You know, despite the fact the styling refresh only succeeds in making the Panamera half as ugly, and that this thing has way too many modifiers in its name, you know the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is going to go like mad and, somehow, get you pretty impressive mileage too. What it is, at the heart of it, is Porsche’s stab at making a high-performance sedan to compete against the Mercedes AMG E-Class, Audi S6, and BMW M5. Four doors, seating for four (five in a pinch), SUV-like space, and enough power and handling and power (in that order) to scorch lesser cars.
What’s Porsche going for here? Are they really hoping to carve out a piece of the Big German Sedan market for themselves, or just going after diehard Porsche owners who need something more than a 911 (I know, who could possibly need anything but?) but will only consider owning rolling stock from Zuffenhausen.
The new 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo packs, as one would expect, not just stratospheric performance numbers, but enough technology to put a refrigerator in orbit. Around Saturn.
The vehicle combines a 550 horsepower, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and a 136 horsepower electric motor for a total output of 680 horsepower and 626 lb-ft. of torque. This means, even though this thing is pretty porky, it’s also pretty fast. 60 mph comes up in 3.2 seconds, the quarter-mile is done in 11.6, and it tops out at 192 mph. Like other Panameras, there’s an eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the standard, active all-wheel drive system via Porsche Traction Management.
The technology put into the electric motor and the drive system/energy store is as impressive as you would expect coming from a bunch of German engineers. The electric motor is powered via a liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery, which is pretty nifty. The battery pack’s energy capacity is 14.1 kWh, and the whole lot will take 12 hours to fully charge via a common 120 V, 10 amp connection.
If you go with the optional 7.2 kW on-board charger instead of the standard 3.6 kW unit, charging time drops to less than 3 hours with a 240 V, 40 amp connection. And all of the battery’s charging needs can be controlled via something called Porsche Communication Management or via the Porsche Connect app.
In addition to all the upgrades found on the latest non-hybrid Panameras, Porsche Advanced Cockpit, Porsche InnoDrive, adaptive cruise control, and rear-axle steering are found of the hybrid version. However, a new roof spoiler is unique to the hybrid. The adaptive spoiler flips through three different angles, depending on the driving situation and selected vehicle settings, to generate additional downforce on the rear axle.
Other performance features include Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport which incorporates Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and Power Steering Plus. The Sport Chrono Package is also included.
Also, this top-of-the-line Panamera offers a slew of advantages over earlier models. The raised roofline of the Sport Turismo makes for easier entry and egress to the rear seats, along with better headroom. The luggage compartment benefits from the wide-opening tailgate and a lower loading height for better cargo accessibility. There is 15 cubic feet of storage space total and the backrests of the rear seats can be folded down together or individually. If you fold the rear seats flat, you get a total luggage space of 45.7 cubic feet.
A rather nifty addition is the auxiliary air conditioning unit that cools or heats the passenger compartment prior to driving, which must seem like a miracle to Panamera owners in Minnesota in February or Panamera owners in Arizona in, well, any given month of the year.
This high-tech performance does not come cheap. Porsche’s stated MSRP for the 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo comes to $3.9 billion dollars and . . . oh wait, that’s NASA’s budget for the Cassini-Huygens mission. Sorry. The 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is available for order now and should show up at dealers by next spring for the low, low price of $188,400.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Gallery