling
While the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid has the kind of superstar powerplant you’d expect in a no-holds-barred track machine, the chassis and suspension seeks to combine “the comfort of a luxury sedan” and “the performance of a sports car.” That can be a mighty tall order, but Porsche seems to have the technology to pull it off.
Helping the Panamera achieve this highly desirable, yet tricky balancing acts is a long list of Stuttgart’s branded handling acronyms, several of which are shared with that other non-purists’ Porsche, the Cayenne. Starting things off is the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport system, or PDCC Sport, which actively monitors the vehicle’s lateral movement when loaded up in a corner, all while working to reduce body roll. PDCC Sport also adds in the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system, or PTV Plus, which applies variable torque levels to the rear axle between the right and left wheels, enhancing the car’s crispness and cornering response.
Helping the Panamera achieve this highly desirable, yet tricky balancing acts is a long list of Stuttgart’s branded handling acronyms, several of which are shared with that other non-purists’ Porsche, the Cayenne.
Managing the car’s heft is a standard air suspension, which uses a three-chamber set-up for variable stiffness levels depending on the driving mode currently engaged. Complementing the air suspension system is the Porsche Active Suspension Management system, or PASM, which electronically adjusts damping levels for each corner depending on conditions and driving style.
Hauling it down are standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, or PCCB, which should do well in scrubbing speed, even with repeated hard stops. Helping the whole thing turn is a Power Steering Plus system.
Managing the car’s heft is a standard air suspension, which uses a three-chamber set-up for variable stiffness levels depending on the driving mode currently engaged.
Meanwhile, if you choose to get into the Executive edition, not only will you be enjoying a good deal of extra rear seat room, but your chauffeur will be enjoying the rear axle steering as well, which should help to counteract the long-wheelbase vehicle’s tendency to, well, not turn.
What I really want to know is how much this thing is gonna weigh. Porsche has yet to officially announce that little tidbit, but in a recent “First Ride” article from Car And Driver, the publication reckons it’s between 5,200 and 5,400 pounds, roughly 700 pounds more than the old Panamera Turbo. Simply put, that’s outrageously heavy for any vehicle touting itself as possessing sporting intentions, outweighing even the mid-size Cayenne SUV in its heaviest configuration by several hundred pounds.
If you choose to get into the Executive edition, not only will you be enjoying a good deal of extra rear seat room, but your chauffeur will be enjoying the rear axle steering as well.
And as we all know, weight is the enemy when it comes to performance. That said, according to the previously mentioned article from Car And Driver, “weight was never an issue. The Panamera jinked with a prizefighter’s cunning agility to post remarkable acceleration, cornering, and braking performance stats.” The article later says that the professional drivers at the wheel “easily posted 1.50-plus cornering g’s without a whimper of protest from the 21-inch Michelin tires, as well as more than 1.00 g under braking.”
Competition’s Chassis And Handling
Tesla Models S P100D pictured on the left, Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan pictured on the right.
The Tesla Model S P100D is no lightweight either, tipping the scales at close to 5,000 pounds in its heaviest configuration. However, the majority of that weight is placed very low on the car thanks to a flat battery pack just under the floor mats. Combined with sticky rubber and electronic AWD, the Model S manages to make those pounds shrink a bit when you start tossing it around. Helping it along is optional Smart Air Suspension, while the regenerative braking assists in stopping the thing.
That said, The Tesla isn’t really something you’d wanna bring with you on race day. Road & Track says it feels like “a fish out of water” on a circuit, and that “the brakes aren’t up to the task, and it’s difficult to keep the battery pack cool.” Rather, Road & Track suggests sticking to smashing on muscle cars and exotics at the drag strip.
Sure, it’s probably not gonna be your first choice for an autocross event, but you gotta hand it to Porsche for bringing the handling heat, even on a car that weighs well above two-and-a-half tons.
By comparison, the Mercedes-Benz makes no attempt at sports car stardom, and instead, comfortably settles into its role as high-speed luxury cruiser. To keep its 621-horsepower V-12 and 5,000 pounds of curb weight in check, there are standard high-performance brakes from AMG, with 15.4-inch discs and six-piston calipers in front, plus 14.2-inch discs and single-piston calipers in the rear. For an extra $9,000, you can also opt into AMG carbon stoppers, with lightweight 16.5-inch rotors in front and a bronze finish for the calipers.
Keeping the Merc shiny side up and comfy is something called Magic Body Control, which uses an external facing camera to identify aberrations in the road surface and adjusts the dynamic suspension settings to compensate accordingly. The suspension itself is AMG’s Active Sport set-up, which sounds like it should make for a rather entertaining ride, but it never really escapes its luxury-inclined demeanor.
Out of these three choices, the Porsche stands tall as the preeminent handling option, even though it’s also the heaviest. Porsche has really gone to great lengths to find that happy balance between comfort and sportiness, and should provide the goods whether you’re cruising on the highway, or laying on the throttle through some switchbacks. Sure, it’s probably not gonna be your first choice for an autocross event, but you gotta hand it to Porsche for bringing the handling heat, even on a car that weighs well above two-and-a-half tons.
Pricing for U.S.-bound models of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is set at $184,400 for the standard wheelbase, while the long-wheelbase Executive model starts at $194,800. A $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee is not included in those totals.
Meanwhile, across the pond, the standard model will go for 185,736 euros, while the Executive model will go for 199,183 euros.
Look for the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid’s worldwide debut at the Geneva International Motor Show this March.
After dropping cover in Switzerland, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will hit stateside dealers some time before the end of the year, although Porsche has yet to give us a specific on-sale date as of this writing (02/28/2017).
The Competition’s Prices
The Tesla Model S P100D starts at $134,500, which is a serious discount compared to the Porsche. However, that differential bears its teeth in a big way in the interior space.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Sedan starts at $226,900, which is about a Lexus IS350 F Sport’s worth more than the base-model Panamera.
With the performance hybrid segment still growing, we’re gonna need to dip into the coupes real quick to find entries for this section. One of the most well-known hybrid performance vehicles is the BMW i8, which dropped in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, going on sale in June of the following year. Rocking a turbo 1.5-liter gas mill and a hybrid synchronous motor, the i8 produces 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque through an electric AWD system. Acceleration looks like 4.2 seconds to 60 mph, while top speed is 155 mph. It’ll also go a full 22 miles on electricity alone, and under the skin is a high-tech carbon-laden chassis.
Read the full review here.
Bearing classic Aston styling and speed, plus four doors and seemingly unending luxury, the Rapide looks to combine all the good stuff of the British brand into a single, high-end package. Inside you’ll get seating for four, with each seat covered in leather and laterally well bolstered. Further customization can be had via the Q By Aston Martin program. However, the big cheese is under the flying wing badge on the nose, where 5.9 liters of 12-cylinder potency lies in wait. Total output is rated at 550 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to propel this thing to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, all while carrying on to a 200-mph top speed.
Read the full review here.
This thing is all kinds of fast. Like warp drive, bending-space-time-to-your-will kinds of fast.
First things first – the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid looks like it’s gonna be a surefire winner for Porsche. Not only is it drenched in luxury, from the leather upholstery and piano black trim, to the hugely accommodating long-wheelbase Executive version, but it’s also unbelievably fast. Like warp drive, bending-space-time-to-your-will fast. With the word “Hybrid” attached to its name, it sits in a unique position, combining seemingly conflicting characteristics of opulence, efficiency, and performance in a single package that’s already seen a good deal of success with more traditional powerplants. Now, with this leading hybrid offered as the tip of the Panamera spear, the Stuttgart sedan is poised to collect even more devotees.
This car most likely heralds a time when all of the fastest Porsches are hybrid models, including the 911.
Speaking more broadly, this car most likely heralds a time when all of the fastest Porsches are hybrid models, including the 911. After all, even though it added a substantial amount of weight to an already heavy package, the benefits of going hybrid are obvious. This is a game of numbers, and if you can eke out more power and more efficiency, the extra mass matters less and less.
Long story short – look out purists. These days, hybrids and electrics are taking over at the top of the performance spectrum, and if you thought the creation of the Cayenne was a slight against Porsche’s heritage, just wait until the darling of German sports cars is transformed with the inclusion of hybrid technology.
What really needs clarification here is how the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid handles a curve or two when it’s not in the hands of a professional.
Whether that’s good or bad is a matter of opinion, but what really needs clarification here is how the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid handles a curve or two when it’s not in the hands of a professional. If Porsche’s engineers found a way to make this titanic four-door truly feel like a Porsche should, then really, I guess you have nothing to fear, right?