Getting behind the wheel of a Porsche is an event at the best of times, but the manufacturer’s Middle East branch did its best to up the drama levels as it premiered its Taycan 4S and Panamera models on a tear through some of the UAE’s most decorative and dramatic surroundings.
Those familiar with the duo will have registered straight away that this was an all-electric/hybrid pairing, showcasing what the German marque is currently offering in both formats.
That said, few would be particularly surprised to learn that both have a cracking amount of oomph amid a shedload of fancy stylings.
Dubbed the Luxury Limousine Drive Event, the 300-kilometre round trip from Dubai to Fujairah, via some suitably winding roads, was sufficient to get participants’ blood pumping as they tried out two versions of each vehicle.
It was a chance to see what the cars could do (all within the rules of the road, of course) and whether they stood up as vehicles you could live with every day.
A touch of Taycan
The Taycan garnered plenty of attention when it was released in 2019, largely because it was the manufacturer’s first bash at an all-electric vehicle. The 2022 version with its various improvements is no less noteworthy.
It combines what can only be described as a refined ride with rocket-like acceleration and blistering speed. You feel suitably composed behind the wheel at cruising speed, but you know the car will go off like a Catherine wheel should you need it to. In fact, the 4S will do 0-100 kilometres per hour in 3.8 seconds, which is enough to rattle anyone’s teeth. There are faster models out there, though.
All this is helped, of course, by the aerodynamic design, which looks as sleek as any classic Porsche.
The range is decent for an electric car, too, allowing travel of up to 463km with the highest-level battery.
That, then, leaves the Panamera holding the flag for the hybrid brigade.
In its latest guise, it is a car that Porsche styles as a saloon with sustainability in mind, but not lacking in performance. That is undoubtedly true, as there is no shortage of power or thrills when you put your foot down, and the car ticks the green box as it always starts in electric mode when you hit the on switch. You can get to 100kph in about 4.6 seconds if you’re in a hurry.
The Panamera feels like it’s a car that could easily move into executive saloon territory. It displays a touch more civility than, say, your average heads-down-and-charge ride and the driving experience is akin to some of the flashier sedans that make up this segment in the motoring market.
Changes might be afoot for the Panamera though, as rumour has it the model could be reinvented in the Porsche line-up as an all-electric vehicle, nudging it closer to the Taycan in the feelgood stakes.
Porsche is not a budget brand, of course, but if your pocket is deep enough, both the Taycan and the Panamera are cars to seriously consider.
The nod to the future that both display is laudable, particularly as neither compromises those Porsche requisites of speed and acceleration.
In the case of the Taycan, electric power has never felt so good, but you can still feel perfectly fine about the hybrid Panamera.
Flashy little numbers, too, both of them.