FOR THOSE who revel in the ritual of a Porsche engine firing up, will find the silence of the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo unsettling.
Despite the “Sport” in its name, it is a sign of the times that, in deference to the state of the planet, the need to fix things has had a significant impact on how our perceptions have to shift.
To be fair, once you get past the silent start, the rest of the experience is Porsche fun. That means gripping narratives about rubber-meets-the-road activity,
But it’s not just about raw power or even refined power. This Panamera hybrid is able to cruise on electric for over 50km on one charge (2.4 – 6 hours charging time depending on the equipment used), which makes it well suited for city run arounds.
But when you want to blow the next generation’s future for a while, switch from electric motor to V6 and the familiar roar and evident rumble will get the adrenaline flowing.
While the family resemblance is obvious when viewed head on, the Sport Turismo presents a longer proposition from the side. Given its long profile, the Sport Turismo comes with four pillars, loads of storage space, and seats for three in the back.
The cross between sports car and estate, that blending of performance and practicality, is never easy to accomplish, but is engineered effectively here.
The aluminium-steel hybrid construction brings the weight down considerably, without compromising on rigidity, and the use of an alphabet soup of features ensures stable, comfortable and reliable performance.
The hybrid is one of five versions of the Panamera Sport Turismo, and comes loaded with bells, whistles and sirens. You don’t realise it as most things work quietly and efficiently in the background, keeping you safe as you push for power and performance.
Between the electric motor and the 3L engine you get 700Nm of torque, duly despatched to propel you from 0-100kmh in 4.6 seconds. Despite that, it only sips 2.5L of fuel for every 100km.
The instant torque is a gush of speed that is thrilling, but it’s only when the engine kicks in that it becomes enthralling. The audio note puts the speed in perspective. Coupled with the crisp Bose sound system pumping out the right music, it makes for a delightful, sensory experience.
Inside, the sleek Porsche design continues through the model lines. In the Sport Turismo, there’s more space to play with, so there are wider expanses of glass and screens to touch.
In mimicking the mobile phone experience, the displays — touchscreen and the driver’s dashboard — offers a slew of customisable options. From widgets that let you personalise the look and feel you prefer, to a serious case of redundancy. Do you need three screens to show you the route map?
For those intent on making the most of the features, the onboard manual would be helpful. Though it didn’t help to identify where the switch to turn off the auto start/stop button was. Seems like there isn’t one, according to the distributor. And that can be a point of irritation to many.
PORSCHE PANAMERA 4 E-HYBRID SPORT TURISMO RATING
Engine: V6 biturbo petrol engine and electric motor
Max Power: 340kW (petrol 243kW@5,250-6,500rpm; electric 100kW)
Max Torque: 700Nm (petrol 450Nm@1,750-5,000rpm; electric 400Nm)
Transmission: 8-speed PDK
Energy Consumption: 15.9kWh/100km
0-100kmh: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 275kmh
Retail price: *$437,388
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.