I like squid / My high-brid / One sixty-seven / Green car heaven
– The Notorious NK, from “Hypnotizing Myself With Awful Rhymes”
I don’t care how many times it shows up on Entourage, or how seeing one on the street always makes me do a double-take. I want to love it, but I always wind up thinking, “Man, the Porsche Panamera is one weird-looking automobile.”
I’m a big fan of the Porsche 911’s looks, and if you look at it the right way Panamera is really just a 911 that’s been elongated like a limo to accommodate four doors and decent-sized rear seats. So logic would dictate that the car might have a decent chance at beauty given how flat-out gorgeous its design lineage is. Nope. Porsche’s first four-door Gran Turismo hauls butt from zero to uglytown in three blinks flat.
That said, the Panamera is a seriously deadly vehicle. There’s no mistaking that. So the official unveiling of a hybrid Panamera at last week’s Geneva Auto Show is big news for sure. If Biggie had driven a Panamera S, he could have boasted about his hybrid running laps around your Prius or Volt, and that top speed of 167 mph is no joke according to Porsche. Though likely he would have done so with much, much more style than I did at the beginning of this post.
It’s true, though: The Panamera S Hybrid hits one-sixty and then some, and gets to 60 from a standstill in 5.7 seconds; compare that to the gas-driven S’ 0-60 in 5.2 and top speed of 175 mph and you’re really not losing much in terms of bragging rights with the greener GT. The company claims “best case consumption” of roughly 34.5 mpg in US terms (calculated from a stated 41.54 mpg imp) on a Panamera S Hybrid fitted with special low-resistance all-season tires developed with Michelin. That’s up from a claimed 24 mpg on the highway with a standard Panamera S. Of course we don’t know how much greener the green Panamera really is in the real world since it’s not shipping just yet.
If press releases are to be believed, however, this is one bad mamma jamma with at least somewhat greener leaves. Porsche paired a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 to a 47hp electric motor in the Cayenne S Hybrid, and they used the same engine setup in the Panamera S Hybrid. They claim the drivetrain is good for 380 hp of total combined power at 5,500 rpm, and can propel the car up to two kilometers in electric-only mode, with a top electric driving speed of 53 mph.
Perhaps more important to the eco-warrior with six bills to drop on a new car is this bit of PR regarding the Hyrbid’s emissions:
That equates to CO2 emissions of just 159 g/km. That doesn’t just make the Panamera S Hybrid the most economical Porsche of all time, it also puts it streets ahead of all the full hybrid production vehicles in its class, the luxury class, when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
With a base price of $95,000 USD, this hybrid ain’t for everybody. Then again, how many of us really need a gas/electric vehicle that can break 160 on the open road? I’ll admit that writing this post has softened me a bit when it comes to Panamera’s strange shape, but I’m still thinking it’s ugly. What about you? The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid: Ugly but deadly or just plain deadly?