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Porsche Panamera Hybrid: Test Drive Hybrid

Date: 07 October 2011   |   Author:

Category: Luxury
P11D price: £86,476
Key rival: Jaguar XJ

It's a sign of exactly how far the desire for low-CO2 vehicles has spread that even Porsche is now offering a car at under 160g/km for the first time.

The hybrid Panamera luxury four-door model boasts emissions of 159g/km, 8g/km lower than on the Continent thanks to a change to low rolling-resistance tyres that sneaks the car under the 160g/km capital allowance point. Which hints that business drivers, in one form or another, are an important part of the new Panamera's strategy.

The Panamera hybrid uses the same powertrain as the off-roader Cayenne hybrid, combining a 333hp 3.0-litre engine with a 47hp electric motor capable of powering the car on its own for up to 1.25 miles and at up to 53mph.

Porsche is claiming that its new model offers "market-leading" hybrid performance of 2.4hp per g/km of CO2, and the efficiency means an official figure of 41.5mpg.

Porsche predicts around 10% of Panamera UK sales will be the new hybrid, compared with more than 50% for the new diesel that arrived at the same time, although the obvious company appeal of the 20% writing-down allowance that comes with vehicles below 161g/km means business owners in particular may find themselves heading towards the hybrid.

It is worth noting, however, an anomaly with the way hybrids perform in the official economy and efficiency tests. Despite a 172g/km emissions figure, the new diesel is actually 2mpg better off than the hybrid. It's also nearly £25,000 cheaper, thanks in part to the diesel being based on the base Panamera and the hybrid on the Panamera S.

The hybrid feels like an impressive grand tourer to drive. More nimble than its looks and dimensions would suggest, the car still has enough Porsche DNA to be a fun drive. The hybrid system's ability to run on electric power only requires a delicate right foot to avoid pressing hard enough for the engine to automatically kick in again, but it's certainly possible to do. And overall the car certainly feels quicker and more potent than its 159g/km emissions would suggest. It's just a shame it's such a huge amount of money, and that will certainly limit the appeal. Especially when the substantially cheaper diesel, while admittedly not efficient enough to get below 160g/km, is at least as impressive to drive and doesn't feel either much slower than the hybrid, or any less of a Porsche. While the hybrid impresses, Porsche's most efficient model ever is too expensive to appeal strongly when other models, both within the range and among rivals, are offering similar excellence for a lot less money.

Porsche Panamera S?Hybrid
P11D price£86,476
Model price range£59,746-£122,623
Fuel consumption 41.5mpg
CO2 (tax) 159g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month£303/£605
Service interval20,000mls
Insurancegroup 49 (est.)
Warranty3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space 445/1263 litres
Engine size/power2995cc/333hp
Top speed/0-60mph168mph/6.0secs
On sale September 2011
VerdictPorsche’s first
sub-160g/km impresses
but is very expensive


Porsche’s first sub-160g/km impresses but is very expensive