Petrol-electric Panamera

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Porsche’s fat pig Panamera has surfaced as a petrol-electric hybrid, designed to woo the rich and famous who would like to be seen as pristine green, rather than profligates.  It is more expensive than the other versions of the pregnant pig, so being green does become the province of the rich.

While the Panamera hybrid is the ‘cleanest’ Porsche, the most fuel-efficient Porsche goes to the Panamera Diesel, which sets a new economy benchmark of 6.5 L/100 km, or 6.3 L/100 km with the ‘green’ low rolling resistance Michelin tyres.

Hybrid Porsche pig Hybrid Porsche pig

The hybrid Panamera does get to 100 km/h 0.8 seconds faster than the diesel version (6.0 vs 6.8 seconds) and has a 28 km/h higher top speed (270 vs 242 km/h), making it the world’s fastest production hybrid.  However, where can you use this performance?  And how much money does the diesel Panamera cost to get consumption figures down to 6.3 L/100 km?  In Australia the diesel costs A$ 194,900 – you’ll never get the car to pay for itself in your lifetime.  But if you really do want the hybrid, it costs another A$ 100,000 on top.

A closer comparison is with the V8-powered rear-drive Panamera S, which is still cheaper than the hybrid as well as 15 kW more powerful (294 kW), up to sixth-tenths quicker to 100 km/h (5.4 seconds) and 13 km/h faster top speed (283km/h).

However, the 4.8-liter V8 gulps petrol at 12.5 L/100 km and emits 134 g/km more CO2, discharging 293 g/km.  And does anyone really care?  If you can afford to have that much money sitting in your garage, fuel consumption figures mean nothing.  And you can say ditto for CO2.

I more than get the feeling that many manufacturers make some cars, just because they “can’.  The Bugatti Veyron is a fine example.  Now you can add the hybrid Panamera to that list of pointless cars.

I am reminded of the prophetic words of Professor Max Born, the Nobel Prize winner, who said that space travel was a triumph of the intellect, but a tragic failure of reason, and added that intellect distinguishes between the possible and the impossible, whereas reason distinguishes between the sensible and senseless.  The Panamera hybrid is a fine example of his observations.