The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is more fresh meat for the lower end of the Porsche Panamera range – which is a confusing enough place to negotiate as it is.
There’s the entry-level Panamera, the Panamera 4, the 4S and the 4S Diesel to choose from down here already: sub-£100k options all, powered by no fewer than three different engines and offering the choice of either one driven axle or two.
Into that mix now enters the four-wheel drive Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, adding V6 petrol-electric power to the existing choice of V6 petrol or V8 diesel engines – and that’s not counting the V8 petrol or V8 petrol-electric options on offer if you’re prepared to spend upwards of £100,000 on a car with that ever-alluring ‘turbo’ badge on the bootlid.
The hybrid slots into the range between the regular Panamera 4 and the pair of 4S models on price, being slightly slower-accelerating than both of them on paper – but, confusingly, also more powerful than both.
Its combustion engine is a detuned version of the twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 from the 4S, which produces 326bhp and 332lb ft of torque. Electrical motive force comes from a 134bhp, 295lb ft motor mounted upstream of the car’s eight-speed ‘PDK’ gearbox and four-wheel drive system. So the car is technically similar to ‘plug-in’ hybrids from BMW, Mercedes and Audi, which use electric and piston engines driving a common transmission – rather than those made by the likes of Mitsubishi and Volvo with their ‘electric rear axles’.
Like other Panameras, the car offers four doors, four seats and a large liftback-style boot, and all are combined with a curving roofline that Porsche hopes you’ll consider sufficiently ‘coupé-like’ to consider the car more elegant and desirable than the average three-box saloon. And if you don’t, the 4 E-Hybrid will also be available as a Sport Turismo shooting brake.