Unlike some other niche sports car makers, who have resisted government mandates to build hybrid or electric cars, Porsche has fully embraced hybrid technology as a means to deliver even more performance. More importantly, customers are responding favorably, so much so that sales of the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid to expected to double.
What makes Porsche so confident? According to Automotive News, it is the all-new plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which replaces the standard hybrid drivetrain in the previous Panamera Hybrid. The new plug-in drivetrain offers a 95 horsepower electric motor, compared to just 34 horsepower in the older model. The plug-in Panamera can also drive up to 22 miles on battery power alone, thanks to a new 9.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The Audi-sourced supercharged V6 engine, when combined with the electric motor, offers a combined output of 416 horsepower and 435 ft-lbs of torque, while delivering around 53 mpg of fuel economy (with a fully-charged battery). This is in every way better than the car it replaces, from fuel economy to performance, and Porsche expects customers to snatch up 10,000 Panamera plug-in hybrids across the next-generation’s lifespan. The new Panamera plug-in costs about $4,000 more than the old model, and will start at $99,000-ish.
If Porsche is right, that would mean around 10% of Panamera production will be dedicated to hybrid models, a big jump at a time when hybrid and electric car technology is increasingly seen as a premium product. It looks like Porsche’s hybrid gamble is about to pay off in a big way.
Source: Automotive News Europe