Amid the understandable fuss that has been made about the Porsche Taycan of late, it’s easy to forget it’s not the only four-door family car selling either side of the £100,000 mark that Porsche makes. And for many a Panamera would still be the more sensible choice.
This plug-in hybrid version, for instance, is as fast as I’d ever want such a car to be (even though it’s still not the quickest in the range), will still do all local journeys on electricity alone, but doesn’t require you to plan each journey with military precision to ensure you never find yourself trawling miserably around the countryside looking for someone to plug the bloody thing in.
The Panamera is not as dynamic as a Taycan, but as the closest thing Porsche has to a pure luxury car, it’s still an interesting take on the genre. Ultimately it falls a distance short of, say, the Mercedes S-class hybrid, which will go over double the distance on electric power, but if you do find yourself with the option of a scenic route ahead, you’d probably still take it in the Porsche, but not even think about it in the Benz.
Yet it still feels like something of an outlier in the range. There are the sports cars and SUVs which will endure into the electric future.
The Panamera? Is an electric Panamera not just a Taycan by another name? Five years from now I can’t see the need for both.
Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Sport
• Price £105,830
• Engine 2.9-litres, 6 cylinders, petrol, turbocharged with hybrid drive
• Power 553bhp
• Torque 553lb ft
• Weight 2240kg
• Power to weight 247bhp per tonne
• Transmission Eight-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
• 0-60mph 3.7sec
• Top speed 182mph
• Economy 117.7 mpg
• CO2 53g/km
• Verdict Porsche’s excellent outlier