Two “performance-orientated” plug-in hybrid versions of the Porsche Panamera will be offered in the model range of the new luxury saloon.
Porsche unveiled high-performance four-wheel-drive petrol and diesel variants of the second-generation Panamera this week, with further derivatives set to join the range at a later date.
A petrol-electric plug-in Panamera S E-Hybrid formed part of the outgoing model’s range, but the incoming version will boast a choice of hybrids, confirmed Porsche chief executive officer Oliver Blume: “In the near future we will have an entry plug-in hybrid model and we will have a top model. That’s our strategy."
He wouldn’t be drawn on the technical format or capabilities of the hybrid system that will be used to propel these two models, beyond saying there is a possibility to gain more performance from it, as well as greater efficiency.
“For me at this moment the plug-in versions are the best way to fulfil all the CO2 regulations but also our performance needs,” he said. “We have the possibility to put in more power.”
All of the new breed of turbocharged V6 and V8 petrol ‘KOVOMO’ engines that have been jointly engineered between Audi and Porsche can be combined with hybrid systems.
Head of drivetrain development Jörg Kerner ruled out one hybrid being based on a petrol engine and the other on a diesel to suit different market requirements in different markets.
The move marks a shift on philosophy away from using hybridisation exclusively for efficiency gains to also using it to enhance performance. It is possible that the hybrid Panameras could feature an ‘e-boost’ function that deploys electric motors for a temporary increase in performance.
Such as system was used on the Porsche 918 Spyder; in ‘Sport Hybrid’ mode the car’s electric motors provided support for the combustion engine in the form of electric boosting, or when the operating point of the combustion engine could be optimised for greater efficiency.