The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is fast and fun

Whoa, a Porsche! A little over a year ago, I took a Ford Mustang Convertible from one end of the province to the other. That was fun. Earlier this year, I explored the fine provincial parks of Manitoba in a Mercedez-Benz C63 AMG. That was fun too! What’s it like driving fun cars? There are several things that I’ve noticed while driving fun cars, especially luxury sports cars. People give you approval nods while stopped at red lights. Random strangers, mostly guys, give you the thumbs up. Even more random strangers approach you in the parking lot and ask how much the car is worth, or how fast the car goes or how much horsepower is under the hood.

Where do I even begin to talk about this car? It’s a Porsche! It’s a one-hundred and twenty seven thousand dollar luxury hybrid super car. To emphasize the price of the car, just pretend that the last line is in upper case! That’s right, if you happen to have a $127,395 sitting in your bank account. If you’re looking for a practical and environmentally friendly family vehicle, the Panamera S Hybrid is for you. Just make sure to have a set of high performance winter tires ready for our Manitoba winters.

Going back to the random strangers, and answering “How much?” questions, the other thing most people are curious about is “How fast?” For the select few, showing my friends “how fast” 0-100km/hr in roughly 6 seconds is a lot more entertaining and enjoyable than simply telling them. I usually give them a couple seconds to catch their breath before I tell them what’s under the hood. The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid has a supercharged V6 engine with 333hp and a 47hp electric engine, to give a combined power output of 380hp in an 8-speed automatic transmission.

It’s speedy, luxurious and it definitely turns heads. I wasn’t surprised as I drove through a school zone and heard one kid on the sidewalk scream, “Wow, that’s an awesome car!” I’m sure his father would have said the same thing in the same exact fashion. It’s a Porsche!

Speaking of kids, I did mention that the Panamera could be the ultimate family car. Kids would definitely enjoy the roominess in the back of the Panamera. Actually, any adult would enjoy the roominess provided by this four-door sports sedan.

Other fun features that I really need to mention are the huge 19” wheels, paddle shifters, and adaptive air suspension system. Basically, you can raise and lower the vehicle, tighten the suspension to adjust to specific driving conditions. The interior styling of the Panamera is elegant and beautifully designed. The centre stack, entertainment, and NAV displays are gorgeous. It’s a Porsche!

It’s also a hybrid Porsche! In full electric mode, I was able to travel up to 2.5kms before the gas engine kicked in. That’s not that far but then again, this isn’t a Prius. If you can afford a $127,000 vehicle, I’m quite confident you can also afford the premium fuel to fill up the Panamera S Hybrid.

Everything about the Panamera’s look and feel are refined, elegant and luxurious. As a photographer, I think I may have gone overboard on the countless photo shoots during the week-long review period. One of the photo shoots involved was an evening rig-shot at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport at midnight on the upper departure ramp. There may have been a few parkades, a couple bridges and maybe two warehouse photo shoots.

To view the entire gallery of images of the 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, go to!


Ron Cantiveros is a Winnipeg-based writer. Follow him at: @RonCantiveros