What has 340kW, 700Nm, does 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, but could get you to work and back without the engine even turning over? The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.
It’s not as sexy, powerful or as desirable as its Turbo bigger sibling, but even with an as-tested price of $264,120 it’s an almost $120K cheaper way of getting into one of the nicest car interiors on sale today. Well insulated from tyre and wind noise, and with an amazing ride on its three-way air suspension, this is a very comfortable car.
It’s also surprisingly fast. Open the taps and the 4 E-Hybrid unleashes a meaty V6 soundtrack, the electric motors contributing to the oomph in max-attack Sport and Sport Plus modes with the ever-responsive eight-speed PDK.
On a twisty road, this is also an engaging and very polished handler with agility that somewhat defies its not inconsiderable size, also with strong traction thanks to its all-wheel drive system.
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If not in the mood for such things, the 4 E-Hybrid delivers up to 50km of plug-in electric range, taking 5.8 hours to fully charge, or 3.6 with an optional charger. Porsche has done a great job to ensure seamless switching between electric and petrol power under acceleration, although we were disappointed with a wooden and inconsistent brake pedal feel at stuck-in-traffic speeds.
That’s no deal breaker though, and the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is almost two cars in one: an eco-minded, ultra-comfortable commuter in its electric-only modes. And a luxurious, fast, fun and growly V6 grand tourer on weekends.
Of course, being more interested in the latter, we could justify the extra cost for the brilliant V8 Turbo.
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2018 PORSCHE PANAMERA 4 E HYBRID SPECS:
Engine: 2.9-litre v6, twin-turbo