It was just a couple of months ago that the second generation Porsche Panamera was revealed in 4S and Turbo guise, and just last week that we drove it in Germany. Now, the German carmaker has taken the wraps off the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, the most technically advanced model in the line-up.
Looking as attractive as the other variants of the sports saloon, the hybrid variant cobines the 2.9-litre twin-tirbocharged V6 with a 14.1-kWh battery and a 136-horsepower, 400Nm electric motor. The combined output of this petrol-electric hybrid set-up is 456bhp and a whopping 700Nm of torque. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will also drive up to 50km on electricity alone. However, don’t dismiss it as just another green car, as all that grunt is on tap from the word go, with the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid hitting 100kph from standstill in just 4.6 seconds, and goes on to a top speed to 278kph.
This bump in performance has been achieved by tweaking the electric motor’s programming. In the new set-up, which is similar to the one in the 918 Spyder supercar, the motor now starts working as soon as the accelerator pedal is depressed, unlike in the previous model where the pedal needed to be pressed at least 80 per cent of the way down to unleash the additional power from the electric drive's "E-Boost" mode. Like the rest of its siblings in the Panamera range, the hybrid variant uses Porsche’s twin-clutch PDK gearbox, the first time it has been applied to a hybrid model. It also comes with an array of model-specific drive modes including "E-Power," "Hybrid Auto," "E-Hold," and "E-Charge, apart from the usual ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ options.
Being a hybrid, Porsche claims the new model will return figures of 56g/km CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures of just over 2.0 litres per 100 km. However, we would take those numbers with a pinch of salt, as we’ve seen before that real world statistics can be far off these controlled test results.
The 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and is expected to go on sale by the summer of 2017. Pricing has yet to be announced.