The Panamera’s liftback form supplies type and performance.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The all-electric Porsche Taycan is a sizzling ticket proper now, however do not sleep on the plug-in hybrid Panamera. Porsche’s vary of electrified Panameras affords a style of EV life with the reassurance and comfort of a gas-fed powertrain, and for 2021, a wonderful new variant joins the lineup: the 4S E-Hybrid.

Like

Unimaginable on-road mannersSumptuous and purposeful interiorPotent plug-in powertrain

Do not Like

Inconsistent brake feelLack of normal driver-assistance techStill no Android Auto (for now)

The 4S E-Hybrid slides in above the usual Panamera 4 Hybrid however nicely beneath the completely bonkers Turbo S E-Hybrid. Just like the others, you may get the 4S E-Hybrid in long-wheelbase Government and wagony goodness Sport Turismo physique types, or simply persist with the usual liftback examined right here.

In truth, the common ol’ Panamera seems higher than ever, due to the now-standard SportDesign entrance fascia and redesigned taillights. All kinds of 20- and 21-inch wheel designs can be found, and there are a complete bunch of colours, together with favorites like Papaya, Copper Ruby, Aventurine Inexperienced or the Gentian Blue seen right here. In fact, you may select to order off the menu and get your personal particular shade combo (for a hefty value), simply ensure that it would not conflict with the E-Hybrid-specific Acid Inexperienced badge accents and brake calipers.

Contained in the Panamera, not a lot adjustments for 2021. This Porsche is cozy as heck, with supportive seats, nice match and end and logically organized controls. The backlit heart console will choose up each smudge your fingers can lay down, and for those who take a look at it in direct daylight, you may see the unlit icons for the choices you have been too low cost to purchase. Talking of which, whereas lane-keeping help and visitors signal recognition are customary fare for 2021, Porsche’s different goodies — together with InnoDrive, which mixes adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help — stay non-compulsory.

The Panamera makes use of Porsche’s barely older infotainment software program, housed on a 12.3-inch touchscreen within the sprint. This method is lots sturdy, with high-res graphics, brilliant colours and crisp fonts, and it rapidly responds to swipes and faucets. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay comes customary throughout the Panamera vary, however this automotive will want an infotainment replace earlier than Android Auto is on the market. Quickly, mates. Quickly.

The older PCM infotainment system remains to be brilliant and colourful.

Porsche

All electrified Panameras have 27% extra battery capability for 2021, which suggests the 17.9-kilowatt-hour battery can present longer electrical driving vary, even when the EPA solely says the 4S E-Hybrid will go 19 miles on a full cost. Fortunately, you may recharge the battery whereas driving — finest carried out on the freeway in Sport and Sport Plus modes — and all informed, it is best to get about 50 mpge for those who plug in repeatedly.

By itself, the 4S E-Hybrid’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 makes 443 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, which is greater than sufficient oomph for a automotive the Panamera’s measurement. Issue within the battery’s electrical muscle and the 4S E-Hybrid’s complete system output is 552 hp and 553 lb-ft, which is sufficient to get this large boy to 60 mph in simply 3.5 seconds. For reference, that is 0.3 seconds faster than the electrical Taycan 4S with the efficiency battery.

Acid Inexperienced brakes are a lifeless giveaway that this factor’s a hybrid.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

All Panamera fashions are completely satisfied to be tossed round, and the direct steering and balanced chassis make the 4S E-Hybrid a pleasure to drive on winding roads. Even higher, the Panamera is a completely serene freeway cruiser, particularly so if you depart it in Hybrid Auto mode and let the engine shut off whereas coasting. Commonplace adaptive dampers assist hold the journey easy and supple, and there is barely any noise or chatter from the Michelin summer season tires wrapping my tester’s 20-inch wheels. Efficiency choices like rear axle steering and torque-vectoring for the all-wheel-drive system enhance the Panamera’s dealing with chops, and you may even add Porsche’s ceramic composite brakes, for those who really feel like plunking down an additional $9,860.

The brakes, sadly, are the 4S E-Hybrid’s solely dynamic weak point. Regardless of Porsche engineers telling me they made software program tweaks to ease the transition between mechanical and regenerative braking, the on-road expertise stays a bit wonky. There’s inconsistent pedal really feel and the brakes might be grabby at low speeds. My buddy Andrew Krok observed this when he examined the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, too.

Even so, that is a small blemish on what’s an in any other case flawless package deal. The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid does all the things nicely — it is fast, cozy, enjoyable to drive, and due to its liftback design and folding rear seats, it is fairly darn purposeful, as nicely. It isn’t probably the most spectacular plug-in Panamera — that honor goes to the 690-hp Turbo S E-Hybrid — however the 4S is all of the automotive you may ever want day after day. Plus, the Turbo S E-Hybrid prices greater than $190,000. Yikes.

Who would not love Gentian Blue?

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Not that the 4S E-Hybrid is what I would name low cost, with a beginning value of $114,650 together with $1,350 for vacation spot. Add niceties like rear-axle steering, sport exhaust, heated steering wheel, 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger (for faster electrical energy consumption), Bose encompass sound system and some different goodies, and also you get to the $135,510 as-tested value of the automotive pictured right here.

The Panamera is the one automotive in its class to supply a plug-in powertrain and the 4S E-Hybrid is a mighty high quality possibility for the EV-curious. However contemplating the electrical Taycan is now outselling the Panamera by an element of 4 to at least one, this electrified half-step won’t be the very best of each worlds it as soon as was.

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