The 2012 Panamera S Hybrid, which will hit dealerships in late 2011, is a gas/electric version of the company's runaway-hit Panamera — a four-seat, four-door hatchback the company calls a sedan. It uses the same hybrid drivetrain as the Cayenne S Hybrid SUV to propel the car to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. As of this writing, EPA mileage estimates weren't available. The most efficient gas-only model, the base Panamera with a V-6 and rear-wheel drive, earns 18/27 mpg city/highway and 21 mpg combined. In terms of features, the S Hybrid is more like the V-8-powered Panamera S.
With a manufacturer-suggested retail price of $95,000, the Panamera S Hybrid has only one direct hybrid competitor, the Lexus LS 600h, which is rather inefficient at 19/23 mpg. The Lexus GS 450h delivers 22/25 mpg for considerably less money.
Aside from some hybrid badges, the Panamera looks almost exactly like the non-hybrid versions of the controversially styled hatchback.
The S Hybrid's interior rivals that of the gas-only Panamera S, with partial leather upholstery. Typical of hybrids, this one includes a display that shows the status of the electric and gas motors and where the power is flowing. As in the other Panamera versions, the hybrid seats four. Standard features include a navigation system and a USB port for the stereo, just to name a few.
Under the Hood
The hybrid system teams a 333-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with a 47-hp electric motor and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack. They power the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Porsche says the car can drive on electric power alone up to 53 mph for almost a mile. Naturally, the engine stops completely when the car comes to a halt, as the non-hybrid versions do.
The S Hybrid includes the regular S trim level's air-spring and adaptive-shock-absorber suspension system and variable power-steering assist.
The Panamera S Hybrid has antilock disc brakes and an electronic stability system as standard equipment. Airbags include dual frontal and side curtains that cover the side windows along front and rear seats.