Long name isn’t it? As is the car itself. 505 cm of pure luxury, coupled with monstruos power and the ability to even go up to 40 kilometers on pure electric power alone. This is the symbiosis of so many different worlds, that it is almost odd, how well Porsche Panamera manages to merge them into one, single driving experience.
The first ‘world’ is what Porsche Panamera is all about – luxurious motoring across continents. I dare you to find a car that is as satisfying at long distance cruising, for those who actually love to drive, than Panamera. Sure other German rivals like Mercedes Benz S Class or BMW 7 Series are perhaps quieter, more comfortable and resemble your living room more than an actual car. But Panamera is much more than that. You feel like a part of a well engineered machine, which is actually made for you to drive, not to be driven in. You feel connected to the road, but just enough for a car to still retain its grace and not feel nervous. It crosses whole countries, at speeds not suitable for this article, without even breaking a sweat. It really is ‘tour de force’ this thing.
Making those speeds possible is of course its monstrous drivetrain. Under the bonnet of Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid lies 4.0 liter V8 petrol engine, which together with an electric motor develops a whoping 680 HP and 850 Nm of torque. Coupled with 8 speed PDK gearbox and four wheel drive it manages to hit 100 km/h in just a little over 3 seconds. The way this almost 2,5 tonne vehicle manages to hook up at launch using launch control, is really beyond me. Just put the car into Sport+ mode, press the brake pedal and smash the accelerator. All you have to do now is to release the brake and hold on for your dear life – it really is that brutal.
It is not just one trick pony though. If there is one area where Porsche Panamera is head and shoulders above the competition, it has to be its handling. For its sheer size and weight it handles like a dream, making even this large, luxury limousine, satisfying to drive. To achieve that kind of agility, Porsche did their magic on a set of impressive active suspension and advanced four wheel steering system, which virtually shortens its wheel base, making it feel like a smaller car to drive. Well you bet that those huge 21” Pirellis do have something to say about that mechanical grip too.
As the name suggests, Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is also a plug-in hybrid, which makes more sense in such a car than one might think. Offering a possibility of frugal motoring and even driving on pure electric power alone, or just adding instant torque, filling that turbo lag when you press the go pedal. In reality it is really possible to use just about 10 liters per 100 kilometers on the motorway, even less if the battery is full. Quick tip, just leave it in its Hybrid Auto setting as it is so well calibrated, you actually don’t need anything else.
What about the interior? Well as I said before, it is a very nice place to spend time in. Those optional 18 way adjustable seats are one of the best I ever sat in, and there is quality everywhere you look or touch. In contrast to new electric Taycan, this is actually a proper four seater, offering substantial head and leg room for the rear passengers, ass well as decent 500 liter boot for all their luggage. Infotaiment system is really easy to use once you get your grips with it, but all those buttons (sometimes in not so easily accessible places) get some getting used to.
It is really hard to fault this thing. With such a wide spectrum of qualities, there really isn’t much to complain about. Maybe the road noise on a bad surface from those huge Pirellis might be a bit too much, but other than that, there really isn’t anything else. Well if you neglect the price that is. With easily costing north of quarter of a million €, this Turbo S E-Hybrid version really is the peak of the Panamera lineup. It just begs the question, is it really worth 100.000€ more than 4S E-Hybrid model?
Photography: Luka Janežič, Klemen Sofrić, Tine Kušar