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back to article Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

Porsche has been messing about with hybrids for a few years now. You could even go back as far as 1943 with the Ferdinand Elefant tank destroyer that had a hybrid electric drive. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: no more nickel-metal hydride batteries here The company’s more recent efforts, the first …

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FAIL

Hmmm

Is it not too much to ask such a big luxury car to make a better fist of the electric drive train both from a power and capacity point of view? They are both a bit on the token side.

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Re: Hmmm

With a hybrid, there is a complex efficiency trade-off between the power and charge capacity of the electric components, and the cost of dragging them around with you when the vehicle is running on its internal combustion engine. The designer takes a (hopefully well-informed) view of the likely spectrum of journey distances and road types that the average owner will require, and then optimises the electrical system for overall vehicle lifetime efficiency. (Note: if you are very far from that average owner profile, a hybrid may not be the right vehicle for you).

I'd guess that the electrical system is aimed at use in stop-start urban traffic, and for shorter commutes. Internal combustion engines are at their worst in stop-start conditions. Lighter weight trumps blistering e-acceleration (needs heavier motors) or long electrical range (heavier batteries). Those requirements are satisfied by the other engine. You have the option to engage it even in city traffic, if that's your (energy-wasting) style.

You can always buy an all-electric Tesla ... but you have to be sure about being able to recharge it before its batteries run empty, and even if there's a charging station on route, recharging it is less quick than refuelling. It'll be a fair while before an all-electric car is any good in rural parts (where the locals will tell you that the electricity suppy is less than totally reliable, and many of them own a petrol generator, just in case. Thought -- a multi-kilowatt inverter accessory for a hybrid car might open up the rural market? )

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Re: Hmmm

My point was that something like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a far better electrical system for half the price and to my mind is far closer to the hybrid ideal - i.e. enough for a couple of cross-town commutes purely on electrics.

I expect someone like Porsche to aspire higher.

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Re: Hmmm

But the overlander wont go like stink if you floor it. This is a decent grand tourer with a "trundle in city traffic" electric motor. Cruise on the motorway on dead dinosaurs then switch to electric for the last bit of city commute. Switch back to dead dinosaurs on the way home to charge up.

This is the car concept that would work for my particular driving pattern and i'd be happy to use this sort of hybrid. Just not in a prius or wallet busting Porsche.

I seem to remember Renault having a petrol/diesel FWD with electric RWD prototype, that would be a good idea too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

R&D is costly and Porsche don't do a huge volume of sales, so it takes long to break even.

They've more likely gone with something reliable and compatible with the sports car ideal?

Or it took so long to develop that it's old tech?

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MY EYES!!

Christ that Panamera is ugly.

I'd rather have the Elephant Destroyer.

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Re: MY EYES!!

would be better in heavy traffic and combatting tailgating as well :D

I think its called defensive driving :)

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Re: MY EYES!!

The Panamera is much nicer in real life than it is in those photos, with one exception, those damned LIME coloured brake calipers are horrendous on such a car...

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Re: MY EYES!!

They look worse in real. Like an Hippo in a pink tutu.

Granted though, they drive rather well.

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Re: MY EYES!!

Christ that Panamera is ugly.

Not exactly ugly. But it does make me imagine that a Porsche 911 once indulged in some anabolic steroid abuse, and then gave up on both the steroids and the working out in its middle age.

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Re: MY EYES!!

Some would say using a howitzer against a poor pachyderm amounts to overkill

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Re: MY EYES!!

I disagree, but then when I see one, I think '911 on hydrazine' whether its true or not.

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Re: MY EYES!!

In Amerika, the Panamera is considered bad-assed, especially in black w/black wheels and Turbo S form.

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Pint

Re: MY EYES!!

The Porsche Panamera looks better in white, a la Top Gear.

In white, and twenty-six miles away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MY EYES!!

In Amerika, the Panamera is considered bad-assed, especially in black w/black wheels and Turbo S form.

No.

It's still BUTT UGLY, even in Real Life, even here in America. An inelegant experiment in trying to make an upper middle-aged plutocrat feel younger, with a failed attempt to evoke the spirit of a 911 (a type of car he would really prefer to have) if only he didn't have the ball-and-chain and 2 brats to bring along, as well as (trying) to impress his peers by (attempting) to demonstrate that "Yes, I still have working baby makers!"

Then again, the new Bentley is butt ugly IMHO as well. The ghost of Chris Bangle now haunts every single high end automobile manufacturer on the damn planet, all trying to out-ugly - I mean, 'create more distinctive products' - than one another.

As the author duly notes, Jaguar is one of the few companies that still has an eye for form, rather than shock appeal - Pininfarina and Sir Lyons are rolling over in their graves as the look at the current status of ugly in the field of modern, stupidly overprices automobiles.

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£90k seems like an awful lot - I'd be interested in a quick straw poll of commentards to see what percentage of that sum people have paid for their most expensive car.

I'd be around 1% but that was many years ago and I really am not much of a driver.

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30%for me i was young as the RX8 was beautiful

th efull set of tyres was 1% which is why she is gone

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Five years ago I became lighter to the tune of 24% and it wasn't even anything remotely exotic. Beware heading into a showroom and thinking "oooh shiny... I can afford this!"

Now rolling in 3.3% despite it being a significantly better car. Faster, bigger, smoother, sexier.

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DJO
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11 year old SLK 320 for 5% - Great car if you only need 2 seats and don't do a lot of miles, mpg is pretty dire but car is super comfy.

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18% for me.

My dentist has got a Panamera, which makes me think I am in the wrong business.

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22%.

We're definitely in the wrong business. My NHS dentist sends his son to Eton and his daughter to Wycombe Abbey - that will buy you a Panamera every 15 months.

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"My dentist has got a Panamera, which makes me think I am in the wrong business."

I know a dentist couple who only work six months a year and then go sailing for the rest of the time.

Looking down in the mouth? I don't think so etc.

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Meh

To be fair, if I'd spent close on 7 years training, I'd expect a decent salary.

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Likewise ...

53 plate Titanium Grey RX-8 6-speed with leather / sat-nav and other bits.

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quote: "To be fair, if I'd spent close on 7 years training, I'd expect a decent salary."

The ongoing training required to stay abreast of hardware and software changes over time, means I've been "training" for this job for over 2 decades and I'm still learning now. How much should I be asking for? ;)

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25% for my current 2.5 Ford SMax. Unless you are private with a good practice dentists don't earn that much. There have been a few adverts up here in Cumbria for about 40k.

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(Shamelessly stolen from Jack Dee)

Dentists are failed doctors. They dropped out of med school and kept the page on teeth.

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"To be fair, if I'd spent close on 7 years training, I'd expect a decent salary."

Glad to hear you'll be supporting a doubling of academic salaries then. Eight years training here, and six years experience, and I could just afford to send a child to Eton, if I forwent eating and accommodation. And I'm comparatively well paid.

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"To be fair, if I'd spent close on 7 years training, I'd expect a decent salary."

Don't do a PhD in CS

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Anonymous Coward

2.7% - 40 year old Land Rover :)

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Er messing with hybrids for how long?

"Porsche has been messing about with hybrids for a few years now. You could even go back as far as 1943 with the Ferdinand Elefant tank destroyer that had a hybrid electric drive."....

Or you could go right back to the 1901 Lohner-Porsche

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohner-Porsche

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Re: Er messing with hybrids for how long?

Well spotted.

Note to self, musty stop obsessing over exotic German armoured vehicles of WW2.

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Pint

Re: Er messing with hybrids for how long?

You don't have to do that. Some of them were brilliant.

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fnj
FAIL

Bunk

Calling the Ferdinand Elefant a "hybrid" is just ludicrously ignorant. It was no more a hybrid than ordinary diesel-electric locomotives are, or the turbo-electric aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga were.

The Elefant had two gasoline engines driving electric generators wired to electric motors which drove the track sprockets.

In all these cases the electric drive was a simple replacement for a mechanical gearbox and power transmission system; no more and no less. There is no recuperation of energy on deceleration, no batteries to store electricity or cover peak demands. A hybrid is defined as able to obtain motive power from two or more sources. In all these cases, every last watt of motive power for the entire period of operation is obtained in real time from internal or external combustion engines and nowhere else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bunk

God above, you must be fun to chat with at parties.

Pretty sure the author meant that as fun throw-away factoid to kick off the review and not as an actual attempt to suggest that the Sd. Kfz. 184 was a true automotive hybrid.

Seriously dude, get out more.

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Re: Bunk

In fact that's pretty much the ideal hybrid design. You can tune the engine to its greatest efficiency, you can run the electric motor from batteries as well, and you don't have to faff around with complex differentials and dual drive trains. The current trend of putting the IC's power to the wheels instead of using the electric motor for motive power strikes me as rather silly and only makes sense if you want a car that goes vroom vroom when you put your foot down.

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fnj

Re: Bunk

What I don't do is spout a lot of uninformed hot air to try to sound clever.

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Re: Bunk

True. We don't even get the benefit of warmth.

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Re: Bunk

It's a question of the best design for the job.

The Porsche Panamera is a Grand Tourer - it's designed for you to be able to sweep across europe at will, rolling through any country you come across.

The Elefant is aimed more at protecting your little darlings from other SUIVs on the the school run

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Needs a boggler boggler noise..for stealth mode

I do like Hybrids (especially the simulated 4x4 ones) and fully expect my next car to be one in a few years time.

But as me and my dog were walking back to our car leaving a country event the other day. We were nearly side swiped by a Lexus Hybrid Hatch. He was on grass so no tyre noise, full electric so no engine noise I was in default, listen for engines navigation mode, and I expect the driver was in a similar state of mind, fogetting his car was in stealth mode. Another inch or so and my key bunch would have given him a nice racing stripe.. Even one of the parking stewards said 'that was bit close'..

Forward facing parking sensors with an alert noise, maybe with a variable volume and only active below say 20mph ?? should solve the problem.

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Re: Needs a boggler boggler noise..for stealth mode

I regularly drive the missus' Prius, and yes, when it's operating at low speed (stealth mode) you do find people stepping in front of you etc. Car parks and busy towns with narrow pavements are the worst spots for this.

You soon get used to it mind and start to develop a sixth sense and find yourself taking extra care in these scenarios. That actually isn't a bad thing, as I reckon many of us rely too much on engine noise to announce our presence and expect people to get out of our way? Perhaps it should be the other way round anyway?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Needs a boggler boggler noise..for stealth mode

As someone who is partially deaf I rely on good old Mk1 eyeballs. On more than one occasion I have had to physically yank someone back onto the pavement to prevent wipeout, these were normal cars. I think that new cars these days are considerably quieter than they used to be, but then again I am hardly in a good position to tell :-)

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Re: Needs a boggler boggler noise..for stealth mode

I've had people walk out in front of my jeep. It is not quiet at all, being a late 90s diesel (great fuel economy though, all things considered). The problem is that people are just dipsticks who seem incapable of paying attention to their environment.

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Since the Tesla S P85

Comes in at less than £70k, accelerates faster (60 in 4.2 seconds) and is better equipped then, other than people who need the extra range that petrol gives you or like to fling their cars around tight corners, the Porsche looks like a bad choice.

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Re: Since the Tesla S P85

Bu therein lies the rub. How do you get from Cumbria to Birmingham and back in the same day? There aren't that many luxury cars that combine city electric and fossil range. As soon as more domestic grade cars combines a small engine for range and charging with a small battery hybrid then it will take off more. Prius works well but I found to be pretty shit to drive (wallowy and far too cheap inside), the newer focus and mondeos are pretty reasonable to drive IMHO and would be great to hybridise.

That being said, if you charge 5k more for the same model then until resale you'll not make up that 5k on a hybrid. With start/stop engines you can make a fair saving too.

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Re: Since the Tesla S P85

"How do you get from Cumbria to Birmingham and back in the same day?"

Well, Keswick to Birmingham and back is 382 miles. A P85 should do 300 of those on one charge without major problems, meaning that at some point you will need to grab about 85 miles of extra charge. Using a free-to-use Tesla Supercharger would add that in less than the time it would take to go to the loo and buy a latte (not counting drinking it).

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But why?

Does anyone who can afford to lay out £90K for a car (probably north of £100K with extras) really give a damn whether it does 40MPG or 20MPG? Apart from giving you the chance to flaunt your green credentials at the country club this seems a largely pointless exercise.

As for you can unclip the charger from the wall and take it with you.. Why not just build it into the car then, and fit a power cord reel like on a vacuum cleaner? It could have a nice Porsche-styled 13A plug on the end. No need to unclip and carry anything.

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Re: But why?

EU emissions rules. Motor manufacturers have to hit EU targets, so that by 2020 their average emissions are down to 95g/km. It's not going to be possible for them to make exotic V12 engined models any more, they are being forced in the direction of hybrids and pure electric because of this.

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Re: But why?

"Does anyone who can afford to lay out £90K for a car (probably north of £100K with extras) really give a damn whether it does 40MPG or 20MPG? Apart from giving you the chance to flaunt your green credentials at the country club this seems a largely pointless exercise."

Anyone who has £80-100k to spend on a Grand Tourer and doesn't buy a Jag F-Type ought to be sectioned. Dad had one for a weekend courtesy of work and oh my god what a car. Exciting when you want it to be and refined when you take your foot off the floor.

No, I know it's not a hybrid. But it doesn't matter. It's worth every penny.

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