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Sunday, 23 October 2011

The tax-privy Porsche Panamera is now moving closer to luxury saloons like the Merc S-class, BMW 7-series and Jag XJ


WHAT'S NEW?

The Panamera becomes the second Porsche to get hybrid power with a VW-developed engine and gearbox shared with the pioneering Cayenne, albeit with extended abilities in fuel economy and pure EV driving mode due to lower body weight.
Just like the Cayenne Hybrid S, the Panamera S Hybrid is capable of attracting 10% excise tax due to an engine displacing less than 3,000cc. As a result, the eco-friendly Panamera is attractively priced at 9.6 million baht.
Rear occupants get comfort-related gimmicks.
That's a huge price benefit because the next cheapest Panamera is the V6 version costing a substantial 4.5 million baht more _ and it has inferior performance and economy compared to the S Hybrid.
This effectively makes the S Hybrid the automatic choice in the Thai Panamera lineup in sheer value terms, although hard-footed drivers with extra-deep pockets can always find an excuse to go for the hilariously fast Turbo and Turbo S models at some 20 million baht.
WHAT'S COOL?
Even though the 380hp S Hybrid is the fourth quickest model in the Panamera range (after the 400hp S, 500hp Turbo and 550hp Turbo S), the performance is aplenty on Thai roads for such a low-priced Porsche.
The S H
ybrid sprints away from standstill in a spirited manner, overtakes others on the road shamelessly and attains high speeds without sweat, thanks to assistance in both supercharged and electric forms.
And it's the latter function that helps boost the green credentials of the S Hybrid by allowing brief pure electric driving at low speeds. The engine can also switch off under coasting (throttle lift-off) at no more than 165kph before coming back to life again virtually unnoticed _ if you're not looking at the tach needle.
Normal automatic is more lethargic than PDK variation.
The S Hybrid may not be as economical as the range-leading Diesel, but it's still commendable at some 14kpl with such meaty performance.
Just like other Panameras, the S Hybrid has easy steering, precise handling, powerful brakes and a comfortable suspension setup even in the intermediate setting of the three-level damping mode.

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