Although the Panamera boasts four doors, it features the sloping roofline of a coupe and a power liftgate in place of a conventional trunk lid. Unlike your typical luxury sedan, the interior features a full-length center console and individual rear seats. The rear-drive S E-Hybrid looks and behaves much like gasoline versions, but makes a radical turn when it comes to its powertrain.
Under the hood is a 3-liter V6 and 95-horsepower electric motor that together produce an impressive 416 horsepower. The plug-in technology allows the E-Hybrid to travel about 15 miles at up to 83 mph on electricity alone. After that, it operates on a mix of gas and electricity like any conventional hybrid, achieving 25 mpg in combined driving. A full recharge takes about 2.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet, or you can recharge on the go using the E-Charge driving mode, which taps the V6 to replenish the battery pack over the course of 20 miles of driving. Just keep in mind that fuel economy plummets to 18 mpg in E-Charge mode because the gasoline engine is doing all the work.
Comfort and convenience features are shared with rest of Panamera line, which means you get a leather interior with heated front seats, a navigation system, a sunroof, Bluetooth phone and audio, and an 11-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio. Outside are 18-inch wheels (19s and 20s available), auto-leveling xenon headlamps and LED accent lighting.
The available Premium package adds heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and 14-way front seats with memory. The Premium Plus package includes all that plus ventilated front seats, keyless access and ignition, blind spot monitoring and four-zone automatic climate control. The Sport Chrono package adds a Sport Plus driving mode that delivers tighter handling and snappier throttle response. You also get built-in digital and analog stopwatches (that's the "Chrono" part).
As expected in a Porsche, the list of individual options goes on forever. Highlights include adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, voice controls, a rear entertainment system, a refrigerated compartment with drinking glasses, enhanced interior appointments and an ultra-premium 16-speaker Burmester surround-sound system.
While standalone options tend to be expensive, the Premium Plus package is a very attractive deal for this class. You get a bundle of useful safety technology and an even more accommodating interior for a relatively modest $4,700.
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