Porsche has given its Panamera range a mid-life refresh and in doing so, has introduced a new PHEV spec – complete with all-new drive system – to the range. This does mean that the previous, all-conquering Panamera E-Hybrid Turbo S has been deposed from the most powerful of the range; but the loss of outright power has brought gains in electric range and efficiency.
Much has been made of the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S's lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Completing it in 7 minutes 29.81 seconds (or 7:25.04 using the old start/finish lines) is no mean feat for a large, four-door executive saloon. But whilst hooning around a race track grabbed the headlines, Porsche has also added a new plug-in hybrid to the range.
Slipping into the Panamera and Panamera Sport Turismo range pretty much smack-bang in the middle, the 4S E-Hybrid is the new PHEV option for Panamera buyers – and it should make for a better and greener car all-round.
Powertrain and performance
Under the bonnet, Porsche has equipped the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid with its familiar 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6 which makes 434bhp. Add the 136bhp electric motor into the equation and the total system output jumps to 552bhp and 553lb-ft of torque – figures which are close to those of the (non-PHEV) Panamera Turbo. Unfortunately, so far there isn't a new E-Hybrid Turbo S in the range, but that could be because Porsche has decided to return the power crown to a pure ICE model.
Performance-wise, the 4S E-Hybrid in regular or Sport Turismo form can hit 62mph in 3.7 seconds when using launch control, and continue on to a top speed of 185mph.
Where the new PHEV model has really gained is in the battery – and therefore usable electric-only range – department. Replacing the previously slightly undersized 14.1kWh lithium-ion unit is a new 17.9kWh battery which Porsche states is more efficient. On the WLTP test cycle the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid will do 33.5 miles on electric power which has delivered the associated improvements in emissions and efficiency, which are as low as 47g/km and up to 141mpg respectively.
New styling and spec
Don't go expecting a wholesale redesign; Porsche's changes are subtle, at best.
Up front, all new Panameras will get the SportDesign facia, which was previously an option. A redesigned SportDesign package, with or without carbon fibre, is now available as an option, however. At the back there's a new continuous light strip to bring it into line with the 911 and Cayenne, and on the lower rear facia, new diffuser fins. New 20 or 21 inch wheels are available.
Inside, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid comes as standard with eight-way electrically adjustable seats with memory package. The centre console has the familiar 12.3 inch touchscreen with its fantastic PCM user interface, extensive connectivity, Wi-Fi and all of the usual navigation systems. Annoyingly, Porsche is still sticking to its guns and not including Android Auto – with Apple CarPlay the sole branded connection service on top of Bluetooth.
Voice Pilot online voice control has been improved over the previous version; whilst lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition is now standard. The other standard and optional features remain as-is, and the world is truly your oyster when it comes to ticking boxes – and significantly increasing the cost!
On the move, the Panamera has again been tweaked rather than significantly revised. The adaptive suspension has had some fine tuning for greater comfort, whilst active roll stabilisation has ensured that this doesn't amount to too much additional body roll in the corners.
Price and availability
You can order a new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid right now, with the standard Panamera starting at £101,690 and the Sport Turismo starting at £103,840.