The battle between German sports car makers is heating up fast. We like where this is going.
The hybrid hypercar trinity was groundbreaking at for its time and still is in many respects, but behind the scene, the technology was used both to push the limits of performance using proven F1 technology and also as a great way to test powertrains for future sports cars. It's unavoidable that sports cars will go hybrid, as evidenced by Mercedes-AMG and BMW M's claims, but according to the latest report from Autocar, Porsche is about to take a more committed route down electric avenue.
This time around, we're not talking about the Tesla Model S-fighting Mission E because the performance car shift will be gradual for Stuttgart. What we're referencing is the upcoming high performance variant of the Panamera hybrid. The current hybrid mates a detuned version of the same 2.9-liter V6 from the 4S to a 134-horsepower electric motor for a total of 459 hp, a slight bit more than the 4S's 434 horsepower output. However, in efforts to both offer more variety for the environmentally concerned abd help hybrids become more palatable, Porsche has mentioned it would make a more powerful hybrid. We previously reported that Porsche had said the electric motor for the new car wouldn't gain any power.
This was further confirmed to Autocar by Panamera sales and marketing director Stefan Utsch. What this means is that the upgrade in power would have to come from the engine alone, and when Autocar asked Utsch if the same 2.9-liter V6 that the 4S and 4 E-Hybrid use is plausible, he said, "That would work." The obvious difference between drivetrains if this becomes the scenario would be that the V6 would get an engine upgrade to match the 4S's 434 hp which, when combined with the 134-hp electric motor, could crank out a total of 568 horses. This would place it slightly above the Panamera Turbo, the most powerful in the lineup with an output of 542 hp.
As Autocar notes, the electrified Panamera 4 E-Hybrid weighs a not-so-insignificant 550 pounds more than the V8 Turbo model. The cards are in Porsche's hands at the moment. We have few doubts that a faster gasoline-only Panamera will debut in the near future to relegate the Turbo as a midrange model, so Porsche can either make the next Hybrid Panamera slower or faster than the current Turbo. If Porsche goes with the latter option, at least we know that the idea of combining the V8 turbo engine with the electric motor is not out of the question.