If you’re going to try and show off a new car, try not to have another one on hand that will outshine it. Like, say, a Porsche 919 Hybrid. And whatever you do, don’t have Mark Webber drive it. Through central London. With a Police escort. Because if you do, the chances are people will overlook the Panamera Hybrid that’s following. Annoying when that’s also the car you’re trying to promote.
Sod it though. Any PR is good PR, right? And the Panamera was there. We think. At the back somewhere. Furthermore, we’re talking about the stunt. In fact, the whole motoring world seems to be chatting about Mr Webber’s early morning commute. And rightly so. It was a spectacle to behold – you don’t often see a Le Mans winning car and driver plough through the dawn light of the nation’s capital.
Porsche Panamera – method behind the madness
The logic behind this morning’s drive is sound. Porsche wants us to know that it can take the technology from its cutting-edge race cars and apply it to the road-going versions. While the Panamera 4 Hybrid might not be quite as fast and exciting as the 919, it’s still impressive. It boasts a 2.9-litre V6 that has the benefit of a 136hp electric motor by its side. That means the family Porsche has some 462hp at its disposal. Oh, and 516lb ft, too. That equates to 0-62 in 4.6s and a top end of 171mph. It’s no 919, but it’s no slouch, either.
The Panamera 4 Hybrid uses the electric side of things as a boost, rather than a lone means of power. In fact, on electricity only, you have just 31 miles of range. But it’s not meant to be used on its own, it’s meant to combine with the petrol to make the overall running more efficient. For example, it can hold the charge until your final destination (if it’s somewhere low emission) or it can use both for maximum efficiency. It’s all clever stuff.
Porsche 919 – London’s alarm clock
Look at as, starting out by mocking Porsche for overshadowing their own new car, only to go on a talk about it in depth. Oh Porsche, you scamp, you knew what you were doing, didn’t you?
We’re glad they did, too. This was a dynamic and exciting way to bring the Panamera 4 Hybrid to our attention. The only thing that upsets us is that we weren’t there! It must have been a hell of a sight to see Mark Webber pilot the 919 through the London traffic. Complete with a full compliment of the MET’s finest to keep it safe (we doubt the 919 is road legal).
It would have been one hell of an alarm clock for some of London’s residents. Though they probably missed the point of it all, instead favoring a strong coffee followed by deep immersion into the Daily Mail before a stressful day working in a bank or something. All while grumbling about a car being followed by noisy police bikes.
Don’t worry though Porsche, Mark and everyone involved. We thought it was brilliant. Though if we could come along next time, that would be super.
Nod to MotorSport for the pictures.