2021 Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid review: Plug-in with power and poise

The Panamera’s liftback form offers kind and perform.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The all-electric Porsche Taycan is a scorching ticket proper now, however do not sleep on the plug-in hybrid Panamera. Porsche’s vary of electrified Panameras gives a style of EV life with the reassurance and comfort of a gas-fed powertrain, and for 2021, a superb new variant joins the lineup: the 4S E-Hybrid.


  • Incredible on-road manners
  • Sumptuous and useful inside
  • Potent plug-in powertrain

Don’t Like

  • Inconsistent brake really feel
  • Lack of normal driver-assistance tech
  • Still no Android Auto (for now)

The 4S E-Hybrid slides in above the usual Panamera 4 Hybrid however properly under the completely bonkers Turbo S E-Hybrid. Like the others, you may get the 4S E-Hybrid in long-wheelbase Executive and wagony goodness Sport Turismo physique types, or simply stick with the usual liftback examined right here.

In reality, the common ol’ Panamera seems higher than ever, because of the now-standard SportDesign entrance fascia and redesigned taillights. All types of 20- and 21-inch wheel designs can be found, and there are an entire bunch of colours, together with favorites like Papaya, Copper Ruby, Aventurine Green or the Gentian Blue seen right here. Of course, you’ll be able to select to order off the menu and get your individual particular shade combo (for a hefty worth), simply ensure it would not conflict with the E-Hybrid-specific Acid Green badge accents and brake calipers.

Inside the Panamera, not a lot modifications for 2021. This Porsche is cozy as heck, with supportive seats, nice match and end and logically organized controls. The backlit heart console will decide up each smudge your fingers can lay down, and when you have a look at it in direct daylight, you may see the unlit icons for the choices you had been too low-cost to buy. Speaking of which, whereas lane-keeping help and visitors signal recognition are customary fare for 2021, Porsche’s different goodies — together with InnoDrive, which mixes adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help — stay optionally available.

The Panamera makes use of Porsche’s barely older infotainment software program, housed on a 12.3-inch touchscreen within the sprint. This system is a lot sturdy, with high-res graphics, vibrant colours and crisp fonts, and it shortly responds to swipes and faucets. Wireless Apple CarPlay comes customary throughout the Panamera vary, however this automobile will want an infotainment update earlier than Android Auto is accessible. Soon, associates. Soon.

The older PCM infotainment system continues to be vibrant and colourful.


All electrified Panameras have 27% extra battery capability for 2021, which suggests the 17.9-kilowatt-hour battery can present longer electrical driving vary, even when the EPA solely says the 4S E-Hybrid will go 19 miles on a full cost. Thankfully, you’ll be able to recharge the battery whereas driving — greatest carried out on the freeway in Sport and Sport Plus modes — and all instructed, you need to get about 50 mpge when you plug in often.

On its personal, the 4S E-Hybrid’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 makes 443 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, which is greater than sufficient oomph for a automobile the Panamera’s measurement. Factor within the battery’s electrical muscle and the 4S E-Hybrid’s complete system output is 552 hp and 553 lb-ft, which is sufficient to get this huge boy to 60 mph in simply 3.5 seconds. For reference, that is 0.3 seconds faster than the electrical Taycan 4S with the efficiency battery.

Acid Green brakes are a lifeless giveaway that this factor’s a hybrid.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

All Panamera fashions are completely satisfied to be tossed round, and the direct steering and balanced chassis make the 4S E-Hybrid a pleasure to drive on winding roads. Even higher, the Panamera is a fully serene freeway cruiser, particularly so if you depart it in Hybrid Auto mode and let the engine shut off whereas coasting. Standard adaptive dampers assist maintain the journey clean and supple, and there’s barely any noise or chatter from the Michelin summer time tires wrapping my tester’s 20-inch wheels. Performance choices like rear axle steering and torque-vectoring for the all-wheel-drive system enhance the Panamera’s dealing with chops, and you’ll be able to even add Porsche’s ceramic composite brakes, when you really feel like plunking down an additional $9,860.

The brakes, sadly, are the 4S E-Hybrid’s solely dynamic weak spot. Despite Porsche engineers telling me they made software program tweaks to ease the transition between mechanical and regenerative braking, the on-road expertise stays a bit wonky. There’s inconsistent pedal really feel and the brakes may be grabby at low speeds. My buddy Andrew Krok seen this when he examined the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, too.

Even so, that is a small blemish on what’s an in any other case flawless bundle. The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid does all the pieces properly — it is fast, cozy, enjoyable to drive, and because of its liftback design and folding rear seats, it is fairly darn useful, as properly. It’s not essentially the most spectacular plug-in Panamera — that honor goes to the 690-hp Turbo S E-Hybrid — however the 4S is all of the automobile you may ever want everyday. Plus, the Turbo S E-Hybrid prices greater than $190,000. Yikes.

Who would not love Gentian Blue?

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Not that the 4S E-Hybrid is what I’d name low-cost, with a beginning worth of $114,650 together with $1,350 for vacation spot. Add niceties like rear-axle steering, sport exhaust, heated steering wheel, 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger (for faster electrical energy consumption), Bose encompass sound system and just a few different goodies, and you get to the $135,510 as-tested worth of the automobile pictured right here.

The Panamera is the one automobile in its class to supply a plug-in powertrain and the 4S E-Hybrid is a mighty high quality choice for the EV-curious. But contemplating the electrical Taycan is now outselling the Panamera by an element of 4 to 1, this electrified half-step won’t be the very best of each worlds it as soon as was.

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