Rowan Horncastle03 April 2013

This is the new Porsche Panamera

The new plug-in super saloon has 410 bhp and can do 91 mpg

The Panamera range has been facelifted. Porsche has tightened up the front, rounded off the rear and killed off the V8 in favour of a more efficient twin-turbo V6. But it has also made a semi-electric version. A very exciting number-fest of a plug-in hybrid. 

It's called the S E-Hybrid and is capable of 0-60mph in 5.2sec and a top speed of 167mph. That's over half a second quicker than the old hybrid, but is also 56 per cent more efficient, being capable of 91 mpg while coughing out less than 100g/km of Co2.

See more pics of the new Porsche Panamera 

What is this sorcery? Electricity, actually. Power comes from a 316 bhp 3.0-litre V6 paired to a 94bhp electric motor and 9.4kWh battery pack. The latter has five times more capacity than the outgoing hybrid's and can be charged in less than four hours when you plug it into a normal three-pin socket.

Once fully charged, you can use this electricity to power you further than ever before. Porsche claim you can do 11 miles at up to 83mph on electric power. Which in real world terms means that you'll be able to travel from North Muskham Little Chef, up the A1 at motorway speeds, to Markham Moor North Little Chef for another Olympic breakfast without having to use a drop of petrol.

And Porsche states that ‘under particularly favourable conditions' you could even exceed 22 miles. We're translating ‘particularly favourable conditions' as a) the attachment of a sail and b) consistent wind conditions in the right direction on a downhill section of road. Joking aside, it's impressive.

See more pics of the new Porsche Panamera 

It's not all good news. The E-Hybrid uses an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic while the other models in the new facelifted line will use Porsche's seven-speed PDK. That means no more manual Panameras. Boo.

There is some solace if you've got generously proportioned legs, though. Porsche is now offering an optional 15cm longer wheelbase so you don't have to tie your limbs into a reef knot to get in. You'll also get adaptive air suspension as standard.

The new Panameras will have their world debut at the Shanghai Motor Show, 21 April. But if you really like the pictures in the gallery, it's available to order now for delivery in July.

 

 

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