"If you’ve ever met me before 8am – and some of you have - you’d probably have all manner of descriptive terms by which to describe me, but “grumpy” is a word that I suspect the majority of you "
Trans-Europe Express (Delivery) – Part Two
Part One ended with me promising to go into more detail about the Porsche Panamera. Well, I lied.
You’ll find plenty of motoring journalists who are real professors of this subject. They love to get under the bonnet and tinker with the oily bits or thoroughly go through testing procedures point by point. Honestly, I admire them for being so richly invested in the subject matter but if somebody tried to make me go about the business like that, I’d be catapulted into a realm of complete and utter boredom.
Perhaps I’m lazy, but I really can’t be bothered to mess about when it comes to cars. I like to keep things simple and easy – does it work, does it make me feel good, does anything annoy me? I could go into further details, but you guys get the idea. I like to write from a place that’s probably pretty shallow from a technical perspective, but deeper from an emotional standpoint.
In the first half of this piece, I talked about how we shouldn’t have to live with a hybrid, it should have to live with us. We were going to drive this PHEV right the way from Reading to Prague, and could I be arsed to book hotels with charging points? No. Could I be bothered to seek out points along the route where we could top up our posh Duracell while we had a coffee? Also no. If you give me a V6 petrol engine, I’m going to use a V6 petrol engine and if the battery wants to contribute anything to the drive then great, if not, it’s not the end of the world. Well, ok, it might be, but let’s not go there at this point.
Of course, we’re talking here about a car that’ll cost you in excess £100,000 once you’ve added some personalisation from the Porsche options list. Spending that sort of money on personal transport immediately erases the issue of needing to make any sort of compromise, as far as I’m concerned – you don’t drop a hundred large ones on a car and expect to have to adjust your lifestyle for it. The reason this car is so very good is that you don’t have to do anything different to what you might simply just want to do. The Panamera hybrid is one of the very best cars I’ve driven and could well be the best hybrid in the world right now. That’s about all you need to know, isn’t it?
Well, what else did you expect? That Porsche would half-arse something and release a car well below its own Himalayan-high standards? That was never going to happen. It might be complex, it might be expensive, and it might be not to everybody’s taste, but the Panamera is fabulously well made, superbly engineered and a car that you could take anywhere or do anything with without ever really having to doubt it. Ignore the fact there’s an electric motor in it and just enjoy the fact that sometimes – if you want – you can drive around in silence or sidestep some pesky emission taxes. Whatever you might think, this is made to be the best of many worlds and its mix of sporty, efficient, elegant, practical and unpretentious was planned and engineered just as much as any other part of this machine. It was never going to be any other way.
That’s about all you’re going to get from me. You can find statistics and a thorough, in-depth analysis elsewhere. Yeah, I was going to be slightly deeper than this but I’m me – moody, prone to changing my plans and sometimes, believe it or not, I don’t even feel like trying very hard. No wonder me and the Panamera were well-suited. It’s actually pretty rare that I still miss a car many weeks after it has returned to its owner, but I still long for ‘The Enterprise’. That, I think, really says it all.
The Porsche Panamera won’t save the world, won’t save you any money and won’t change your life, but it will fit into your life seamlessly and make you happy, and happiness above everything else is what we really need in our lives – I can’t stress that enough. I’ll leave you with this slightly incoherent, relatively vague and quite possibly unhelpful Porsche review then.
Yeah, basically, buy one.
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