As previously suspected, Porsche has unveiled a surprising new power king of their all-new second-generation Panamera range. The difference, as you’ve already guessed, is the manner in which this occurs: electricity.
The all-wheel driven Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, with a local price starting at $460,100, might be the most convoluted name so far the German super sedan, but it also aptly describes the merging of the various technologies and concepts coming together in the pursuit of speed (and efficiency?).
The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with 404kW from the original Panamera Turbo remains here, ditching the smaller V6 in Porsche’s now lesser E-Hybrid model, and married to a 100kWh electric motor that raises the car’s total output to a thundering 500kW.
Equally impressive is the amount of extra torque this powertrain arrangement can exert upon the road. As low as 1,400rpm, peak twist of 850Nm can be summoned, helpful for those 0-100km/h sprints which it can dispatch in 3.4 seconds, meaning it’s pretty much as quick as Porsche’s most hardcore 911, the GT3 RS in a flat-out drag. On a long enough straight, it will top out at 310km/h.
Being a plug-in hybrid, the added electric motor and requisite array of batteries (14.1kWh) can be recharged from the mains, and it’s only natural that the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is heavier than the standard Turbo, though it isn’t specified, but the extra performance seems to smother this disadvantage, being the most powerful production Porsche since the 918 Spyder hypercar that it borrows its hybrid technology from.
Acceleration aside, Porsche claims that an everyday average fuel consumption of as little as 2.9-litres/100km is possible. Meanwhile, for short commutes, up to 50km can be squeezed out of the electric motor and batteries without invoking the bi-turbo petrol V8 at all using the E-Power mode. To keep those power cells cool even under high load and rate of discharge, a liquid cooling system is employed.
Sitting at the top of the Panamera range means that much of the options usually selectable by other variants down the chain do come as standard. There are 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels, ceramic brakes, Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control Sport, and their all-wheel Torque Vectoring and rear steer system.
The car itself will be revealed in the flesh at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month and is due to be rolled out to showrooms globally shortly after that. Orders are open now and deliveries to Australian customers are expected to begin in Q3 2017.