The Porsche Panamera has stirred up quite a lot of commotion in and outside of the Porsche fan base. The first four door car that rolled off the factory line, the Panamera might have been even more talked about than the Cayenne SUV. Back in February of this year, Porsche announced an even more radical Panamera and now it is finally available to configure on their website: the S Hybrid.
Porsche themselves say that the Panamera S Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient Porsche of all time. The gas/electric drivetrain is pulled right from the Cayenne S Hybrid and makes a combined 380 horsepower from its supercharged 3.0 liter V6 aided by an electric motor. Like most hybrids, the Panamera can operate on both the gas engine and electric motor separately or together. An 8 speed automatic transfers all this to the rear wheels to hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. That is of course using both the engine and electric motor; use the electric motor only and a driver can travel one mile before the charge is up. The motor and battery are recharged mostly via braking.
Even though EPA estimates have not been officially released as of yet, one can expect to see anywhere between 25-28 mpg. Impressive as that may be, it still feels a little silly as to why this car exists. The Panamera S Hybrid seems to fall into the same category as low-fat cake. An indulgence is an indulgence and to spend around $100k on a purposefully subdued Porsche when the standard car is cheaper and not much less efficient is simply confusing. A RWD Panamera S will get an average of 24 mpg, be lighter and cost a lot less as well. The standard S is faster and with emissions standards becoming more strict, there really is no such thing as a “dirty” car anymore. In the end, the Panamera S Hybrid exists because of this simple truth: trends are very powerful.