Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
Porsche uses a lot of
words to introduce its first plug-in hybrid wagon: Panamera 4
E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. The method to the word madness is such: The
Panamera is the full-size 2+2 sedan, but the wagon gets a fifth
seat; 4 is all-wheel drive; E-Hybrid is plug-in hybrid with a modest
if not meager 16-mile all-electric range; Sport Turismo is Porsche
Introduced a year
after the second-generation Panamera, the Sport Turismo wagon has
several functional advantages over the sedan. Rear headroom is
better, it has a larger and lower hatch opening for easier cargo
loading and it looks sharper, more proportional than the jelly bean
butt of the sedan.
Price is where it
gets confusing, because Porsche seemingly wants to have as many
Panamera variants (18) as there are 911 variants (24): Starting at
$104,000, it has more cargo volume than the E-Hybrid sedan
($99,600), but less cargo volume than the Panamera 4 gasoline sedan
($89,600). The plug-in wagon comes better equipped and with a much
better boost in power than the gas wagon, and it’s only $7,800
more instead of the $10,000 upcharge from the gas sedan to the
plug-in sedan. By that math, it would seem Porsche wants you to buy
the Sport Turismo.why get the wagon instead of the sedan?
it’s not a crossover but has the crossover functionality at the
rear. And the steeper hatch with the adaptive roof spoiler, along
with the short overhangs and 20-inch wheels ($2,180), make it look
like it’s ready to pounce.
So why get the
plug-in instead of the gas wagon?
The electrified wagon
pounces on the gas version, using a 14.1 kWh lithium ion battery and
462-horsepower 2.9-liter twin turbo V-6 — not a flat 6 – to hit
60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 170 mph. A similarly
equipped gas wagon hits 60 in five seconds and tops out at 160 mph.
It doubles the equivalent fuel efficiency at 46 mpge. Power without
And there are so many
modes to suit so many moods!
Accessing the drive
modes comes from the wide and clear 12.3-inch touch-screen display.
Fortunately Porsche streamlined all the buttons that were in the
console into a double horizontal line at the base of the stack.
Press the hybrid or the car button, for instance, and the screen
will present the options. As your hand approaches the screen, a
vertical side menu will appear for deeper dives in that particular
function. It keeps the screen uncluttered but takes time to learn.
Best to play with it in the driveway.
The default mode is
E-Power, or all-electric mode for up to an EPA-estimated 16 miles of
range. The display can show up to 26 miles of range, which is an
estimate based on driving history and conditions. It’s like the
estimate for how many miles are left in the gas tank, explained
Porsche spokesman Luke Vandezande. All-electric mode is smooth and
silent around town, with the kind of grace and sophistication
you’d expect for such civilized driving.
We had about 5 miles
on and off the highway on either end for our usual commute, so as
soon as we approached the on-ramp, we hit the E-Hold button to
conserve battery power at its current level. We overrode that to
Sport mode for the on-ramp, and my goodness, all that 516 pound-feet
of torque generated by the twin-turbo V-6 rockets the wagon to
triple digits before we could check the speedometer or check the
stupid smirk on our face.
It is important to
use the modes as intended, however. If, for instance, you hammer the
throttle while in E-Power mode, hoping for some of that linear
torque delivery that slingshots electric cars forward, you’ll be
disappointed. There is a pause in power as the system shifts from
electric motor to gas engine. Unlike the Tesla Model S, the electric
power is “not designed to be a performance mode,” Vandezande
If you want
performance, hit the Sport button. It’s excellent. Otherwise the
system gracefully dances between gas and electric, and the driver
can pick and choose the dance or let it do its own thing.
The handling is
supreme, as is the Porsche way. It is not a crossover. The cargo
area is long but shallow at the rear. The feel of the steering wheel
with the sport chrono package is sublime, too.
There were many
times, with passengers and without, when I heard myself muttering,
The power seats
($1,780) were not as sweet, tending to the stiff and thin side, even
with 14-way adjustments. The advanced technology is also a lot to
learn, but owners will master it in due time.
There are twin 7-inch
displays on either side of the tachometer to show adaptive cruise
setting on one side and brilliant map display on the other, for
instance. Then the large main screen shows whatever you want, and
can also be made into a split screen. We used the main screen mostly
for toggling between audio and drive modes, but it also can project
a much larger map and nav directions.
Sport Turismo is an
excellent antidote to crossover fatigue, and it gives Porsche fans a
boosted powertrain with an efficient around-town option. For pure
Panamera performance, there are costlier options, but the plug-in
wagon provides an option balancing performance, efficiency and
sophistication. There are dozens of electrics and plug-in hybrids
coming to market in the next few years, but for now there is only
one luxury plug-in hybrid wagon.
2018 PORSCHE PANAMERA
4 E-HYBRID SPORT TURISMO AT A GLANCE
Vehicle type: Luxury
Base price: $104,000
As tested: $119,340
(excluding $1,050 delivery)
Mpg: 46 mpge or 22
combined gas only
Range: 16 miles
2.9-liter twin turbo V-6 with 14 kWh battery
Eight-speed PDK automatic