Noone so far has written a decent review of the P400e so here is my summary after three days of ownership and only 150km.
Overall the experience is very similar to driving a ‘normal’ engined RR Sport so I won’t repeat the similarities. I will just talk about the differences.
- The sound of silence. Most of the time in motorway driving and city driving the car is silent. There is simply no noise. The ca ris so well insulated that you don’t even get tyre noise. If you turn off the radio/music the only thing you can hear is the sound of other cars if they are coming by. On quiet roads you can really enjoy a peaceful ride. Normally I drive with my musi con but I have started driving with no music on because the sound of silence is so surprising and so novel. It is so quiet that you worry pedestrians won't hear you.
- The smoothness of the ride is unbelievable. In a normal RR Sport the ride is smooth but when you are in the pure EV mode there are no gear changes, so no even slight interuptions to the smoothness of the ride. You literally glide along the road. It is an absolutely serene experience.
- The battery on pure EV mode lasts about 45 mins for me in mixed motorway/road driving.
- Now for the battery part, on a normal Saturday with a few chores, going out in the evening etc. I have to leave the car on charge whenever it is on my driveway. Thi sis because most of my journeys are fairly short 8-10 km so I want to do it all in EV mode. This means whenever I get back home I want to top up the battery for the next journey. This is the only bit of hassle but the cable is so easy to plug in.
- If I want to push the car it responds aggressively (in a good way). The engine never sounds strained when you push the car (remember it is only 2.0l petrol plus the battery). In fact when you want to accelerate hard and sporty then you can do it and the car sounds fantastic and the acceleration is awesome.
- People say the brakes are bad in hybrids but if I compare this to my old 2016 RR Sport the brakes are slightly different. With the 2016 the brakes were progressive, so they were quite soft but you could feel when you had to push them harder or softer. In this the brakes have less feeling. It means at low speeds I find I have to be slightly careful that I am pressing the brakes with sufficient force. Also there is a very very slight vibrating feeling through the pedal as the kinetic energy recovery system starts to kick in and the energy regeneration starts. It is like the feeling of when you have a dirty brake disc. This might also be because the vehicle is bran dnew, I am not sure. It is a really minor thing but it is just different to the standard RR Sport brakes.
- I am still learning the new battery system and how to maximise it but I was at a restaurant and used in control to pre-heat my car. The app said it had failed but I got back to my car and about 20 percent of the electric vehicle battery had drained because the car had pre heated even though the app said it hadn’t. The point is that it is worthwhile to pre heat your car if it is plugged in somewhere but maybe not if it is ‘in use’. This being said, I regenerated enough after ten mins driving to drive the remaining ten minutes home in EV mode.
- Battery drops quickly if you are just sitting in the car playing configuring settings.
- Usual software gremlins still apply. As you see from another post I have had some error messages related to AEB and a couple of other things.
- I was worried about the battery reducing boot space but honestly it is not really noticeable.
- I still haven’t gone on a long trip with the P400e and am interested to see how the parallel hybrid system works over 500 miles or so.