Porsche has confirmed details of its latest Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, providing the saloon line-up with a 700hp answer to the BMW M8 Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door. The latest model is capable of 196mph and zero-emission range of 31 miles, making it the most broadly capable version of the new Panamera lineup. Its maker is promising greater dynamic talent, too, as it seeks to justify the hefty £142,280 price tag.
As before, there's a lot to unpack. The car gets a 571hp twin-turbo V8 and a 136hp electric motor, fed by a new 17.9kWh battery pack, which is good enough for 62mph in 3.2 seconds - two-tenths better than its 680hp predecessor. Improved handling and superior ride comfort is said to result from new suspension bushes, revised damper tuning and different engine mounts to the previous range-topper.
Moreover, Porsche's engineers have developed new settings for the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) electric roll stabilisation system, which features torque vectoring and rear-axle steering. Carbon ceramic brakes are equipped as standard to keep it all in check (expect the new car to weigh more than two tonnes, as its predecessor did) although its maker will underline the fact that short journeys can be completed without troubling the engine at all.
For those needing a few more miles - four to be specific - of electric range, Porsche has also introduced the Panamera E-Hybrid. As before, it mates turbo V6 power with the same electric powertrain, albeit with a peak combined output of 462hp, lengthening the 0-62mph time to 4.4 seconds (also two-tenths better than its predecessor) and a 174mph top speed. The slightly more frugal E-Hybrid leads the way as far as efficiency is concerned, with a quoted 45g/km CO2 output. Its lower spec, and the inclusion of fewer options means it costs from £85,870.
Both petrol-electric cars are offered in the same trio of bodystyles (saloon, Sport Turismo, LW) as the conventional Panameras, providing buyers with more choice than most rivals offer. Although it'll likely be their own stablemates that steal some of the E-Hybrid's limelight; the outgoing versions being thoroughly outpointed by the lighter, cheaper - and typically quicker - models not saddled with a battery pack. If Porsche has successfully engineered its way round that problem, the plug-in hybrid Panamera might yet prove itself properly worthy of flagship status.
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