New Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid has great looks and green cred
The original Porsche Panamera had a somewhat rocky birth into this world.
No one could deny it.
Great performance, comfort and luxury, but it's left a lot of people cold.
If I could put it mildly.
Now there's a brand new generation of Panamara.
And I'm here in stunning South Africa to drive one in particular.
The Panamar 4E Hybrid.
Now for this new Panamera, Porsche hasn't just given it a nip and a tuck, a facelift and a little bit of an update, no they've thrown away the entire old car and started again from scratch.
This car's build on a whole new platform, the same platform that's going to be shared by all of the Panamera type.
And will in fact be shipped out to some other manufacturers for use, in particular we heard Bentley.
Now apparently they needed a whole new platform to be able to fit in all the different variance of the Panamera, but you have to think the E-Hybrid would have been the most challenging with the battery pack and the electric motor to squeeze in there somehow.
The engine isn't diminutive either, 2.9 liter V6.
Which, unlike the previous e-hybrid, is no longer super charged but fitted with a biturbo.
The end results of those two motors working together is 462 brake horsepower and over 500 foot-pounds of torque.
Zero to 60 is 4.4 seconds, which considering this car weighs about 2.1 tons, that's about 4,600 pounds.
That is damn impressive.
[SOUND] Now Porsche say for this car they've brought in an all new improved PDK gear box.
Think about that for a minute.
For a lot of people the PDK was the single best [INAUDIBLE] gear box available out there on the market and Porsche say they've now improved on it.
With the PDK having been so good in the first place it's hard to actually be able to tell just how much better this is but as a PDK it's amazing.
It was very clever electromechanically actuate the clutch that switches power from the internal combustion engines to the electric motor in back so seamlessly that you'd never notice it out on the road.
There are quite a few different hybrid driving modes to choose from.
The standard hybrid mode were the best compromise between the two engines is always picked to make sure you're getting the most efficient drive.
But there is also a hybrid mode designed to store the battery power where it is Keep it in reserve for when you really need it later on.
And a third that allows you specifically to focus on charging your battery.
In that one the engine works a little bit harder than it needs to for normal driving, so it's alway charging the battery in the background.
Although this car is a full plug in hybrid, you could charge it from absolutely empty to full in about five and a half hours from a standard wall outlet, and that could give you 50 kilometers of driving, which would satisfy most people's daily commute.
Now official fuel consumption figures for the U.S. are yet to be published, but the UK figures stands at 112 miles per gallon, which translates to 95 miles per gallon in the US.
That is stunning.
Also, CO2 emission are only 56 grams per kilometer, which is absolutely staggering.
Reported MPG is of course a best case scenario.
After all the driving we did, we saw nowhere near that.
Although my heavy right foot in the stop start nature of filming were almost certainly to blame for that.
Drive this thing sensibly and you'll see much better mileage than an internal combustion engine only car of this size and power.
I have been a Porsche Panamera fanboy since the first car came out.
Around the office has been a running joke for years how much I love the Panamera And that wasn't despite it's looks, I liked the way it looked.
But now with this redesign, they've really made it look part of the Porsche family, and Porsche tell me that that is exactly what they intended to do.
If fits in right there with the 911 line.
And really, if you're looking for practicality in a car, Panamera really, really looks like a 911 for a man with a big family.
For me though the Panamera really is a GT, a car designed to drive extremely long distances in supreme comfort, and this car delivers that in spate.
Not just for the driver, but all of the back seats are fully laying out in the same leather as the front, and an amazing rear entertainment system.
It comes with two detachable 10.1 inch tablets in the rear, which run a Porsche skinned version of Android.
It has all the apps you might want to put on an Android tablet.
It can also view the speedometer and the G-meter and control the climate control and view the map for the navigation.
It's far more integrated as an idea that this is a driver's car, even if you're sitting in the back seat.
This certainly would put that question, are we there yet, to bed.
The interior of the Panamera for me is where this car shines over its predecessor, even more than on the exterior.
The entertainment system in this car is now the most advanced in any Porsche available in the market today.
We saw in the 991.2 Porsche 911 a big step up with Porsche dumping their old PCM system and going for a new one that integrated Apple Car Play and stuff like that.
This one goes a step further by giving us this absolutely gorgeous 12 inch display right here in the dash.
The interface is beautifully rendered and responsive.
And, although I found the menu system a little bit difficult to navigate, with some duplication of options, it was a really, really nice experience of having it in the car.
This sensor area here as well, with theses new touch screen buttons, looks very, very contemporary.
One thing I'm really glad to see returning on this Generation of Panamera is the option for Burmester sound system.
Now if you're not familiar with Burmester, they make some of the top end [UNKNOWN] systems.
Few ones that are home maybe, set up from them.
You would probably have to put away a couple of hundred thousand Euros.
Considering that, putting a Burmester sound system in a Porsche Panamera is one of the cheapest ways of getting access to it.
Burmester also developed a stereo for the [UNKNOWN], but they would never Happy with it.
If you ask them what the best stereo system was they ever made it was for this car.
It's an amazing car stereo, the best I've ever heard in any car and it returns in this one.
Really it's that marriage between Performance and comfort and luxury that puts this in a different wheelhouse to almost anything else proportionate to it.
It's has the practicality of something like a Cayenne but without that huge body that prevents it from being really sporty.
And when you put your foot down, all that performance is right there.
Porsche has spent the last few years with cars like the 919 and the 918.
Developing a hybrid drive train system that's incredibly sophisticated for utmost performance.
But that learning is beginning to trickle down now into road cars like this.
And by seeing what Porsche is doing now, it can put your mind at ease.
There is some real performance [INAUDIBLE] driving fun to be had in these combinations of hybrid drive traits, where's it's not just about efficiency, but about cooperation, collaboration and synergy, to create more than the sum of their parts.
That new harmonious cooperation between the electric motor and the internal combustion motor translates into what is usually Usually an incredibly sharp throttle.
Although sometimes I find that going from about 30 miles an hour, the gearbox gets a little bit confused and fighting that engine management system somehow.
If you take control of the gearbox yourself, you can get the most out of it, though.
The car is Incredibly heavy, but never really feels out on the road.
The steering is weighted and precise and not at all numb.
Let's for argument's sake just see how this thing is off the line in sport plus mode.
[LAUGH] That's 60 just like that.
Now 4.4 seconds might not be the most ridiculously quick car you can get on the market, but my word that torque pushing a car this heavy, that quickly, feels phenomenal.
All of these hybrid power and tech line interiors starts at around $95,000.
But can go way north of that with options.
Which cost wise puts this on the same ballpark as the higher end Tesla model S. As a plug-in hybrid though the Panamara will appeal to those who have a desire to drive Somewhat environmentally conscientiously, but for whom the idea of going fully electric just doesn't work.
The E-Hybrid has more power then entry level Panamera's, but will fall short of the top of the line Panamera Turbo.
The hybrid drive trait also makes it slightly less dynamic to drive, even if that electric engine does make pulling away a lighter thrill.
If you have decided that you are in the market for one of the Panamera models And you'd have to be fully committed to the idea of hybrid driving to want to pick this over an alternative version.
The second generation Porsche Panamera has addressed a lot of the issues that people had with the first one, and added so much more on top.
This new exterior styling, plus great in-car tech, added to a couple of years' worth of great innovation in hybrid technology, make this an incredible package out on the road.
Now the E-Hybrid might not necessarily be my favorite Panamera.
But this just might be my favorite hybrid.