What is impressive is all that extra Sport Turismo bodywork only sees weight rise by 20kg. In this, the heaviest of the Panamera Sport Turismos that means a not insubstantial unladen DIN weight of 2,190kg (unladen weight EC - 2,265kg). You only need to have to have put some cells in a Tamiya RC car as a kid to understand where the extra 275kg over the non-hybrid Panamera 4S comes from.
We’ve driven this powertrain before, and there are elements of it that genuinely impress. Glide off using E-Power mode on batteries and 134bhp electric motor alone and it’s quick and quiet, perfect for town driving. Thanks to an 87mph electricity alone top speed and respectable range it doesn’t feel confined by the city, either. The 31 miles of promised range is unlikely in all but perfect conditions, but use E-Hybrid mode and it’ll only fire up the 2.9-litre V6 petrol when it’s absolutely necessary.
There is, of course, the opportunity to pick and choose the energy management, the options including E-Hold if you’re inner-city, low-emissions zone-bound to conserve the battery’s charge. The drivetrain also allows you to push charge to the battery on the move, but do that and you could run a Turbo flat-chat down the autobahn and achieve similar consumption.
With all, there are some compromises then, not least in accessing them. Some elements of the hybrid drive require sub-menu navigation to find, not all being available on the mode switch dial on the steering wheel. Usefully, the Porsche Communication Management’s combined touch screen and haptic touch interface on the centre console is all fairly self-explanatory, if prone to the odd messy fingerprint.
What is clear here is that Porsche has been working on how the various hybrid elements interact. Driven initially on the original launch there were moments when the 4 E-Hybrid’s internal combustion and battery power mating seemed conflicted. In the Sport Turismo here, that’s far less obvious, the transition between E-Mode to Auto-Hybrid and back, and everything in between, a bit more resolved, if not entirely seamless.
There’s still the odd hiccup through the eight-speed PDK transmission, a low speed knock that upsets the Panamera’s otherwise fine refinement. The accelerator pedal feel is transformed, the odd, unnatural push back from the pedal of the early cars not so obvious here. Porsche has clearly quietly working on the system’s integration behind the scenes. The brake pedal, too, feels more conventional, even though they remain tasked with regeneration and not quite as decisive in their initial bite as regular Panameras.
You do also pay for the 4 E-Hybrid’s drivetrain’s mode-juggling party tricks elsewhere. Undeniably the bluntest of the Panamera line-up dynamically, even Porsche’s chassis people have a job masking the additional mass the hybrid system brings. The steering isn’t rich in detail, though the standard PASM air suspension does a fine job of producing both a decent ride and fine body control. It’s all okay until you start asking more from it, where that additional mass comes into play.
Arrive quicker at corners and the 4 E-Hybrid’s mass is apparent, pushing the Panamera wide, it lacking the accuracy and agility of its conventionally powered relations. That’s a manifestation of its drivetrain rather than anything to do with the shape of its rear. Indeed, the Sport Turismo driver all but oblivious to the differing roofline, save for a slightly alternative view out the back. That and the highly improbable prospect of a third passenger in your rear-view mirror.