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Life in the Fast Lane
However you pronounce it, Porsche is a brand with a reputation for innovation – and it really shows in this model.

Die-hard enthusiasts may throw their toys out of the pram at the mere mention of an electric engine in a Porsche, but as Bob Dylan said: “The Times They Are a Changin.” Some people are opposed to change and others embrace it with open arms, it doesn’t matter which category you fall under … everything changes eventually.

Let’s start with the basics here; yes, it’s bigger than a 911. No, it’s not as big as the Cayenne. Does the fact that it’s partly electric affect the drive? A little.

I’ll gladly admit that one of my favourite things about starting a Porsche is the glorious roar of the engine. Imagine my surprise when I turned the ignition of the Panamera S E-Hybrid and heard nothing, absolutely nothing. Usually, the sound of the engine is an indicator of the power at your disposal, but not this time. The key doesn’t start the 3-litre V6 petrol engine – it turns on the electric.

Trust me, you’ll survive the initial disappointment and soon forget it. As with most Porsche models, this one has a selection of driving modes that can be used to select the level of performance you desire. Comfort mode is, comfortable (obviously), Sport mode gives a more dynamic drive and Sport Plus essentially kicks in the petrol engine with all its might.

The Panamera is a relatively large model and has a fair amount of weight behind it, too. However, when you put your foot down you forget you’re driving a vehicle of this size and suddenly remember why it dons the iconic badge.

The 8-speed PDK gearbox shifts so smoothly and quickly, to be honest, there is very little need to ever switch to manual mode. If you do decide to dabble, you have the option of using the steering wheel mounted controls or the traditional gearstick.

In terms of drivability, this Panamera is on par with some sports cars I’ve driven over the years. The ride is smooth and stable with impressive handling capabilities and despite its size, it does a good job around most corners.

Inside is just as impressive. Leather, Alcantara and chrome dominate the cabin, giving it the sophisticated ambiance that drivers have come to expect from this iconic marque. There is also plenty of legroom and headroom in the back – a far cry from the rear “seats” in other models.

One of my favourite features is that the spoiler pops up to say hello when you reach 120kmph and folds neatly away when you drop down to 80kmph. However, there is also a button, which raises it whenever you feel like peacocking.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly ride with enough oomph to keep things interesting, this could be the model you’ve been waiting for.

Call Porsche Centre Bahrain on 17 459-911 or visit www.porschebahrain.com.