The second-generation car follows the reveal of the Panamera 4S, 4S Diesel and Turbo two months ago.
One of two petrol-electric hybrid models planned to join the new Panamera line-up, the plush new, 456bhp four-wheel-drive Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will open for UK sales in April next year.
Priced from £79,915, it succeeds the earlier 4 S E-Hybrid with a 31-mile electric range and combined fuel consumption of 113mpg, together with an official 0-62mph time of 4.6sec and a 173mph top speed.
At the heart of the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is a newly developed petrol-electric drivetrain that is also set to appear in next year’s Cayenne E-Hybrid. It uses Porsche’s recently unveiled twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine tuned to 325bhp and 332lb ft, in combination with an electric motor mounted in the front of the gearbox capable of delivering up to 134bhp and 295lb ft.
Together, the combustion engine and electric motor provide combined system outputs of 456bhp and 516lb ft. This provides the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid with 46bhp and 81lb ft more than the first-generation Panamera S E-Hybrid it replaces in the Porsche line-up.
It is also 22bhp and 111lb ft up on the second-generation Panamera 4S, which is powered by a more heavily tuned version of Porsche’s twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6, albeit without the assistance of an electric motor.
Significantly, Porsche has altered the programming of the electric motor to provide greater emphasis on performance. It now works in tandem with the petrol engine the moment the throttle is depressed. Previously, the throttle needed to be 80% engaged before the reserves of the electric motor were combined with those of the combustion engine in an earlier strategy aimed at optimising economy.
According to Porsche, the new programming is based on that originally developed for the 918 Spyder. It allows the driver to call up additional power from the electric motor at all times.
The result is a 0.9sec reduction in the 0-62mph time along with a 5mph increase in top speed over the superseded Panamera S E-Hybrid. Despite this, the new model's average CO2 emissions are just 56g/km on the European test cycle.
As on other second-generation Panamera models revealed to date, drive is channelled through a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system. The earlier Panamera S E-Hybrid, on the other hand, used an eight-speed torque converter-equipped automatic gearbox.
Altogether there are six different driving modes. They include the Sport and Sport Plus modes of other new Panamera models equipped with the Sport Chrono package, along with the E-Hybrid specific modes of E-power, Hybrid Auto, E-Hold and E-Charge.
As with its predecessor, Porsche’s latest hybrid model is programmed to start in E-power mode. With a fully charged battery, it is claimed to offer a pure electric range of up to 31 miles at speeds limited to 87mph.
Power for the Panamera E-Hybrid’s electric motor is provided by a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery. Despite boasting a 4.7kWh increase in energy stores at 14.1kWh, it is claimed to weigh no more than the unit used by the older Panamera S E-Hybrid.
Porsche says the battery can be charged in 5.8 hours using a standard 3.6kW charger, while an optional 7.2kW charger is claimed to reduce the charging time to 3.6 hours. Charging can be started via the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system or remotely via the Porsche Car Connect app. An auxiliary air conditioner also now allows the cabin to be cooled during charging.
A so-called power meter allows the driver to keep tabs of the operation of the hybrid driveline via a standard 12.3in touch screen display. Similar to that found on the 918 Spyder, it provides detailed data on energy stores, including the amount of electrical energy being used in real time as well as that recovered through recuperation. There is also a 'boost assistant' that displays the energy available for boosting performance via the electric motor as well as a 'hybrid assistant' that provides information on how to regulate the electric drive for maximum economy.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid rides on a standard air suspension. The newly developed underpinnings use a three-chamber design in combination with electronic damper control and dynamic chassis control that supports torque vectoring and active roll stabilisation.
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