2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: The Plug-in That Wants It All

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
2017 porsche panamera 4 e hybrid the plug in that wants it all

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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  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?