2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Review [Video]
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Ferdinand Porsche actually conceptualised the idea of hybrid cars all the way back in 1900. 114 years later, the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is set to take centre stage as the 2 tonne 5 door grand tourer with the running costs of a supermini. Madness you say? Well read on…
This is the second attempt at a Porsche Panamera Hybrid, the first being a particularly underachieving affair. It had an ancient nickel battery which ran a weak electric motor that had an e-only driving range of about a mile. That’s feeble by anyone’s standards and practically makes the whole enterprise pointless. In direct contrast, the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is Porsche’s most efficient sportscar – a hybrid variation of the 2 tonne 5 door luxury grand tourer style saloon that emits just 71g/pk of CO2 and gives fuel returns of a staggering 91mpg. That makes this a very special car indeed.
The E-Hybrid is necessary to the main Panamera range as it lacks a high performance economic engine. This is mostly due to the front engine set up being too small for any of Porsche’s high performance diesel units. Enter the E-Hybrid which boasts a brand new lithium-ion battery (holding 5x more charge than the original nickel one) which powers a 95bhp electric motor. This is combined with a 330bhp 3ltr supercharged V6 petrol engine which gives an output of 416bhp. The electric function doesn’t just improve economy figures but also boosts the performance figures too. That’s hybrid power!
There are 4 selectable operating modes – e-power, hybrid, e-charge and sport. The e-only mode is pure electric. The range here is a massive improvement on the previous mile or so, now giving us 11-22 miles (depending on how you’re driving it). A near silent Porsche is quite a creepy thing to behold but it can still reach a speed of 84mph on battery alone before the petrol engine kicks in (by either running out of charge or switching modes to hybrid when you need more speed). The hybrid is well… pretty self-explanatory. The clever e-charge mode allows you to charge the battery as you drive with the engine and the Sport mode uses the power of the engine and uses the electric motor to boost it to full performance levels. In stat terms we have 0-62 in 5.5 seconds topping at a speedy 168mph. One very minor down point about getting the hybrid model of this car is that it eats into the boot space slightly. But it’s worth noting that you’ll get this with any car with an electric motor.
There are plenty high tech gizmos going on inside this car that you’d normally find by spending 7 times more on the Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar, mainly things which further improve efficacy such as stop/start technology and break energy regeneration. There is also the ability to plug your 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid into the mains to charge. It will take 2 hours to charge on 16amp industrial outlet and 4 hours from a normal household socket – both plugs come with the car. It is also worth downloading the clever smartphone app that allows you to do everything from viewing your driving information to finding where you parked your car in the car park if you forget.
The 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a super economic vehicle (although obviously this depends on how you drive it) that will allow for little jaunts into town being entirely fuel free. Win! The main appeal with this car will probably be to higher end corporate buyers since there are substantial tax benefits to be reaped from the eco-friendliness of this vehicle. There’s company car tax liability of only 5%, 100% first year allowance, free road tax and of course – exemption from London congestion charge. Great news for city commuters.
All in all, what have we got here with the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid? This high performance 4 door luxury saloon is unconventional enough without the hybrid form, but this model proves that it’s possible to have your cake and eat it. High tech appeal, supercar performance, luscious comfort and refinement all while maintaining the same running costs of a supermini. Best of all – let’s not forget that this is a Porsche we’re taking about. A PORSCHE! Sure the diesel engine might be a cheap and fairly effective option for those concerned with frugality, but if you want top level performance and economy then it’s surely worth the extra coin? The figures speak for themselves.
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