2014 Porsche S E-Hybrid. Watts not to love?

Chances are, if you can afford the $99,975 asking price for Porsche’s latest eco offering, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, you won’t be too concerned about saving a few bucks at the gas station.

   But if you’re keen on doing your bit to help the environment, and you like the thought of piloting a more socially-responsible, red-hot sports sedan, this latest Porsche could be for you.

2014 Porsche S E-Hybrid - Panamera S E-Hybrid - hybrid sportscar

   And who wouldn’t want to drive a Porsche with Kermit-the-Frog, psychedelic lime green brake calipers?

   Perhaps the coolest feature of this new Panamera is the fact that it can cruise on a full charge of ions for close to 20 miles. And at speeds up to  

83 mph.

   For most of us, that means Monday-to-Friday commutes – either to the office or mall – can be done of zero emission, electric-only power.

   When you get home, or to the office, just plug it into the socket – preferably the 240-volt one you installed – and you’ll get a full re-charge in just two and a half hours.

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hyrbid - hybrid European sportscar - autmotive review - Howard Walker

   So what happens when you hit 20 miles and run out of juice? Nothing. The supercharged 3.0-liter 333-horsepower Audi-based V6 gas motor seamlessly kicks in you’re good to keep going.

   Of course, with the batteries nicely charged, the V6 Pamamera will perform just like a V8 Panamera, the 95-horse electric motor juiced by a big 9.4kWh lithium-ion battery working with the V6 to give a total 416 horses.

   Pedal to the metal and Al Gore be damned, the Porsche will whizz from standstill in just 5.2 seconds and not quit till the speedo needle is showing 167 mph. And driving the E-Hybrid like a regular Panamera, you should see 26mpg in the city and an impressive 33 to the gallon on the highway.

Porsche - Panamera S E-Hybrid - lime green brake calipers

   I just spent a morning driving this new eco-Porsche and really came away impressed. There’s something delightful about cruising around town in near total silence, with just the distant hum of tires to give the impression of speed.

   Off the line in electric mode, this hybrid Panamera is no slouch, squeezing you back into the seats with none of those soaring engine revs. Talk about a conversation piece with new passengers. And what young kid in the back seat isn’t going to adore this rolling science project?

   And this being a Porsche, it does tend to handle itself pretty well. With nicely-precise electro-hydraulic steering and meaty 245/50-18 front and 275/45-18 rear rubberware to grip the asphalt, the Panamera is a fun drive.

Porsche - 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid - electric motor plugin

   As for letting the neighbors know you’re driving a green machine, visual cues include those lime green brake calipers, plus a new front bumper design with re-shaped air ducts, aero-style side sills beneath the doors and unique alloy wheels.

   If you seem to remember there was a previous Panamera hybrid, you’re right. But the old Panamera S Hybrid was pretty disappointing, with its meager 1.2-mile electric-only range from it old-school nickel-metal hydride batteries.

   Of course this new S E-Hybrid won’t be for everyone. Great fuel economy isn’t too high oo the list of qualities most buyers are looking for in a Porsche.

   But this is a splendid way of doing your bit for the environment and still driving a Porsche.

Porsche 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid - automotive review - fuel economy and performance

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