Motoring review: The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is fantastic, but it doesn’t deserve a tax break

 

PRICE £88,967
ENGINE Capacity Supercharged 3.0-litre  V6 petrol, plus electric motor
POWER OUTPUT (BHP @ RPM) 410 @ 5,500
TOP SPEED 168
FUEL ECONOMY (MPH) 91.1
CO2 EMISSIONS (G/KM) 71

There is something remarkable about this  new £90,000 Porsche. I don’t mean its deficit-busting price-tag, or the fact that it will hit 168mph if you can find a former Cold War bomber base with a long enough runway. That’s fairly standard for a Porsche.

It’s not remarkable that Porsche’s latest model has four doors and four seats either. The company sells more SUVs and saloons than sports cars. No, what’s remarkable about this particular car is the suggestion that it’s an environmentally friendly Porsche. The firm says that it will do – thanks to its plug-in hybrid system – a Greenpeace-pleasing 91 miles per gallon and emits so few nasty CO2 particles that buyers won’t have to pay road tax or the congestion charge in central London. And this must be true because the Government will give you a subsidy of £5,000 if you buy one.

Far be it from me to dispute any of this. But what on earth does it say about environmental policy when the Taxman  is offering such a handsome subsidy to buyers of five‑metre‑long luxury cars  fitted with a thirsty V6 petrol engine? Not good things. True, it drives like a dream (about 10 miles silently in pure electric mode) but surely this is something Georgie Boy could have dealt with in the Budget yesterday? It’s a niche area, of course, but wouldn’t that money be far better spent encouraging affordable green cars for the masses? Just like the all-electric VW eUp I’m currently testing (full review to follow soon). At £20k plus, it’s still pricey yet this type of smaller, more affordable car is clearly a far better candidate for subsidy.

This Porsche, then, is more about making a statement, hence the lurid lime-green brake pads to illustrate your green credentials in what is one of the most brazen pieces of automotive green washing I’ve seen in a while. It’s the sort of car you’d see parked in Los Angeles or Kensington, next to a Range Rover or a Mercedes SLS.

Essentially, it won’t bring down anyone’s carbon footprint that much. And this is shame because despite all this it’s a truly beautiful place to spend time and an exquisite piece of engineering that blends petrol and electric power seamlessly. I just can’t help thinking that a green car should, well, actually be green.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum