Most auto enthusiasts contemplating sensible commuter autos in the world today think of the Toyota Prius as the standout. The automotive technicians at Porsche’s engineering HQ in Weissach, Germany, embrace a completely different point of view concerning performance and efficiency. The fastest Porsche race car ever, the 919 Le Mans Prototype, is a hybrid. So is the fastest Porsche road car ever, the 918 Spyder. Porsche hybrid powertrains are not about siphoning the last mile out of a gallon of gas; they're about efficient performance. The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid – newest addition to Porsche’s luxury sport sedan lineup – exemplifies that POV. Its powertrain is run by a 326 hp, 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V-6, and a compact 134 hp electric motor mounted between the internal combustion engine and the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. Total system output is 456 hp, with 516 lb-ft of torque at around 1,100 rpm. Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid press releases claim the car will accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, and achieve 172 mph on the autobahn.
Luxury enthusiasts looking for a touch of eco will like the fact that it starts up in Pure EV Mode and travels up to 30 miles on pure electric at 86 mph, before using up the battery's power and switching Hybrid Mode, which delivers different combos of electric motor power and gas power to achieve that efficient performance Porsche drivers crave. Plugged in to recharge, the 14.1 kW/hr battery takes 12 hours to top off using a 120V, 10-amp connection. Porsche claims that with a 240V, 40-amp connection, charging time decreases to under three hours. The S E-Hybrid is $10,000 more for this reason alone.
With a base price just under $100,000, the large luxury plug-in sedan seats for 4 passengers, uses an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries and a 416 horsepower V-6. Porsche hasn’t published a total range; the car’s fuel economy is rated at 23/29 mpg for city/highway, which is decent for a high performance sports car. The hybrid sports sedan’s interior is luxurious. The Panamera S E-Hybrid’s driving experience offers impeccable performance and handling – considered standard for a Porsche.
Porsche has made the point that many large luxury cars are often used for relatively short urban and suburban hops – round trips of less than 20 miles. Drivers who can identify with this lifestyle and afford the price may find the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is exactly what they're looking for.
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