It’s sure to cost a fortune but will that really stop it from selling like hotcakes?
During last year’s June release of the new Porsche Panamera, the world was granted viewing pleasure of three models, the bottom tier 4S, the Diesel, and the range-topping Turbo. We also got word that two hybrids were on their way, which was partially proved correct when the Panamera 4E Hybrid came to light. However, the second hybrid we’ve been waiting for hasn’t hit the market yet, but some have speculated it could be an even more eco friendly sedan than the 4E Hybrid.
Motoring, however, has learned that Porsche is thinking about something entirely different. Speaking with Panamera sales and marketing director Dr Stefan Utsch at a recent drive event, Motoring heard some elusive speak hinting that our fabled Panamera Hybrid, which is supposed to incorporate electric motors to make it more of a four-door Porsche 918 rather than a fuel sipper, could be materializing. “We will have two performance-oriented performance hybrids within the Panamera model line… The car you are driving today (Panamera 4E Hybrid) is the first step,” said Utsch. “Hybrid stands for additional performance. Hybrid is the performance kit of the future.”
While this tells us that Porsche, like BMW’s M and Mercedes’ AMG, is looking towards hybridization to add performance rather than leech it away, it doesn't mention much about the hybrid's future drivetrain. Filling in those gaps was Panamera Electronics Director Robert Hahle, who told Motoring that increasing the performance of its 4E Hybrid is no small feat when considering revamping the battery and electric motors to increase output. “Changing the battery or the e-motor is something more difficult. It’s not so easy because of cooling and those sorts of things.” said Hahle. The much easier prospect is to swap engines up front, with the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 being the only other replacement option outside of the diesel.
That power plant makes 550 horsepower on its own, and if supplemented by the same 136 horsepower electric motor used in the Panamera 4E Hybrid, power output could go as high as 686 horsepower. Motoring notes that this drivetrain isn't optimal for a track-oriented GTS version of the Panamera given that the weight of a large sedan, V8 engine, electric motors, and battery would make the car a mammoth, but that doesn’t mean that Porsche couldn’t use the setup to manufacture a fast accelerating S Turbo E Hybrid variant. So far, we like where this is going.