What is it?
It’s a Porsche sports car. Not the sort of vehicle that is high on the company car options, but this four-door hybrid can possibly make the numbers stand-up against luxury high-speed models from other premium brands.
The second generation of Porsche’s luxury saloon does strike a balance between comfort, practicality and, of course, sportiness.
Probably not as practical as Porsche’s SUVs, the Taycan or Cayenne, but there are three Panamera hybrids from which to choose starting with the entry-level 4 E-Hybrid, mid-range 4S E-Hybrid and the top-of-the-line Turbo S E-Hybrid. The E-Hybrid produces 456hp from a 2.9-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine and electric motor, giving a 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 174mph .
More important, in terms of a company vehicle it has official CO2 emissions from 45g/km and fuel economy ranging anything up to 141mpg – an interesting proposition when it comes to BiK rating. The more powerful versions drop a little in terms of fuel economy but emissions are still quoted at around 69g/km.
What you will find pricy is insurance and servicing, but the Panamera hybrid comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and three years of Europe-wide Porsche Assistance breakdown cover.
What do we think?
It’s fast, but then you would expect that from a Porsche although on today’s roads there’s nowhere you cam you use the car to its full potential unless you are overtaking – or on a track day. It all feels very well engineered, again, as you would expect from the brand.
The hybrid system works well and you can manually switch to electric-only, engine only or to allow the engine to charge the battery, however, we thought it works best in hybrid mode, leaving the car to make up its own mind.
While those fuel economy figures look great on paper, they have been achieved under strict test conditions so you will be unlikely to get close to them. With a soft right foot and using the battery to its full potential you can get reasonable numbers. We saw around 33mpg as an average on a long distance run over a mix of roads and conditions.
Don’t expect much of a sporty growl from the engine but it is effortless when called on for overtaking, there’s plenty of grip from the chassis while the standard eight-speed PDK dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive is pretty slick.
Despite being a pretty heavy four-door saloon, the Panamera handles as well as you would expect from Porsche, it holds the road well, has good body control and feels nimble enough on the windy lanes. On the motorway it’s smooth and effortless. Thanks to the supportive seating you don’t feel the need to unwind your body at the end of a long trip.
Like the exterior, the interior of the Panamera is well put together and it’s comfortable enough for four adults, although not as spacious as some luxury saloons. Standard equipment is adequate although you will have to pay out for many of the options that are available.
In the driver’s seat, you sit low and snugly among the controls and wide centre console while materials and finish are of very high quality. A large, widescreen touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard mirrors that found on the Porsche SUVs and all the in-car systems, which might look daunting to start with, are easy enough to use.
As with all Porsches, the options list is extensive and expensive and you can upgrade all sorts of things such as wheels, trim colours, seat adjustments, upgraded climate control and audio system which can be upgraded to Bose or Burmester surround-sound.
The Panamera comes with a 3.6kW on-board charger as standard and a selection of charging cables. Charging capacity can be increased to 7.2kW as a cost option.
PORSCHE PANAMERA E-HYBRID
- Price: from £83,750
- Engine: 2.9-litre V6 Turbo
- Max power: 456hp
- Top speed: 174mph
- 0-62moh – 4.4 secs
- Fuel consumption (WLTP): 97-141mpg
- CO2: 45-66g/km
- Electric range: 31-35 miles
- Company car tax 20%/40%: £1,842 / £3,684