The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid was the third high-end, high-performance electric car I drove in Florida last week. I drove the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid almost immediately after the Tesla Model S 70D, a day after the BMW i8, and two days before the Cadillac ELR. Being a Porsche, expectations were high. Being a PHEV, they weren’t that high. Unfortunately, I didn’t have quite the opportunity to play in the Panamera S E-Hybrid as I did in the i8, ELR, or P85D, but I did test the acceleration and handling a bit. It was worthy of the Porsche name, and made it a genuine contender with these other high-end, high-performance vehicles.
Like the i8, the pure electric acceleration is muted, which is disappointing compared to the Model S or ELR, but the kick of power it receives from the ICE seems smoother than in the i8. The i8 offered a sportier feel, while the Panamera S E-Hybrid offered a more elegant and distinguished feel… but yeah, not what a pure electric offers.
The seating in the Panamera S E-Hybrid was second to none, though. The super comfortable and luxurious seats were the nicest I think I’ve ever sat in. They don’t look like much in the images below, but they were amazing. And they were super plush in the back seat as well as the front seat. While the i8 could barely hold a briefcase (slight exaggeration) and the ELR’s back seats probably aren’t very comfortable for a kid, let alone a full-grown human, the back seats of the Panamera S E-Hybrid seemed worthy of a king. As if pure comfort wasn’t enough, the back seats could be automatically adjusted in various directions by the passenger, each passenger’s air conditioning could be individually controlled, and the back seat passengers could even control the seat of of the person in front of them. (Now that I think about it, that doesn’t seem safe in the case of the driver’s seat, and I didn’t check the controls of the passenger behind the driver, but this is certainly true of the passenger in the back-right spot.)
In other words, if you care much about the quality of the seating for people who will be sitting in the back, this Porsche PHEV is hard to pass up. Add in the smooth and powerful electric acceleration for the driver, and you can make plenty of people happy.
Externally, the Panamera S E-Hybrid is a Porsche, and I think it’s nearly impossible to not admire the design of this vehicle. It is sleek, smooth, and athletic. While the i8 has a rather outlandish and futuristic look (that I love), the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid has an elegance that I think more people would appreciate.
The places where it loses points to most others in this comparison:
- acceleration power
- sportiness (ironically)
- Official 0–60 mph acceleration = 5.2 seconds
- Base MSRP = $96,100
- Electric miles = 22
All images by Suncoast Porsche