All future Porsche models will be available with hybrid-electric drive, according to the German sports car maker. Speaking at Porsche’s Panamera Hybrid technology workshop, Daniel Semmer said a new hybrid module - which combines an electric motor and clutches in one unit - had been designed by Porsche to fit into all its future cars, including the 911 range.
The move is part of new philosophy to dramatically reduce fuel consumption when driving at everyday speeds. Porsche engineers say their ‘new parameter’ for fuel saving is reducing the ‘revolutions per kilometre’ of the engine. In the first phase, exemplified by the new plug-in Panamera, reducing the number of engines revs per kilometre travelled involves conventional stop/start, coasting, coasting with the engine off, and running as a plug in hybrid.
The next stage, due in 2016-2017, Porsche’s cars will interact more intelligently with their surroundings using, for example, information from very detailed road maps. These will include data such as accurately-measured inclines (eg 5.9 percent) and even the radius of approaching corners (eg 157m). The cars will also automatically selecting the ‘correct’ driving mode for the circumstances (from Electric, Hybrid, Charging-while-driving and Sports mode).
Although the new plug-in Panamera does not arrive in showrooms until this summer, Porsche engineers outlined their plans for the next-generation plug-in transmission, which will probably debut under the next-generation Panamera, due in late 2016. The system will be integrated into a new rear/all-wheel drive platform called MSB. MSB is also set to underpin future Bentley models, which means the first Bentley hybrid - probably the all-new Flying Spur - should arrive in 2017.
The new hybrid module - which is one generation on from the unit in the brand new Panamera plug-in Hybrid - will be both water and air-cooled. It be more powerful than the 94bhp hybrid electric motor in the new Panamera, and will backed up by a more energy-dense battery pack and other improvements including a lighter wiring loom, which will include aluminium instead of copper wires.
Porsche is also working on an induction charging system that can be installed in domestic garages. Induction charging allows the battery to be refreshed simply by being in the proximity of the charger, eliminating charging cables.
Despite this new concentration on fuel economy, Porsche will also be pushing the performance advantages of a hybrid electric drivetrain for future cars. At full tilt, Porsche says the new Panamera plug-in combines the 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine and the electric motor to generate an output of 416bhp and 435lb ft, allowing a 0-62mph time of 5.5sec in a car that weighs 2095kg unladen.