Porsche first unveiled the Panamera in 2009, dropping the cover on its four-door’d 911 lookalike at the 13th Auto Shanghai International Automobile Show in China. Drawing its name from the Carrera Panamericana open-road rally from the ‘50s, the Panamera was a clear break from the brand’s sports coupe history. However, like the Cayenne SUV that came before it, the Panamera quickly established itself as one of Porsche’s staple model lines, selling well across several markets, especially in the U.S. To help broaden the sedan’s appeal even further, Porsche introduced the Panamera plug-in hybrid in 2013, followed by a second-gen release in 2016. Now, Stuttgart has introduced another electrified variant called the Turbo S E-Hybrid, and rather than just providing green sensibilities, the hybrid bits make it faster. In fact, with a twin-turbo V-8 and electric motor under the hood, the Turbo S E-Hybrid is the most powerful model to wear a Porsche badge at the moment, save for the 918 Spyder. Pair all that go with four-door comfort, oodles of cabin luxury, and even a long-wheelbase variant, and this thing looks to create a whole new niche all for itself.
And why not? We’re long past the era when hybrid tech was reserved solely for Prius wannabes, and electrified powertrains are now commonplace in both sports cars and in racing. For example, Audi, another VW product, was the first to take top honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a hybrid with its R18 E-Tron diesel in 2012. Now Porsche has adopted similar technology for the Panamera, even pulling influences from the uber-fast 918 for inspiration.
Porsche says “the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is another compelling demonstration of the performance advantages of hybrid technology, “ and that it seeks to combine “performance, comfort and efficiency [in] a perfect three-way combination.”
Basically, Porsche is making its surprisingly fast Panamera even faster by adding a fat dose of electrification. And we like that, even if it still looks… well, like a Panamera.
The new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will premiere in the metal at the Geneva International Motor Show early this March, and will also be offered in a long-wheelbase Executive edition. The specs between the Euro-bound model and U.S.-bound model are identical, which leads us to ask – is this thing basically a four-door 918 Spyder?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.