Porsche is trying to change that with the upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the new Panamera, the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, which is slated for a U.S. market launch in mid-2017. To drive home the point of the performance and driving pleasure this car allegedly will offer, Porsche mentions its 918 hybrid supercars no less than five times in the brief press release announcing the latest Panamera derivative.
In the 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, Porsche is introducing a bigger 14.1 kWh liquid cooled lithium-ion battery for “up 50 km (31 miles) NEDC-rated range”. The real-world electric range should end up closer to ~20 miles, but still a lot better than what owners of the previous Panamera plug-in were achieving.
In all-electric mode, the vehicle’s top speed is limited to 140 km/h (87 mph). With the gas-powered engine, a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 (330 hp and 331 lb-ft), it enables all-wheel drive and a top speed of 278 km/h (172 mph).
In a press release, the German automaker describes the Panamera’s charging options:
“The high-voltage battery takes just 5.8 hours to fully charge via a 230-V, 10-A connection. If the driver chooses to use the optional 7.2 kW on-board charger and a 230-V, 32-A connection instead of the standard 3.6-kW charger on the Panamera, the battery fully charges in just 3.6 hours. The charging process can also be started using a timer via Porsche Communication Management (PCM) or the Porsche Car Connect app (for smartphones and Apple Watch). Moreover, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is fitted as standard with auxiliary air conditioning to cool or heat the passenger compartment during charging.”
Another new technology working to boost efficiency is an electronic decoupling system that can separate the internal combustion engine from the rest of the drivetrain, for example when coasting. The electronic decoupler is said to be quicker than the electro-hydraulic setup used in the Panamera S E-Hybrid.
It also features an updated interior with a 12.3-inch touchscreen.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the different driving modes available to the driver, which is part of the Sport Chrono Package. In addition to the usual Sport and Sport Plus modes from other Porsche models, there are hybrid-specific E-Power (for electric power), Hybrid Auto (for maximum efficiency), E-Hold (for maintaining a specific charge level), and E-Charge (for on-the-run charging using the internal combustion engine) modes.
The new vehicle will come to Europe in mid-April 2017 and to the US by the end of next year, but US pricing has yet to be announced. MSRP for the Panamera S E-Hybrid started at $93,200.