We drove a $211,000 Porsche Panamera to see if it's a hybrid supercar for the whole family. Here's the verdict.

Benjamin Zhang/Business InsiderOur Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo test car.
  • The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is a hybrid version of Porsche’s first ever production wagon.
  • Turbo S E-Hybrid is powered by a 550 horsepower, 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 along with a 136 horsepower hybrid drive unit to produce 680 horsepower.
  • The hybrid drive system is inspired by the million-dollar 918 hybrid hypercar.
  • According to Porsche, the hybrid V8 wagon can go from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 192 mph.
  • Once again, we were impressed by the Panamera’s power, luxury, technology, and versatility. However, it wasn’t as fast as we had expected and it’s very pricey.
  • The base Porsche Panamera sedan starts at $US86,3000 while our Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo wagon starts at $US188,400. Options and fees pushed the as-tested price up to $US210,940.

The Porsche Panamera is one of our favourites here at Business Insider. In fact, the Panamera sedan won our 2017 Business Insider Car of the Year award.

But Porsche is not one to rest on its laurels. This company is known to offer its cars in a multitude of flavours. Right now, you can select from more than two dozen variations of the 911 sports car.

So it’s not all that surprising when I tell you that there are 18 versions of the Panamera on sale in the US.

They range from the $US86,300 base Panamera sedan to the Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive sedan with a starting price of $US196,600. There is also a multitude of Sport Turismo wagon variants in the mix as well.

Read more: The legendary Toyota Supra sports car has returned to America after a 20-year absence to take on Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes.

And power output ranges from a stout 330 horsepower in the base Panamera to a supercar-shaming 680 ponies in the Turbo S E-Hybrid.

Recently, we got a chance to experience “peak Panamera” for ourselves when Porsche dropped off a 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo wagon at Business Insider’s suburban New Jersey road test center.

We ended up spending a week with the Sapphire Blue Metallic Panamera.

Our 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo test car starts at $US188,400. Options and fees pushed the as-tested price up to $US210,940.

Here’s a closer look at the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.


The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo was a new addition to Porsche lineup for 2018.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It’s a higher performance hybrid variant of the Panamera Sport Turismo wagon we tested in mid-2018.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Click here to read our review of the Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.


The Sport Turismo wagon is based on the second generation Panamera sedan that we first checked out in late 2016.

Hollis Johnson

Up front, the Sport Turismo is aesthetically identical to the Panamera sedan.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The LED headlights are gorgeous.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The side profile gives it away. The wagon’s roofline is considerably less raked than the sedan.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

See the difference?

Hollis Johnson

However, its looks remain undeniably Porsche.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The only telltale features that give away the fact that this Porsche is packing some extra juice are the acid green brake calipers and…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… These relatively discreet e-hybrid badges located around the car.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Otherwise, it just looks like a run-of-the-mill Porsche wagon. If that’s actually a thing.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Inside, the Panamera’s Panamera Sport Turismo’s cabin carries over from the sedan. We found the cabin to be modern and stylish without being over the top.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Our test car came with rich black leather upholstery and brushed aluminium accents.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In front of the driver is a sculpted Porsche steering wheel.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It’s equipped with a drive mode switch that comes with Porsche’s optional Sport Chrono Package.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In front of the driver is Porsche’s signature center analogue tachometer flanked by a pair of seven-inch digital displays.

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The configurable TFT displays that can be styled to mimic analogue gauges.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In addition, the Panamera is loaded with a host of driver’s assistance including adaptive cruise control, traction-management systems, adjustable driving modes, lane-change assist, and…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

…Even night vision.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The center stack is dominated by a massive 12-inch touchscreen infotainment display.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The updated Porsche Communication Management infotainment system is one of the best systems on the right now. It’s packed with content such as…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… Satellite radio,…

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… Navigation, and …

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… Apple CarPlay integration.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The climate control is particularly fun to play around with.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

You can pre-cool or pre-heat the climate control.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Control the manner in which the air is dispersed within the cabin.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The showpiece of the climate control system is the touchscreen controlled vents.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

You can even adjust the driving modes.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

PCM will allow you to control the car’s ride height, …

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… Its driver’s assistance features, and…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… The massaging seats.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Another major piece of the Panamera interior is the touch panel center console.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It replaces the button-heavy console found on the first generation Panamera.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The panel is home to a variety of controls ranging from audio and climate controls to seat heaters and suspension settings.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Our test car came with a two-seat rear cabin. The Panamera Sport Turismo can be configured to seat three in the back.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The second boasts sufficient room for two adults. However, it’s not as roomy as I would have liked in a 16.5-foot-long car.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Especially when it comes to legroom.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

On the plus side, the second-row seats proved to be supportive and comfortable.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

And there’s also a bevy of tech toys for the folks in the backseat to play around with.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Along with a pair of cup holders.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Open the rear hatch and…

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… You’ll find 15 cubic feet of cargo space, down from 18.3 cubic feet in the non-hybrid Sport Turismo. The culprit? The giant bag of sitting in the middle of the cargo bay that…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… The car’s charger plugs. Fold down the rear seats and cargo room expands to 45 cubic feet.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Under the hood is a 550 horsepower, 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 driving all four wheels through a lightning-fast eight-speed PDK twin-clutch transmission.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

There’s also a 14.1 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack and a 136 horsepower electric motor.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It’s a hybrid drive system inspired by Porsche’s million-dollar 918 hypercar.

Porsche

The Panamera can also be had with a 330-horsepower, 3.0-litre, turbocharged V6, a 440-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 2.9-litre V6, and the 4.0-litre V8 sans hybrid system. There’s also a 462 horsepower hybrid drive system available.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

According to Porsche, the Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo can 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 192 mph. The non-hybrid Turbo V8 Sport Turismo can make the sprint is 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 188 mph.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

So, what’s it like to drive?

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is a monster of a machine and its 680 horsepower will humble most supercars. After all, it out-muscles the Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan, McLaren 570s, Audi R8 V10 Plus, Nissan GT-R, and Acura/Honda NSX.

In fact, it’s got 100 more horsepower than the legendary Porsche 911 Turbo S.

The 550 horsepower twin-turbo V8 is a jewel. It delivers effortless power all-day everyday. There’s no lag to speak off which means its copious output is always at your beck and call.

In most cases, electric motors equal more immediate acceleration. There are few sensations behind the wheel as memorable as the jolt of instant electric motor torque. Those who have floored it in a Tesla know immediately what I’m talking about.

You don’t really get that here.

I’m not saying the Turbo S E-Hybrid isn’t fast. It’s insanely fast. It just doesn’t feel any faster than the non-hybrid Turbo Panamera.

That’s because the 130 horsepower gain from the hybrid drive system is effectively wiped out by the 600 pounds in added weight.

Plus, the beefy V8 is the main event as far as the Porsche powertrain is concerned. If breakneck all-electric acceleration is what you want, go buy a Tesla Model S P100D for $US150,000 and save yourself a ton of cash.


The verdict.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo we tested was groundbreaking in that it delivered Porsche sports car performance in a package with room for the whole family and all of their stuff.

The Turbo S E-Hybrid builds upon the Turbo with the addition of a hybrid drive system and a stunning 680 ponies in the barn.

But, we weren’t quite blown away by the hybrid wagon. It’s certainly faster than the non-hybrid version, but only incrementally and not to the extent we were expecting.

On paper, Porsche says the Turbo S E-Hybrid is 0.2 seconds faster to 60 mph than the last non-hybrid Turbo Sport Turismo we tested. It’s also 0.2 seconds faster in the quarter mile. But in everyday driving, that difference in performance isn’t just negligible, it’s virtually imperceptible.

Now, performing on par with a world-beating $US175,000 super wagon shouldn’t be a disappointment, but it is here.

The Hybrid costs a whopping $US36,000 more and I don’t feel like you really get your money’s worth.

So, save the $US36,000 and buy Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo instead. Your pocketbook will thank you.

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