Saturday, June 22, 2013
The Porsche Panamera has caused quite a stir, with this Hybrid four seater capable of nearly 170mph and getting there with an MPG of 41mpg and just 159g/Km of carbon dioxide emissions you would think it was the perfect buy but unusually it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. One thing is for sure though and that’s that the technology is good and it works!
The first thing to look at is the power unit and the most impressive thing here has to be the bhp per gramme of carbon dioxide emissions. The Panamera S Hybrid‘s engine produces a staggering 2.4bhp per gramme of carbon dioxide. To put this into respective a Ferrari 458 produces 1.8bhp per gramme of CO2 and a Toyota Prius Hybrid actually only produces 1.1bhp per gramme of CO2 – bet that one came as a shock. In actually fact the Panamera S Hybrid is the most efficient car for sale in the UK and you have to admit the fact that the most efficient car in the UK is a three litre supercharged 168mph Porsche has to be something working smiling about.
The engine and electric motor combination used in the Panamera S Hybrid is pretty much the same setup that is used in the Cayenne hybrid. The engine is a 3.0 V6 unit with a supercharger producing 333bhp this is combined with a 47bhp auxiliary electric motor which on its own can power the Panamera in total electric mode for around 1.25 miles with a maximum speed of 53 mph. Another feature of the Panamera Hybrid is the “Sailing” function. This switches the vehicle’s engine off and disengages the drivetrain when no power is required from the petrol engine, this works up to speeds of 103 mph.
Performance wise the Panamera is good for up to 168mph and it will get to 60mph from standstill in just 5.7 seconds. This performance and power is channelled through an eight-speed Tiptronic-S Gearbox as also used in the Porsche Cayenne.
Adaptive air suspension is standard on the car and it does a fantastic job of dealing with bumps and road imperfections whilst giving the car excellent handling and control that is precise and responsive.
Now a 168mph sports car with 41mpg and a 0-60 of 5.7 seconds sounds fantastic but there has to be a downside yeah? Well yes unfortunately there is, but it isn’t as bad as you might think. The two main physical negatives would have to be weight and luggage space. The weight of the Panamera has increased to 1980kg and the boot space has now dropped by 108 litres to 337 litres. The other thing that will undoubtedly affect a lot of potential buyer’s decision to purchase is the price. The most popular examples of the Hybrid model once spec’d up are selling for nearly £90,000, that’s £24,000 on top of the 3.6 Petrol model and a similar amount on top of the Diesel model also. This could add up to a hefty depreciation hit when you decide to sell your Porsche in the future with used car buyers only seeing the benefit of the fuel consumption once prices have come right down.
The styling of the Panamera is probably one of the biggest things that has met with a lot of criticism being likened a bit to Marmite (You either love it or hate it). The car is 4970mm long and the car is a strict four seater with excellent comfort in the rear and lots of leg room. Rear visibility isn’t great with the cars high back and angled rear window but you do get parking sensors which will definitely be a god send.
As you would expect with Porsche the build quality is superb. Inside the best materials have been used to furnish the Panamera and the layout of the controls excellent. The centre console has buttons stylishly laid out around it that a functional and easy to work out. Leather interior comes as standard on this model along with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) Bi-Xenon headlights, 19” Alloy wheels, PCM (Porsche Communication Management) with Satellite Navigation and Audio Controls, Auto Dimming Rear Mirror, Rear Parking Assist and Cruise Control. The Hybrid model also comes with a display system that has been used in the Cayenne Hybrid. This gives the driver all the information about the vehicles current Hybrid driving status.
Another benefit of owning a Panamera is Porsche’s ownership package. This consists of (VTS) Porsche Vehicle Tracking System – a Thatcham category 5 security system fitted to the car and a driving experience day at Porsche’s Experience Centre in Silverstone giving the owner a day to appreciate and understand the vehicles capabilities in a safe environment.
So how do we sum up the Panamera S Hybrid?
Well the Panamera has to be more efficient that anything else you can currently buy in the UK giving this kind of performance and economy. The car is as you would expect beautifully built to an extremely high level and makes use of some of the most sophisticated technologies enabling 168mph with a 0-60 of 5.7 seconds and all this combined with an MPG of 41.5mpg!
With pricing starting at £86,000 the economy figures are great but not something most buyers of this sort of priced car are going to worry too much about.
Niki Gear has been involved in the motor industry for over 10 years and is an avid writter in the automotive industry.