Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2011: Porsche Panamera hybrid
New hybrid version of Porsche's luxury saloon will have CO2 emissions of just 159g/km

Porsche’s new 374bhp hybrid Panamera S has been launched at the Geneva motor show.

It will go on sale in June boasting the lowest CO2 output of any sporty large saloon - just 159g/km in the combined EU test cycle, beating diesel-powered competitors like the Jag XJ and BMW 7-series by between 19 and 25g/km.

See the official pics of the Porsche Panamera hybrid plus pics from the show

Significantly the CO2 output is below a government threshold of 160g/km that for tax purposes allows businesses to write off more of the cost of the car, which should boost its appeal to company drivers.

The Panamera’s powertrain is shared with the Cayenne hybrid and is centred on a 330bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 sourced from Audi. It’s a different engine family to the 295bhp 3.6-litre V6 that powers other Panamera models.

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The hybrid mates the 3.0 V6 to a 44bhp electric motor, which doubles up as the starter/generator and is packaged alongside a clutch, so that either petrol or electric power can provide drive.

A nickel metal hydride battery can store enough charge to shove the S hybrid up to 37mph, before the V6 clutches in. Performance is between the Panamera Turbo and 4S with 0-62mph in six secs and a 168mph top speed.

Pricing is similarly slotted between the two. The S hybrid is priced from £86,146, about £3k more than the 4S. That price also includes two key specification improvements as standard – 19inch wheels and air suspension. They’re standard on the £102k Turbo, but not the 4S.

Julian Rendell

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