- Porsche plans to introduce plug-in hybrid versions of every major model, from the Cayman to the Cayenne.
- Porsche's future hybrids will employ hardware developed for the 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid that was unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.
- The Panamera S E-Hybrid goes on sale in late 2013 in the U.S., priced from $99,975.
HOCKENHEIM, Germany — Porsche plans to introduce plug-in hybrid versions of every major model, from the Cayman and Cayenne to the 911, employing hardware developed for the 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid that was unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid, Porsche's first production plug-in hybrid, goes on sale in July in Europe and later this year in the U.S., where it will be priced from $99,975, including shipping.
A development of the existing Panamera and Cayenne hybrid system, the new plug-in hardware employs the same electric motor and clutch assembly sandwiched between the engine and transmission, but with a more potent motor and a more powerful battery.
Next to the showroom in late 2013 will be the limited-edition 918 Spyder, followed by a plug-in Cayenne, which uses the same supercharged 3.0-liter V6 used in the Panamera and is therefore the current model most easily adapted to this new technology.
The Fisker Karma notwithstanding, Porsche claims it is the first to offer a plug-in hybrid in the luxury segment.
On the official (but widely recognized as unrepresentative) European NEDC fuel-consumption cycle, the Panamera S E-Hybrid returns an unrealistic 76 mpg and 71g/km of CO2. Observed real-world fuel economy was closer to 40 mpg.
Combined output is 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, enabling the four-door to accelerate to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 168 mph. The Panamera S E-Hybrid also can run on electric drive alone for up to 22 miles.
Porsche also revealed the hybrid module for its 918 Spyder, which takes the technology another step forward by adding an air-cooling system to the existing water cooling, allowing for much higher power outputs. Whereas the hybrid Panamera's electric motor produces 94 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque, Porsche's next-generation hybrid module yields 127 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Porsche wouldn't reveal whether it's this unit that it will integrate with its flat-6 models, but it's a certainty that this more efficient water- and air-cooled module will eventually be deployed across the range.
It will definitely be used in models based on the Volkswagen Group's new MSB luxury platform architecture that's likely to debut with the next-generation Panamera in 2016. Since this platform will also be used by Bentley, it's possible that we will be seeing plug-in hybrid versions of these British cars, too.
The next-generation plug-in technology will include a more energy-dense battery pack, which could spell lighter vehicle weight and longer range. Porsche also is developing a wireless inductive charging system, enabling the car's battery to be replenished via a floor-embedded mat rather than being tethered to a power socket.
Edmunds says: Porsche is totally embracing the plug-in hybrid as a means of reducing fuel consumption, cutting emissions and boosting power output across its range.