First Drive: Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
An unusual track battle breaks out between two hybrid Porsches.
Putting the 918 out on the track with a Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo may not be as absurd as it first sounds. Porsche’s director of Panamera powertrain actually described the Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo as the “The 918 Spyder for the whole family.” Indeed, 918 Spyder For The Whole Family would actually be a much more manageable name for Porsche’s luxury hybrid sport wagon family rocket ship. For the sake of sanity, we’ll simply refer to it as the Panamera Hybrid Sport Turismo for now.
Motor Week’s Greg Carloss describes himself as a “Very lucky guy,” as he drives the 918 around the Portimao Circuit in Portugal. We doubt anyone can argue with that. Just getting to push the 918 around the track alone is something most of us can only dream of. The mid-mounted naturally-aspirated 4.6-liter V8 engine and two electric motors deliver a combined output of 887 horsepower and a current market price of over $1,500,000 marks it as one of the true hypercars.
Whether you consider it a family car or not, the Panamera Hybrid Sport Turismo is no under-performer either. It takes advantage of Porsche’s new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 and a single electric motor to make a combined 680 horsepower.
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It also comes with three extra seats and a hatchback. As far as a family plug-in hybrid goes, this isn’t a Prius competitor as Porsche genuinely doesn’t approach the hybrid system as a fuel saver. They see it purely as a performance system. Porsche claims the Panamera Hybrid Sport Turismo will pop 0- 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and top out at 192 mph. That makes it both quicker and faster than anything else in the Panamera line up right now. And at $188,000 it damn well better be.
We’ve seen comments claiming that Porsche is pricing itself out of the market for the Panamera Hybrid Sport Turismo. Which is hard to argue against. However, as Carloss points out, the technology is now trickling down from the highest point. As it does so, the hybrid sport technology will become less expensive. Then, at some point, prices are going to hit the average Porsche owners comfort zone.
We don’t expect to see many on the road, but we’re certainly glad there will be some. Using hybrid technology for performance is one of the most exciting things happening in the car industry right now. We can’t wait to see more cars like this out on the roads.