Goodwood Test: Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo 2022 Review
It currently seems as though hybrid electric vehicles are not just a technological compromise but a dead end in terms of evolutionary engineering. Although there has been much talk about ‘range extender’ hybrids with tiny, ultra-efficient internal combustion engines (ICE) acting as generators, very few have come to market.
Instead, the opposite seems to have happened with batteries being used to lower emissions in a certain narrow set of conditions which happily coincide with those under which cars are tested by regulatory bodies. Yes, they increase power, often significantly, but the batteries and motor add weight, negating much of that advantage. So, does the hybrid offer a solution to the wrong problem? We thought we would try one of the very best – which has pure ICE and pure electric stablemates – to find out.
- Very fast and refined long-distance tourer
- Genuinely versatile fancy family car
- Decent electric-only range and performance
We don't like
- Overshadowed by the Taycan
- Extra weight blunts the performance
- The non-hybrid version is quicker
We might as well state this up front, we think the Panamera in Sport Turismo guise is a fine-looking thing, significantly more so in fact than its hatchback brethren. Yes, we are suckers for a fast estate here at Goodwood Road & Racing and the Panamera might be the best looking of the lot, although some would plump for the Audi RS6 Avant.
The addition of the load lugging space transforms the Panamera from, dare we say, a slightly frumpy saloon into something altogether longer and sleeker. The family resemblance is very much there in the front end albeit with the width of a Cayenne rather than a 911 and some touches all its own such as the sculpted bonnet and pronounced side creases. Very long and very wide, the Panamera hides its heft surprisingly well.
Performance and Handling
Faintly absurd power and torque figures from purported family cars have become par for the course today, but we usually associate them with EVs. The Turbo S E-Hybrid however produces 700PS (515kW) from its combination of twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 and e-motor which produce 571PS and 136PS respectively (we don’t understand the maths either). That grand total makes the Panamera more powerful than a McLaren Artura or Lamborghini Huracan Performante. In terms of torque the car is turning out an 870Nm (641lb ft) which presumably rivals some trucks. Officially the Turbo S E-Hybrid will hit 62mph in 3.2 seconds, actually a tenth of a second slower than the non-hybrid Turbo S. The latter car produces a perfectly healthy 630PS on its own and, crucially, weighs around a third of a tonne less than its hybrid sibling.
The result is a car that, thanks to a combination of weight and a long travel, slightly lazy accelerator pedal, never feels 700PS quick. What it does feel like is utterly unstoppable and wonderfully smooth. Swiftly picking up the pace is possible at all speeds and the Panamera remains unruffled whatever demands are placed upon it. This is helped by quite frankly brilliant body control and a surprisingly refined ride thanks to all-round air suspension. The steering is well weighted and accurate and while the car itself is too big to comfortably throw around, it inspires confidence at all speeds and doubtless in conditions much worse than the dry July days we enjoyed it on. It is definitely the epitome of the cliched continent crosser.
Porsche has definitely managed to imbue the Panamera with a sports car style seating position with the ability to adjust steering wheel and seat for a low down, bent arms position and retain a view down the long bonnet which still manages to provide hints of 911. The steering wheel is a nicely sized three-spoke job matching the 911s, including the strangely pleasing cut outs in the spokes. It frames a centrally mounted and very large rev counter which dominates the instrument panel. In the middle is the obligatory touchscreen which thankfully has a number of shortcut buttons below it in the centre console. The design of this is slightly less successful, its shallow angle meaning that switches can’t always be read at a single glance.
All passengers are equally well catered for in the Panamera with well-shaped and supportive seats, decent legroom and good headroom as the Sport Turismo avoids the standard Panamera’s sloping roofline. Our car was equipped with the panoramic roof which lifted an interior that already felt airy thanks to pale leather. As expected from a Porsche – and for the price – everything was exquisitely finished. The boot of the Sport Turismo is genuinely useful, long and regular in shape although not as wide as some would wish while the battery and motor rob it of some depth.
Technology and Features
The hybrid powertrain is obviously the key bit of technology integrated into the Panamera and it works, as it should, entirely unobtrusively. The car can be set to forcibly recharge it on a long journey and to ring fence the charge, say for the end of a long trip into a city centre. The Panamera always starts up in electric mode (which some neighbours may thank you for as the sports exhaust isn’t entirely unobtrusive) and driven gently will remain that way for up to 30-ish miles and to beyond the motorway speed limit.
The central touchscreen is responsive and lag free while the shortcut buttons are very welcome. The driver’s instrument panel is a mixture of old school – the rev counter – and new wave, flanked as it is by two displays. These can be configured to display a variety of information, including track driving data. Shame that the navigation software Porsche has picked has to include a copyright credit at all times as it is otherwise lovely to look at.
The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo has a breadth of abilities to match the length of its name. Comfortable, quiet and with a truly remarkable ride, it will do the business for the school run, daily commute and trips to the South of France. It isn’t quite a 911 for the family however as its weight counts against it in the sporting agility and feedback stakes. There are two big question marks against it however which are the non-hybrid Panamera Turbo S and the Taycan Turbo S. Then again, no one buying any of the three is going to be disappointed.
This score is an average based on aggregated reviews from trusted and verified sources.
|Engine||4.0-litre twin turbo petrol V8, electric motor|
|Power||700PS (515kW) @ 5,750rpm|
|Torque||870Nm (641lb ft) @ 2,100rpm|
|Transmission||Eight-speed dual clutch, all-wheel-drive|
Reviewed by Henry Biggs