Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Platinum Edition — The Green Lane

By Jeremy Taylor

5 months ago

Driving to Scotland in an E-Hybrid Porsche

Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders drive north of the border in a hybrid Porsche Panamera for Burns Night on Thursday.

The C&TH Cars Hub

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Platinum Edition

JT – Have you seen my Tam o’ Shanter?

JS – Fortunately, traditional Scottish headwear is now banned in this house. I assume you’re about to recite the only piece of poetry you know for our annual Burns Night supper this week, accompanied by a bagpipe playlist on Spotify?

I’ve already ordered the haggis. And yes, a verse of Robert Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter is the only remnant of a wasted A-level in English literature. In the poem, Tam the farmer rode back from market ‘on his grey mare, Meg, a better never lifted leg’.

So, that’s one horsepower, opposed to the 462 hp we drove up to Scotland in aboard our posh Porsche?

The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Platinum Edition with an open boot in the woods

Yes, Tam, would have made it home via Kirk Alloway much faster in the Panamera. The Porsche is a blend of performance and electric efficiency, the estate version we drove also has a 403-litre boot instead of a saddle bag. Opt for the Platinum Edition and upgrades include a panoramic glass sunroof, 21-inch alloy wheels and some platinum-coloured trim.

And why did we choose a hybrid rather than the all-electric Porsche Taycan?

Simply because the last time we drove an EV to the Highlands, the journey became a nerve-wracking search for charge points. For this trip I wanted to plan a route using hotels with charging facilities, while having the back up of a combustion engine, just in case. The E-Hybrid combines a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine with a battery pack, together they returned a decent 35mpg on our trip.

Yes, I remember that EV trip. Total nightmare and because two chargers were ‘out of service’ on the route up from London, we only just made it to Scotland in the first place.

Northcote exterior

Which is why I booked us into a hotel with chargers halfway up the M6. Northcote is also something of a hidden gem in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley. Part of the Stafford Collection, the highlight is supper in TV chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen’s Michelin-starred restaurant.

And it all starts in the bar, with the affectionately known Mr B! Craig Bancroft is director of wine, a one-man super-host. A raconteur who has helped Northcote win a shower of awards over the years.

I think it’s safe to say we were already in high spirits by the time we sat down to supper. Northcote is busy for good reason, a favourite with travellers and locals alike. Tuck in to the Scottish venison, with whisky maple syrup, leave space for the blackberry crumble soufflé.

We enjoyed an epic breakfast too, as the Porsche charged overnight in the car park (Tesla, Porsche and Pod Point all available). Let’s be honest, we stayed at the £1,200-a-night Peninsula hotel in London the night before – Northcote may not be in a fancy Belgravia but the dining experience was better and the welcome even warmer. 

Enough said. Heading north after a full English breakfast, we crossed the border and headed east, off the motorway to the Scottish Borders. This is a region often overlooked by travellers on a desperate dash to get to their destination. The fast, open roads proved a thrill in the Panamera. Slip the transmission into ‘sport’ mode and this family, four-seater becomes a proper sports car.

Next stop, Cringletie! The name sounds so festive we had to pay a visit. Just north of Peebles and half-an-hour from Edinburgh, Cringletie is a proper baronial castle, surrounded by a 28-acre estate and glorious gardens. Wander through the woodlands, take afternoon tea in the conservatory, or consider a warming cocktail in the bar.

The Porsche in front of cringletie

Just a shame it was lashing with rain and a howling gale when we turned up! There is an EV charger and, almost as important, a cosy fire waiting in reception. Our room was old-school traditional, rather than contemporary country house chic but comfortable and spacious all the same.

And don’t forget the bonkers fireplaces, or the cherubs on the dining room ceiling. The best bit about arriving in semi-darkness at Cringletie was the view from the bedroom window in the morning. Rolling hills, moody skies, birds of prey hovering on the skyline. Fantastic.

Our next stay, two hours north over the Forth Bridge, was somewhere a little different with massive eco credentials. The Monzie Estate, near Perth, features half a dozen idyllic cottages powered by hydro-electricity.

Probably the first time we have stayed anywhere that produces all its own power. We stayed in the Mill House, once a working part of the 4,600-acre property, offering five bedrooms and, as the name suggests, on the banks of a tumbling river.

The Porsche outside The Monzie Estate

Yes, the river that drives the nearby hydro plant. It also powers EV chargers at each of the cottages – guests can ask for a tour. The hydro facility dates back to the 1950s and looks like a 70-year-old sci-fi film set.

Obviously, you chose Monzie because it was also close to the Glenturret Distillery and the award-winning Lalique restaurant. I noticed a bottle of the 12-year-old single malt tucked away in the boot of the Porsche.

That may have been one reason but also because Monzie is a fascinating place. Now run by Alexandra and David Crichton, who inherited the estate from his father, the couple also have Monzie Castle in the portfolio. Ask nicely and the chief of Clan Crichton may offer a peep inside the 17th century pile.

We also loved Monzie because it sits on the edge of the Highlands, with spectacular walking and scenery. Alexandra and David are also very hands on – they were the perfect hosts and offered advice on how to enjoy our stay Mill House to the full.

Our final stop was two hours west across the Highlands, via stunning Glencoe, to the fishing village of Port Appin, just north of Oban on Loch Linnhe. An ideal route to test the Panamera’s adaptive air suspension, although the Sport Turismo estate is a heavy car and definitely not nimble quick, like a Porsche 911.

An epic drive though, with a mouth-watering destination waiting at the end. As the name suggests, The Pierhouse Hotel, part of the Wee Hotel Company, is perched on the water’s edge, with unreal views of snow-capped mountains and the islands of Lismore and Mull. 

The Pierhouse

And Pierhouse’s seafood restaurant has been crowned Scotland’s National Restaurant of the Year for 2023-24, with chef Michael Leathley helping to put this remote hotel and eatery firmly on the map.

I think you might struggle to enjoy a seafood platter with more sensational views anywhere in the world. Pierhouse alone is good reason enough to visit the west of Scotland but the scenery and walking make it a must-see spot.

We loved the open fires, well-stocked bar and the fact that locals still visit the pub for a pint and chat. Some of the rooms have epic views over Loch Linnhe too. On a wild, wintery day, curl up and read a book as the rain sweeps in across the water.

Yes, hook up the Porsche to the hotel’s charger and hunker down to some genuine Scottish hospitality. The walls are adorned with an eclectic mix of nautically-themed memorabilia, while I warmed up with a Lismore Old Fashioned cocktail. I also want to recommend the freshest langoustine and mussels I’ve tasted for a long time. Pierhouse is closed until March for a refurb – get your booking in now!

Final thoughts on the Panamera?

Porsche has been promoting the all-electric Taycan so much, it’s easy to overlook the long-serving Panamera. In Sport Turismo estate form, it’s a practical, long-distance tourer, with a decent turn of speed. Unfortunately, as SUVs now dominate the market, the Panamera is becoming increasingly out of favour.


Discover more about the Porsche Panamera 4 at porsche.com

Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.