When Porsche Canada called to offer a week-long test-drive in the 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S EH, I thought ‘Hell, yeah!’ Then, almost immediately, ‘Woe is me’.
Just as our beautiful province headed into lockdown to contain the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, I was given the key to this exclusive elegant sedan.
I felt like Premier Rankin and Dr. Strang were pointing right at me, “Don’t you go ripping around in that 552-horsepower rocket outside of your community, missy.”
Of course, I realize driving a premium race car like the 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S is a ‘problem’ anyone would love to have, lockdown or not.
It’s been over a decade since the Panamera first appeared on the planet. When it debuted in 2009, many purists were disgusted at the notion of a four-door Porsche – the horror! What a thrilling way to move four people around, though.
The 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S EH is one of many models in the Panamera lineup. This one is a plug-in hybrid that can go up to 30 kilometres on electric power.
A 2.9-litre biturbo V6 combined with a 17.9-kWh battery pack make 552 horsepower and a very convincing 553 lb-ft. of torque.
In the 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S, I had the most fun playing with the different drive modes.
A selector on the steering wheel (or on the centre touchscreen) lets you choose from Hybrid-Auto, Sport and Sport Plus modes. The default mode is E-Power. Opt for E-Charge and the Panamera uses the V6 to charge up the battery while you’re on the move.
You can also choose E-Hold which maintains the current state-of-charge of the battery in case you plan on lapping the track to feel that instantaneous torque delightfully pin you back in your seat.
On the on-ramp to a deserted highway, the 2021 Panamera 4S EH launches from zero to 100 km/h in an eerily quiet 3.7 seconds.
I do miss a V8 snarl. Luckily, selecting Sport Exhaust yields more gratifying engine notes. Sport Response gives you a 20-second boost of ‘juice’ to get the Panamera out of a tight spot, and more of that satisfying exhaust symphony.
The Panamera bathes you in understated luxury with an all-leather interior (a $4,330 option), delicious tall seats that cradle you in the corners, and a sleek cockpit resembling a premium private airplane.
From an MSRP of $128,500, add a half-Boxster-worth of options, our tester’s price tag reaches $158,000.
The 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S is not your typical family sedan
Although I didn’t go far, my moments in the Panamera were memorable. The car handles beautifully and certainly not how you think a family sedan should behave.
Every morning, I admired the Panamera from our second-floor bedroom window. One day, two women on a power walk stopped dead in their tracks to gaze at the shimmering e-beast.
With its unmistakable Porsche silhouette, logo and Panamera designation on the rear hatch in high-gloss silver edged in Acid Green and the same treatment on the ‘e-hybrid’ logo on both front doors, the vehicle deserves the looks it gets.
I miss knowing it’s out there in the driveway, silently waiting for a post-lockdown e-rip.