Porsche meets Prius
The Panamera plug-in hybrid comes with a supercharged engine and a power cord
supercharged engine and an extension cord.
Unlike most hybrid cars on sale, Porsche’s Panamera sedan can be driven up to 36km on electric power alone before its supercharged V6 engine takes over. A regular Toyota Prius can barely travel 1km on electricity in ideal conditions before the petrol engine kicks in.
As clever as it is, Porsche admits its hybrid car is not intended to appeal to buyers looking to save money.
Although the Panamera’s a luxury car, this variant gets a government tax concession because it’s deemed a fuel miser. All new cars above $59,133 are subject to 33 per cent Luxury Car Tax on the amount above that threshold. But ‘‘ economy cars’’— using less than 7.0L/100km— have a higher tax threshold: the 33 per cent LCT doesn’t apply until $75,375.
The net saving of $3600 brings the price of the Porsche to $296,900, plus on-road costs. This is the same price as the previous model.
Two months ago Porsche Australia announced price cuts across the range except for the Panamera sedan. Porsche says it negotiated a price freeze rather than the price rise initially requested by Germany. Porsche Australia only sold 10 of the previous Panamera hybrids over the past two years.
The hybrid has one really ace trick up its sleeve— it can topup its battery on the move with enough energy to power it another 36 petrol-free km.
In addition to charging it from a regular power socket at your home or office the battery pack can be fully boosted with about 45 minutes of normal driving. It’s the work of absolute genius.
Having found a way to artificially load the engine to provide enough charge to the battery pack on the move,