Previously, if you wanted the fastest Porsche Panamera possible, the answer was the Turbo S E-Hybrid. The thing is, although its 671bhp sounds impressive enough, the Panamera flagship has to cart around a motor, a 14kWh battery back and a load of other electrical bits.
The result is a car that tips the scales at 2.4-tonnes, blunting acceleration and hampering handling. For the newly refreshed Panamera range, however, the S E-Hybrid has been dropped, with a new pure-ICE Turbo S model becoming the new top dog in the line-up.
The Turbo S also serves as a replacement for the old Turbo, serving up a 621bhp and 605lb ft of torque from a tweaked version of its predecessor’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, up from 542bhp and 567lb ft. 0-62mph happens in just 3.1 seconds, which is three-tenths faster than the Turbo S E-Hybrid. It’s a tenth faster than a McLaren 570S, for Pete’s sake. Find a long enough bit of tarmac, and you’ll be able to hit 196mph.
It isn’t just fast in a straight line, though - Porsche has already sent the Panamera Turbo S around the Nurburgring, where it completed a lap in just 7min 29.81sec, giving it the honour of being the “‘fastest executive car” at the Green Hell. Niche.
If - understandably - you can do without such rabid performance, you might consider the Panamera GTS. It’s been given a 20bhp boost relative to the outgoing version, yielding a total output of 473bhp. The GTS will sound fruitier than before too, thanks to the Sports Exhaust option now being fitted as standard.
While the Turbo S E-Hybrid has fallen by the wayside, it is still possible to get a potent plug-in version of the Panamera. The new 4S E-Hybrid mixes a 17.9 kWh battery pack and electric motor with a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, giving a total system power of 552bhp and 553lb ft of torque. It’s able to reach 185mph and crack 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, just a little slower than the old Turbo. Running on electrical juice only, it can cover up to 34 miles.
At the lower end of the range are the Panamera and Panamera 4 derivatives, each using the same 2.9-litre engine as the 4S E-Hybrid, minus the electrical gubbins. It’s good for 335bhp and 332lb ft in each car. For now at least, there’s no 4 E-Hybrid model.
The range starts at £69,860.00 for the entry-level Panamera, rising to £72,890 for the Panamera 4, £101,690 for the 4S E-Hybrid and finally £135,610 for the mighty Turbo S. Sport Turismo estate variants will be charged at a slight premium, which will, of course, be worth every additional penny.