Porsche brought out the original version of the Panamera petrol-electric hybrid in 2009, but it didn’t offer British buyers much in tax savings. The model we’re testing this week came out in 2014 as a plug-in, with a bigger electric motor and better batteries.
It can cover about 22 miles in electric-only mode, with an impressive top speed of 84mpg. That means it qualifies for a government-funded rebate of £5,000 on purchase price, escapes the London congestion charge and has a lowly tax band rate for business buyers.
But apart from the technological achievement and the financial savings – once you’ve paid £80K plus to buy it! – what’s it like to drive? Well, I can tell you that there’s something quite weird about being inside a silent Porsche as you drive through a town.
You have to be a little less enthusiastic with the right foot to stop the petrol engine kicking in but there is a seamless transition between the two power sources.
And what I like most is when the car is coasting because it feels like a giant sail is on the roof, blowing you along by wind power only. Cool.
I still can’t see many Porsche buyers using the plug-in option to charge their Panamera but it’s a nice touch anyway…