With the ballistic high-performance 918 supercar Porsche changed the hybrid image forever. Now the family version is out. I met the E-Hybrid Turbo S, the new top model in the Panamera range, on a racetrack in Canada. Then he experienced the Sport Turismo, a sexy station wagon.
I am thundering around a blind corner following the ideal racing line of a Porsche 911 Turbo piloted by a Finnish racing driver named Yukka. I am in a luxury four-door limousine, a hybrid version. And true to Porsche’s mission statement this Panamera Turbo S is the fastest hybrid sedan available, which is why Porsche chose this particular racetrack on Vancouver Island dubbed ‘Little Nordschleife’ by Canadian car enthusiasts due to its numerous blind corners and hectic ups and downs.
The luxury racer with electric boost handles well, with great traction and stability, thanks to the battery weight in the back, four-wheel steering, torque-vectoring and active all-wheel drive. Porsche engineers described it as the family version of their hybrid super sportscar 918. The 918 Spyder had a naturally aspirated 4.6-l. V8, supported by two electric motors with a combined output of 661kW. 918 units of the hyper car were built between 2013 and 2015. One is standing in the pit lane but it’s looking only, and no touching, let alone driving the hyper car. Used ones are now around the 1.5 million Euro mark.
Racing with a green conscience is quite unusual in a sporty limousine. The first generation of the Panamera came in a hybrid version as well, but with the humpback gone the new model has more range (up to 50km of emission-free city driving) and a much better performance. It also generates power during braking. It is the next step to the pure electric Mission E sportscar, planned for 2020.
Porsche is no stranger to breaking taboos. Remember the outcry when they entered SUV territory and introduced the Cayenne? Now a new body type, the Panamera Sport Turismo, with its enormous sex-appeal, is reinterpreting station wagons. The silhouette of Porsche’s shooting brake is simply breathtaking. This lifestyle lorry is now one of the most elegant business cruisers around.
And just like the E-Hybrid it handles like a true Porsche, on a racetrack and on some of the most beautiful country roads around Vancouver. It has some useful creature comforts like the pre-cool that switches on the aircon via your smartphone before entering the car on a hot day.
The Turismo is the first car in its class with adaptive roof spoiler, increasing downforce. Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA) automatically raises to three positions, depending on the speed, generating an additional downforce of up to 50kgs on the rear axle. The large tailgate offers a low loading edge and obviously more space for your luggage.
So what’s next? Could there be another variant? Well, what about a Panamera GT, a sleek two-door coupé reminiscent of the luxurious grand tourer 928, which will celebrate its 40th birthday next year.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid & Turbo Sport Turismo
Engine4.0-l. V8 bi-turbo plus 100kW electric motor/4.0-l. V8bi-turbo, paired with 8-speed PDK box
Power500/404kW and 850/770Nm
PriceR2 931 000/R2 522 000