by Zach McDonald | hybridcars.com

This week, Porsche turned its soon-to-be released Panamera S E-Hybrid over to journalists for a series of test drives at an event in Stuttgart, Germany. Over the course 42 sessions, journalists were allowed to pilot the car through a 28.7 km course “comprised [of] 6.5 km city driving, 9.2 km of country roads and 13 km of German Autobahn.” At the conclusion of the tests, the car had racked up an impressive average efficiency of 53.5 mpg, with one driver managing to push fuel economy as high as 84 mpg.

Porsche-Panamera-S-E-Hybrid

The Panamera S E-Hybrid debuted at last month’s Shanghai Auto Show and has an all-electric range of about 22 miles. Porsche touted the car as the first plug-in hybrid in its class, promising it would travel in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 83 mph. Estimated average fuel economy stands at 75 mpg by European standards, leading to questions of just how well it will perform under American EPA tests.

But if the recent journalist test drives are any indication, the answer should be “pretty well.” Average speed for the tests was 54 km/h, while the average speed for the European fuel economy testing regimen is just 33 km/h.

The Panamera S E-Hybrid‘s dual drivetrain combines for a total of 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, via a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and 95-hp electric motor. Electric energy is stored by a 9.4 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. Suggested pricing in the United States will start at $99,000, roughly a $21,000 premium over the gas-only Panamera.