It feels like there’s a new Porsche weekly at the moment. This week’s is the new plug-in hybrid Panamera, or the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid to give it its full title.
Differences over the old hybrid extend beyond the better-resolved styling of Panamera mk2. This one’s four-wheel drive, for instance, where its predecessor was RWD. There’s more power, too; its combination of electric motor and 2.9-liter gasoline V6 produce 456hp and 699Nm.
Those are enough to yield a 4.6-second 0-100kph time—faster than a Ford Focus RS—and a 278kph top speed. That makes it the slowest Panamera currently on sale, but then it’s the only one capable of driving 48km on electric power alone.
Porsche is claiming 56g/km CO2 emissions and 48km/L fuel economy, but expected those to be massaged heavily by the plug-in hybrid test cycle, and real world figures to be a little way off.
And Porsche is also keen to stress the electric motor adds performance, as much as it aids efficiency. The input of the electric motor boosts the top speed, for instance, as well as providing a boost on top of the engine’s twin turbochargers during acceleration.
Like the rest of the Panamera range, it uses Porsche’s twin-clutch PDK gearbox, the first time a hybrid has done so. Unlike its fellow Porsche sedans, it comes with an array of driving modes on top of the usual ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ options.
They’re all different ways of running the gas-electric drivetrain, allowing you to prioritize charging the battery’s power, holding it for later, or using it all immediately. As always, you’ll likely be best just sticking it in its Auto mode, and letting the car’s numerous computers juggle the power sources most efficiently.
The battery itself typically charges in around six hours, but this can be cut with higher speed chargers. The whole process can be controlled and monitored via your smartphone or smartwatch.
Despite its extra power and tech—and its considerably more droolworthy interior—this Panamera hybrid is actually cheaper than the car it replaces. That currently makes it the mk2 Panamera’s entry point, and a full £12,000 (P762,000) cheaper than the Panamera 4S Diesel, the model it’s most likely to be compared against.
Which would you have? Or should a Porsche always come with good old-fashioned gas as its only power source?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.