By on September 9, 2016

2017 Porsche Panamera 4 e-hybrid

With Porsche’s four-door sedan looking less and less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Paris Motor Show will see Porsche unveil the fourth model in the Panamera line: a plug-in E-Hybrid with all-wheel drive and an electric range of 31 miles (that’s 50 kilometres for the rest of us).

More than just a luxury sportscar with green overtones, Porsche’s new plug-in packs a grab-bag of technology that other Volkswagen Group brands will want to get their hands on.

The Panamera E-Hybrid will be advertised with a net output of 462 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of twist. This number is achieved courtesy of a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 330 hp/331 lb-ft and an electric motor making 136 hp/295 lb-ft. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed PDK transmission.

As with the 918 Spyder supercar, the power of the Panamera electric motor is made available as soon as your toes touch the accelerator pedal. In the past, the pedal needed to be pressed at least 80 per cent of the way down to unshackle those additional electric horses. This means drivers can leave their math set at home from now on.

Of interest are a couple of new drive modes outlined by Porsche. This Panamera will always start in the purely electric “E-Power” mode. “Hybrid Auto” mode is reportedly a completely new development. When this mode is selected, the Panamera automatically combines the gasoline and electric drive sources, selecting one or the other (or both) for greater efficiency. In “E-Charge” mode, the battery is charged by the V6 engine. To achieve this, the gasoline engine generates more power than is actually needed for driving (speak for yourself, Porsche; I’ll take all the power I can get while driving).

The boffins at Stuttgart saved the highest level of drive performance for the wholly unoriginally named “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes. The V6 biturbo engine is alive and kicking continuously in these two modes. In “Sport”, the battery charge is always maintained at a minimum level to ensure there are sufficient e-boost reserve capacities when needed. “Sport Plus” mode is all about maximum performance and allows the Panamera to reach its top speed of 278 km/h (173 mph). This mode also recharges the battery as quickly as possible with the help of the V6 biturbo engine. I’ll take Sport Plus, thank you very much.

Acceleration from 0-60 is pegged by Porsche at about 4.6 seconds. It’s worth speculating whether this hybrid technology might find its way into other Volkswagen Group vehicles. Any thoughts on that, B&B? In any case, this model bears little familial resemblance to the first hybrid vehicle developed by Ferdinand Porsche and, sadly, does not include the epic hats sported by drivers of that period.

The first units in Europe will be delivered from mid-April. Deliveries in all other continents follows in 2017.

[Images: Porsche AG]

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12 Comments on “2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: The Plug-in That Wants It All...”

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    Remove the gasoline motor, and you have the Porsche response to Tesla.

    • 0 avatar

      With 50km “official” range? LOL! This is just a way to be compliant with EU mileage/CO2 targets. You know that the NEDC cycle does not take in account the SOC of hybrid batteries? This Porsche will have a declared fuel consumption of about 3l x 100km (80MPG), that’s the whole point of it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Porsche’s response to Tesla is the future Model E. But it will be priced in the stratosphere – much higher than a Tesla Model S – so there will be few takers.

      However, Porsche claims their Model E will not be thermally limited in sustained high-speed driving as Tesla’s Model S is. That should be interesting.

  • avatar

    The problem with the german approach is that they keep using transmission, clutches, gears, shafts etc. They are making easy things complicated, with “Deutsche Grundlichkeit”. BMW is the only, in Germany, that understood that the beauty of electric car lies in its simplicity.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My Optima Hybrid uses a conventional 6-speed automatic, probably because the regular Optima uses the same unit. It’s nicer driving than a CVT. But since an ICE is involved, having a transmission remains the only way to go.

      Porsche’s future Model E will certainly eliminate the conventional transmission.

    • 0 avatar

      No, I think that the Germans have (IMHO, correctly) placed their intermediate bets on hybrid gas/electric cars. This is as much about the technology available today as it is about acknowledging the market’s tepid adoption of purely electric vehicles.

      Which do you think will be more sellable to the broader market: “here’s a gas/electric hybrid that will return 60mpg” or, “here’s a plug-in electric that will get 200-250 miles per charge (depending on conditions)”? One eliminates ‘range anxiety’, the other doesn’t.

      Until the infrastructure is as ubiquitous and charging is within a few minutes of a fill up, the gas-electric hybrid that returns a significant improvement over today’s pure ICE engines will be the way to go.

  • avatar

    Engineered for the Autobahn, to be driven in N. America like a Camry…

    • 0 avatar

      But, and this is the salient point, to be driven by one guy around some claimed to exist circuit in Germany fast enough for buyers to claim (verified by nothing more than crass appeal to claimed authority, as is the standard in progressivestans everywhere) that theirs is fastester and bestester than yours.

      That being said, Pans are fantastic cars. The best P car currently on offer for useful road driving, for those who “need” to go faster than is comfortable in a Camry. Required gas stops included, probably the fastest production Cannonball Run car on the market, as it slips by some mechanically faster GTR stuck at a gas pump, somewhere in the middle of flyover country.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Those green calipers have got to be Porsche’s worst idea ever. I have seen several cars with them, including my neighbor’s Cayenne, and they look absolutely ridiculous.

  • avatar

    Drove a 2015 Cayenne e-hybrid yesterday. It’s a smooth transition going from electric to gas, but you’re not going to get much acceleration out of the electric drive. You get mild acceleration in e-mode, but goose it and the gas engine comes in early to get it moving.

  • avatar

    They’ve knocked the ugly off this. What a wonderful 200 – 750 mile a day road trip machine.

  • avatar

    Do they take deposits? I am ready to order one.

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