Published on March 19th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo test drive review
The balance between performance andefficiency makes the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo unique in theluxury super sedan segment. We were invited to experience this vehicle andshare the experience with our readers. The Panamera petrol driven version competeswith the Mercedes E63 ‘S’ before it went hybrid.
Now it competes with really no othervehicle in Malaysia. Yes, it’s a lone wolf that sits by itself until theobvious competitors decide to have a rival in Malaysia and we are very surethat will not happen in years to come. Why? Well in this segment, Malaysianbuyers are not really ‘green’ enthusiasts and the concept of saving fuel with asuper luxury sports car does not seem all that important.
Porsche combines a powerful 4-litre 550bhp V8 engine with a virtually silent electric 136hp motor, resulting in a full power delivery of 680hp. The maximum torque of 850Nm is already available once the car reaches just above idle speed. The plug-in hybrid drive accelerates from zero to 100km/h in a sizzling 3.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310km/h.
Average consumption in the New EuropeanDriving Cycle (NEDC) is 3.0 l/100 km for fuel and 17.6 kWh/100 km for electricpower. This Sport Turismo can be driven for up to 49 kilometres solely onelectric power, therefore producing zero local emissions and buyers are reallynot that anal about this fact.
The electric motor is supplied with power via a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 14.1 kWh. The high-voltage battery integrated in the rear is fully charged within six hours at 10 A via a 230-V connection. If the Panamera Sport Turismo uses the optional 7.2-kW on-board charger and a 230-V, 32-A connection instead of the standard 3.6-kW charger, the battery is fully charged in just 2.4 hours. The charging process can also be started using a timer via Porsche Communication Management or the Porsche Connect app (for smartphones and Apple® Watch). Moreover, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is fitted with auxiliary air conditioning to cool or heat the passenger compartment even during charging using energy from the power grid.
Haseveryday practicality and versatility
The Panamera is still a luxury family carat heart. With the rear seat backrests in their normal position, the newPorsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo provides a storage volume of425 litres. In addition, the backrests of the three rear seats can be foldeddown together or individually (in a 40:20:40 split) and are unlockedelectrically from the luggage compartment. When loaded to roof height, thestorage volume increases to 1,295 litres.
The luggage compartment of the SportTurismo is easy to load thanks to the tailgate that is electrically opened asstandard, the low loading edge height of approximately 63 centimetres and the92-centimetre-wide luggage compartment width between the wheel housings. Evenheavy golf bags can easily be stowed on the 1,088-millimetre long loadingfloor. If the Sport Turismo is fitted with comfort access, the tailgate can beopened and closed simply with a foot gesture; the vehicle detects authorisedusers via the key signal.
PorscheAdvanced Cockpit with hybrid-working displays
A general feature of this second-generationPorsche Panamera is its all new digitised display and control concept, in theform of the standard Porsche Advanced Cockpit with touch-sensitive panels andindividually configurable displays. The interactive cockpit takes the form oftwo 7-inch screens. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo isdistinguished from other cars in the model line by its unique power meter forhybrid driving, with an “Acid Green” indicator and “turboS” logo. The power meter provides data such as the amount of electricalenergy currently being used or the energy being recovered through recuperation.
A 12.3-inch touchscreen in the centreconsole functions as a central PCM control and display unit, via which thedriver can access various items of hybrid-specific information. The boostassistant and hybrid assistant are both practical and informative. The boostassistant display shows the energy available for boosting, while the hybridassistant provides various visual signals for regulating the electric drivepower.
Widebalance between performance and comfort
In keeping with the overall concept of thePanamera Sport Turismo, the chassis combines the ride comfort of a luxurysaloon with the performance of a high-performance sports car. The basic chassislayout is complemented by a multitude of innovative systems designed formaximum comfort and performance. Virtually all of these assistance andconvenience systems are part of the standard specification of the PanameraTurbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – including adaptive air suspension with PorscheActive Suspension Management (PASM), the active chassis control system andanti-roll system Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) withPorsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) and the Porsche Ceramic CompositeBrake (PCCB).
For Malaysian buyers, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is equipped with a rear-axle steering system. At low speeds of up to around 50 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels – variable across the vehicle speed – up to a maximum steering angle of 2.8 degrees. Effectively, this approach shortens the wheelbase. The advantages include more dynamic steering behaviour and significantly improved manoeuvring and parking in tight spaces. At high speeds, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front axle depending on the speed. Here, rear-axle steering effectively serves to lengthen the wheelbase, which increases stability, for example when changing lanes on the motorway. Rear-axle steering is an active safety system that optimises driving dynamics; it also boosts comfort by reducing the required steering angle at low speeds. The integration of rear-axle steering also results in a more direct steering ratio on the front axle for an exceptionally sporty steering experience.
Drivingthe super fast hybrid
From ignition in ‘Sport Plus’ mode this Porschereveal a naught side to its attitude. Its playful and fun as we found out afterjust 15 minutes behind the wheel. The immediate power delivery from ignition isawesome despite its heft. Remember, this is a 4-door car with a similar footprintas the Cayenne. Its low slung attitude allows it to mask its size and we ‘abuse’it on the Subang Airport highway. It needs an open road to show its ability.When you meet heavy traffic it is best to switch to ‘Normal’ mode as there isno need to show aggression with fender to fender vehicles all around.
And at the end of the day, the Panamera isstill a comfortable luxury sports saloon with a good amount of legroom in therear. Even if you rarely spend time at the rear, the cockpit design is justpure Porsche. High-tech luxury with the kind of precise build quality onlyPorsche can deliver. It is a super sedan is for those who appreciate a sense ofbalance to everything in life. Comfort with sportiness. Power with efficiency.Modern with classic. The only supercar that can replace your daily driver andnot feel inadequate in any way at all.
Shouldyou buy or not?
The Mercedes E63 ‘S’ AMG will deliver a whole lot of entertainment on the road and track and it costs about RM300k lower. Then there is the exotic sounding Maserati. Just ‘mouthing’ the name Quattroporte sends a message of exclusivity to bystanders. It’s the Italian flair of selling a car with emotion where the Germans seem to be lacking a tad. Yes, this is the most expensive and probably the rarest but it appeals to a very small group of Malaysian buyers and it is also priced much lower at RM778,800.00.
There is really no rival here, just thesimple fact that this Porsche hybrid represents the father to the soon toarrive Taycan and it might be worth the wait.
We feel the decision to purchase comes morefrom emotion and branding rather than the actual need to be eco-friendly (forMalaysians buyers). But don’t take our word for it, visit the nearest PorscheCentre and find out more yourself with a test drive.
PorschePanamera Hybrid Sport Tourismo Specifications:
Engine: V6 twin-turbo
Transmission: 8-speed PDK
Power: 550hp @ 5,650 – 6,600 rpm
Torque: 680Nm @ 1,750 -5,500 rpm
0-100km/h: 3.2 seconds
Top Speed; 250km/h (restricted)
Selling Price: RM1,130,000