Porsche Panamera S EHybrid review (2013 onwards) MSN Cars UK

16 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Porsche Panamera S EHybrid review (2013 onwards) MSN Cars UK отключены
Porsche Panamera Electric Cars

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid review (2013 onwards)

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: summary

It promises 91mpg and 71g/km CO2, so the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid could be a dream come true for high-flying executives. But does the world’s first luxury plug-in hybrid make sense in the real world?

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: first impressions

Meet the slowest Porsche we have ever driven. During our late afternoon drive in searing German heat, we were overtaken by BlueMotion Polos, struggled to keep up with a slow-moving tractor and were very nearly eclipsed by an elderly lady on a bicycle.

Make no mistake; the Panamera S E-Hybrid is a very, very quick car

In fairness, the all-new Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is no slouch. In fact it offers a level of performance comparable with a Panamera V8. But Porsche set us a challenge to see just how efficient the new plug-in hybrid could be.

And — as we’ll come on to later — the results are quite remarkable.

But first, some housekeeping. The entire Porsche Panamera range has been refreshed. Look very, very closely and you’ll notice a revised front-end, stylish new headlights, a sharper profile and an improved rear-end.

We say ‘improved’, but we appreciate that the Panamera’s styling has historically come in for some flak.

There’s no doubt the Panamera looks better than ever. Indeed, as 100,000 global buyers will testify, Porsche’s GT is clearly much more than a face only a mother could love. But take it from us, if you don’t like the look of the outgoing Panamera, the ‘new’ model is unlikely to change your opinion.

In other news, the Panamera S and 4S models are no longer powered by a 4.8-litre V8 — boo. Instead they are powered by an all-new 3.0-litre V6, which is actually quicker, more powerful and much more efficient than the V8 — yay. It’s the trend across the Panamera range.

But in truth, the big story is the arrival of the S E-Hybrid — billed as the world’s first luxury plug-in hybrid. On paper at least it presents a formidable proposition. The question is, does the theory translate to an electric dream or hybrid nightmare?

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: performance

Make no mistake; the Panamera S E-Hybrid is a very, very quick car. We’re not entirely sure what’s in the water in Stuttgart, but the Porsche wizards have worked a minor miracle.

The S E-Hybrid always gives the impression it would rather be saving the planet than kissing the apex

Power is sourced from a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine, which combines with a 95hp electric motor to provide a total output of 416hp. Energy is drawn from a new lithium-ion battery which, at 9.4kWh, has over five times more capacity than the previous 1.7kWh nickel metal hydride battery.

Off-the-line pace is astonishing. In electric-only E-Power mode, the Panamera will accelerate to 31mph in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 84mph before the petrol engine takes over. Switch to Hybrid for the best of both worlds, or Sport to unleash the inner beast, and 62mph is reached in just 5.5 seconds and top speed is 167mph.

This is thanks — in part — to the S E-Hybrid’s 435lb ft of torque, which is eclipsed only by the 516lb ft you’ll find in the flagship Panamera Turbo. And that’s got a 4.8-litre V8 engine and two turbos to help provide its punch.

Admittedly, there’s an overriding feeling of disengagement as far as the performance goes, but the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s pace remains — forgive us for this — electrifying. The eight-speed automatic gearbox provides smooth changes, but just occasionally tends to hold on to its gear too long, flying in the face of the car’s green agenda.

Porsche Panamera Electric Cars

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: ride and handling

Being one of the world’s most technologically advanced luxury cars does result in one or two compromises.

You won’t find any compromises on the inside

For a start, the S E-Hybrid has piled on the pounds. At 2,095kg, it’s easily the lardiest Panamera you can buy and is actually a full 325kg heavier than the V6 petrol.You can feel the extra weight — alongside the other Panameras we tested, the S E-Hybrid felt decidedly less agile and slightly less willing to entertain.

It’s not that the Panamera has ever been a delicate little flower, it’s just that the S E-Hybrid always gives the impression it would rather be saving the planet than kissing the apex. You could argue that it therefore answers its brief, but body roll and a tendency to drift wide on corners are not things we’re used to in a Porsche — even a big one.

Air suspension is fitted as standard, helping to provide a firm yet supremely comfortable ride. Switching to Sport mode sharpens things up further, although the extra weight perhaps contributes to a slightly more jittery ride.

We suspect such nuances will hardly register with the majority of S E-Hybrid buyers. This is one Porsche that won’t necessarily be purchased on the strength of its dynamics.

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: interior

You won’t find any compromises on the inside — the interior remains a paragon of quality and good ergonomics. It simply oozes class and sophistication.

The plug-in hybrid is also treated to some unique touches — such as green needles on the dials, complementing the green badges and brake calipers.

Porsche Panamera Electric Cars
Porsche Panamera Electric Cars
Porsche Panamera Electric Cars
Porsche Panamera Electric Cars

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