2018 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid | New Car Review
We realise this might be relative, but the 2018 Porsche Panamera looks boundlessly better than the car it replaces. While that is hardly a favourable benchmark, as the old car was a bit of a mutt in the looks department; the newcomer looks suitably handsome to our eyes. The bulbous rear is gone, replaced by a more station-wagon like derriere. The taillights look way cooler too, running across the length of the rear. It’s still a massively imposing thing, though.
The cabin is typical Porsche fare, impeccably put together with excellent materials as well as fit and finish. It is no longer a button-fest either, with most features now controlled by the central touchscreen as well as haptic-style buttons just ahead of the gear lever. It’s a fantastic cabin that would easily outshine several cars at its price point. Which is pretty high… but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Like every true Porsche, especially is it’s a top-end model like Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which we tested, it’s an incredible engineering achievement. The name is a mouthful, so let’s break it down a bit. Let’s take the first part of the ponderous moniker first: Panamera Turbo S. In essence, it’s a petrol-powered Panamera Turbo S with an electric motor. The Turbo S bit is absolutely mental. It’s got a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mated with an eight-speed PDK auto, developing 550 horsepower from the engine and a combined system total of 680 horsepower, and even in fossil fuel mode it is bonkers quick. The benchmark 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in 3.4 seconds, which is insanely rapid for a car of its girth. It still feels like a big, heavy old thing, largely because it is one. But my gosh, this thing is quick.
Now, on to the E-Hybrid bit. It is essentially a Panamera Turbo S with 918 hypercar performance philosophy. This is perhaps the only hybrid that actually keeps both sides of the promise. Drive for five kilometres in petrol-mode and it gives you about the same amount of electron juice to go all electric for a similar distance. It’s fantastic.
Plus, you can charge it for a driving range of about 30km in all-electric mode. However, there are plenty of clever additions that set it apart from any old hybrid. The throttle, for instance, deters pedal travel beyond a certain point to prevent you from invoking the electric motor inadvertently in electric mode. It’s perhaps the best hybrid I have driven so far. Purely, because the hybrid tech in here is not a gimmick. You can genuinely do 50/50 on petrol/electric power without driving like a granny. Like a true hybrid should.
It’s a million-dirham Porsche, so you every bit of tech you expect is clear and present. You get massaging seats, night vision camera, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and more.
Believe it or not there are 16 Panamera variants in the line-up starting with the base Panamera starting at AED413,400 including VAT and going up to AED891,600 (including VAT) for the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive (and you thought our tester had a ponderous name).
The 2018 Porsche Panamera is finally a good looking car and boy, in our tester’s Turbo S E-Hybrid guise does it go. Would we buy this over a Bentley Flying Spur? Every day of the week. It’s incredible.