More amber Panameras, please.
You know, stoked as I am to drive the 620-horsepower Porsche Panamera Turbo S that my pal Craig Cole aloof tested, for a circadian driver, it’s affectionate of overkill. I’ve consistently believed Porsche’s hardly added sedate Panameras are the absolute honeypots of the lineup, and that’s alone able by the all-around advantage of the new-for-2021 4S E-Hybrid.
Hybrid ability isn’t new to the Panamera range, of course. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid versions will backpack on for 2021, and yes, you can (and should) get them in Action Turismo wagon guise. Every electrified Panamera has 27% added array accommodation now, up from 14.1 kilowatt hours to 17.9, which should aftereffect in a bit added EV active range, admitting official EPA numbers aren’t accessible aloof yet.
For the 4S E-Hybrid, the fun starts with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, which on its own produces 443 application and 405 pound-feet of torque. The above array brings accession 134 hp and 295 lb-ft to the party, and through the abracadabra of you-can’t-just-add-the-numbers-together amalgam math, the 4S’ absolute achievement is a advantageous 552 hp and 553 lb-ft. That puts it accurately dab in the average amid the 4 E-Hybrid (457 hp) and Turbo S E-Hybrid (677 hp). In fact, with 552 hp, the 4S E-Hybrid is aloof as able as the approachable Panamera Turbo. Funny how it all aloof works out, huh?
Now that the names and numbers are out of the way, I charge to allocution about this Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. It’s the Controlling version, which is 5.9 inches best than a accepted Panamera. All that breadth is added amid the auto — specifically, amid the B and C pillars. This anon after-effects in a accomplished lot added legroom for rear-seat passengers, which get two individual, adjustable chairs with a animate amid ’em, aback that’s how adorned controlling types roll. Also, acclaim to Porsche, because this one’s corrective brown. Truffle Amber is a new blush for 2021 and it looks alarming with the E-Hybrid-specific Acid Green badges and anchor calipers.
What abroad is new for 2021? All Panameras appear accepted with the ahead alternative SportDesign advanced fascia, and these bluff curve absolutely assignment on Porsche’s big four-door. Ever-so-slightly redesigned taillights amount the amplitude of the aback and some new 20- and 21-inch caster choices are available. Inside, the Panamera is abundantly the same, with air-conditioned comfortable seats, a backlit centermost animate ascendancy panel, agenda displays central the barometer array and a 12.3-inch touchscreen active the easy-to-use Porsche Advice Management infotainment software. There aren’t absolutely any big tech updates to allege of, save for the accession of accepted lane-keeping abetment and traffic-sign recognition. Even so, Porsche continues to action a boat-load of active aids, including its accomplished InnoDrive function, which combines adaptive cruise ascendancy with lane-keeping and council abetment for easy-peasy artery driving.
Specific to the 4S E-Hybrid, Porsche says it fabricated a few baby tweaks to the council and braking systems for 2021. The above is tweaked to accommodate bigger acknowledgment and bigger levels of communication, but honestly, afterwards active the new car back-to-back with a 2020 Panamera, I can’t absolutely feel a difference. That’s not a demerit, by the way — Porsche’s council affability is some of the best. About-face afterwards about-face in the Panamera, I’m reminded that the bodies amenable this car’s council are the aforementioned ones who accomplish abiding sweethearts like the 718 Cayman and 911 Carrera don’t stink.
Go for the Controlling and you get about 6 added inches of rear legroom, additional these adorned seats.
As for the brakes, Porsche engineers acquaint me some software tweaks aftereffect in better, added accelerating pedal feel, abnormally during the alteration amid adorning and automated braking. Once again, the aberration isn’t badly noticeable, and admitting I can’t absolutely feel the handoff from cyberbanking to concrete braking, the pedal can still be a bit avaricious at slower speeds.
Like Porsche’s added E-Hybrids, the 4S starts up in the absolutely electric E-Power mode. Again, the 2021 Panamera’s EPA electric active ambit estimates aren’t finalized, but the 2020 4 E-Hybrid is rated at 14 miles, so the adapted adaptation with its beyond array should do a little better. It’s affectionate of air-conditioned to run quick errands with the agent shut off, but I anticipate best bodies will do bigger with the car’s Amalgam Auto mode, which defaults to EV active beneath ablaze burke applications and wakes up the V6 aback needed. Switch over to Action or Action Additional and the agent stays on all the time, and as an added bonus, sends added activity aback into the array so you can recharge it on the go. Consider it action to use the adventurous settings and accept added fun. Live a little, you guys.
Besides, in its action modes, this affair is a riot. With 552 hp and all that burning electric torque, the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Controlling can advance to 60 mph in 3.6 abnormal (the shorter-wheelbase car will do it in 3.5). That’s appealing absorbing because this alternative weighs 5,161 pounds, but its straight-line accouterment is alone the beginning. The accepted Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) adaptive dampers accumulate the Panamera controlled and composed at all times, abbreviation anatomy cycle in corners but never at the amount of a bland ride. Staggered Michelin Pilot Action 4S tires (275/35 front, 325/30 rear) blanket 21-inch auto and action huge amounts of grip. But again, PASM does a absurd job of bed-making out the alley beneath you while the eight-speed dual-clutch manual seamlessly and bound swaps gears. In the city, on the artery or forth a arduous abundance road, the Panamera is a peach.
It’s so, so good.
As it should be, because it’s hardly cheap. Official 2021 archetypal year appraisement abstracts isn’t out yet, but a 2020 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid starts at $105,150 and the top-shelf Turbo S E-Hybrid is way added expensive, at $189,050 (both prices accommodate $1,350 for destination). Because the 4S E-Hybrid splits the aberration amid the two, I’m activity to assumption it’ll appear in about amid $150,000 and $160,000 — you know, appropriate about area the $154,350 Panamera Turbo currently sits.
That agency the 4S E-Hybrid will be one of the added big-ticket Panamera offerings, but it’s additionally the best of all worlds. It’s air-conditioned quick, comfortable as heck, advantageous to drive and you can esplanade it in one of the hybrid-only spaces at Accomplished Foods. Yeah, the Turbo S has added power. But I can’t brainstorm anytime defective added than this.
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