What is it?
The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, to give this sleek four-door estate its full title, is the all-inclusive adventure holiday of the Porsche range.
It’s difficult to conceive, from the specs at least, how it could possibly achieve, or its driver request, anything more. It’s as fast as all but the looniest 911s, pretty much as practical as the SUVs and just as luxurious as any other Panamera.
The Turbo S E-Hybrid packs more of everything than has been seen in a Porsche before, and as such boasts some frightening numbers: 671bhp is just 20bhp short of the new GT2 RS, its 627lb ft crushes that mental 911 and 94mpg is unheard of in something this fast with a combustion engine.
Oh, yes, and there’s the small matter of the £140,000 starting price for the car you see here, though that’s a point to return to…
What is it like?
Eerily, unsettlingly – and yet rather predictably – brilliant, in summary.
It just does everything. You want long-legged executive express? The Panamera has you covered, with supreme ride comfort on its three-chamber air suspension, impeccable refinement and a gorgeous interior.
Got a need for speed? So has the Porsche, with 0-124mph (a nice round 200km/h) taking less than 12sec; 2325kg the Panamera may be, but the canyon of power and torque on offer makes light work of it.
Want a sporting estate? Fine, no problem, as the E-Hybrid boasts an arsenal of dynamic technology to make an aircraft carrier look like the Cutty Sark. It features active anti-roll bars to keep the body flat and level, PTV Plus torque vectoring, PTM traction control, standard ceramic brakes (the caliper colour can be changed, fear not) and, on the test car, optional rear-wheel steer as well.
Combine all that with huge – 275-section front, 325-section rear – tyres as well as all-wheel drive and the Panamera’s purchase on a road is phenomenal, composure unerring and grip boundless. It may not be the last word in touchy-feely involvement but you could level the same criticism at an Audi RS6 – in that car, you merely admire its abilities; here, you’re staggered by them.
But what about when you need to be responsible? The Sport Turismo ticks that box too, with an E-Mode that delivers up to 31 miles of electric range. Its electric motor provides 134bhp and 295lb ft, enough to get the Panamera to 87mph without involving the twin-turbo V8. The battery is regenerated while driving, or can be charged in six hours from a standard domestic supply.
It’s fantastically simple to drive as en electric vehicle too; sounds obvious, but very often throttle pedals on cars like this can act like switches and the engine is reignited unintentionally. Here it’s as linear, progressive and readable as any Porsche accelerator, and same goes for the brake.
To integrate such a vast array of technology into such a user-friendly package is some feat from Porsche. It really can go from EV commuter to family holdall to supercar worrier in the flick of a switch.
The hybrid system can be tailored to your needs as well, with Hybrid Auto delivering the most efficient drive possible and E-Hold conserving a level of charge for when it might be required. Sport and Sport Plus combine the two power sources for the most performance possible.
That this comes in addition to all that makes the standard Panamera so complete – a fabulous interior, stunning quality and, in the case of the Sport Turismo especially, suave good looks – means the Turbo S E-Hybrid is an extremely accomplished machine.
Should I buy one?
Perhaps, although don’t forget that other deeply impressive fast estate cars are available for a lot less money. A Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate, for example, may eventually lose out in the autobahn drag but remains devilishly fast and fantastic to drive; the aforementioned RS6 remains hugely charismatic and tens of thousands of pounds cheaper.
In-house competition is strong in the form of the regular Panamera Turbo too. It may lack the hybrid kudos, though it remains excellent; it’s ‘just’ £117,247 as well, and £23,000 pays for an awful lot of fuel too. And company car tax.
So while the Turbo S E-Hybrid represents a superb technical achievement, its true relevance is difficult to see. The overwhelming majority after a fast Panamera will surely find enough to love in a regular Turbo, while it’s hard to imagine many finding the six-cylinder Hybrid’s credentials lacking.
For those who do, however, and for those who must always have the very best on offer, this particular Panamera delivers emphatically on that very narrow brief.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
Where Malaga, Spain On sale Now Price £140,868 Engine 3996cc, V8, twin-turbocharged, petrol plus electric motor Power 671bhp at 6000-6250rpm Torque 627lb ft at 1400-5500rpm Gearbox 8-spd PDK Kerb weight 2325kg Top speed 192mph 0-62mph 3.4sec Fuel economy 94.2mpg CO2 rating 69g/km Rivals Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate, Audi RS6 Avant