Porsche’s all-new 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, a hybrid version of the marque’s luxury sedan, will launch at the Paris Motor Show next month, and arrive in Canadian dealerships mid-2017 as a 2018 model, the automaker said early September.
The new plug-in Hybrid will sport an electric-propulsion range of 50 kilometres while still packing serious sports car performance.
The new Panamera hybrid will default to start in pure-electric mode, and after it rolls through its 50 kilometres of e-range, will go on to consume a very conservative 2.5 L/100 km (based on the New European Driving Cycle standard).
Unlike most hybrid cars, the new Panamera does not need to be driven uber-conservatively to remain in its electric drive mode–it can achieve a maximum speed of 140 km/h before its internal combustion engine will kick in.
Charging times have been reduced and the vehicle’s new high-voltage battery can be charged in as little as 3.6 hours.
Porsche has also refined its hybrid technology by adding a “Hybrid Auto” mode. In this mode, the Panamera will intelligently charge or discharge its battery while the vehicle’s gas engine engages and disengages as needed; Porsche calls this feature its “ultimate efficiency” mode.
If you’re keen to drive the vehicle in all-electric mode upon arriving near your destination, you can select “E-Hold” mode, which will charge and hold maximum battery power until you decide to use it.
Porsche says that the 2018 Panamera will see a significant technology ported over from its hybrid racing program–specifically its efforts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it won back-to-back overall victories this year and last with its 919 Hybrid race car.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can achieve a top speed of 278 km/h in “Sport Plus” mode; the mode lets the vehicle generate additional engine power when the driver is off-throttle or using partial throttle by charging the batteries as quickly as possible, making battery-based acceleration boosts more frequently possible.
A new 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo engine sports 330 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque; paired with the electric motor’s 136 hp and 295 lb-ft torque, the hybrid drivetrain can produce a total output of 462 hp when called upon, accelerating the sedan from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds.
Torque from the Panamera’s electric motor is made available instantaneously, layered over the vehicle’s V6 power production, thus giving the throttle pedal a feel of immediacy not typically felt in turbocharged cars, which notoriously suffer from some measure of turbo lag.
This hybrid drive approach was first used by Porsche in its 918 Spyder hypercar; the first-generation hybrid Panamera, on the other hand, required at least 80 percent throttle application before torque from the electric motor would be fed in.
Like all new second-generation Panameras, the new Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will feature all-wheel drive as standard. The extra weight and complexity of the all-wheel drive system makes the vehicle’s new-found fuel efficiency all the more impressive.
Power will be fed to all four wheels via a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission; the first-generation hybrid Panamera featured a traditional eight-speed automatic.
The 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will join the Panamera Turbo and the Panamera 4S in the lineup, with additional Panamera models likely, such as a Panamera GTS and Turbo S model.
Canadian pricing is yet to be announced but expect the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid to slot in below the Panamera 4S’ price tag despite the former having an additional 22 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque over the 4S.