By on December 9, 2017

2017 Porsche Panamera 4 e-hybrid

It’ll be a long time before Porsche removes any hint of internal combustion from its beyond-iconic 911. The flat-six is safe for the next decade or so.

However, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says the company wants a plug-in hybrid version, hopefully by 2023 — when the next-generation model reaches its mid-cycle update. “It will be very important for the 911 to have a plug-in hybrid,” Blume told Automotive News last week. There’s no stamp of approval yet, but Blume feels the German automaker “will go for it.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. If European sales of the recently introduced Panamera E-Hybrid are any indication, an electrified 911 is an insurance policy that’s sure to pay off.

According to Bloomberg, the improved plug-in Panamera line, which boasts about 22 miles of real-world range from a lithium-ion battery and electric motor, made up 60 percent of European Panamera sales from the start of sales in June through the end of October. Porsche has various government to thank for it.

Not only are cities pledging to ban internal combustion cars (or levy fees on the use of ICE models in city centers, at the very least), there’s steep incentives for buying a vehicle capable of travelling under electric power alone. Not only do buyers want to be able to drive their Porsche in the future, they also want the tax benefits.

“Customer demand is much higher than the 10 or 15 percent we first expected,” said Gernot Doellner, head of the Panamera model line.

Thanks to government incentives, 90 percent of second-gen Panameras sold in Belgium are E-Hybrids. In France, the figure is 70 percent. Even Germany, with its cagey acceptance of green initiatives and love of tradition, saw 25 percent of Panamera sales go to the E-Hybrid variants.

The business case for an electrified 911 is clear to see.

Porsche no doubt wishes for the continuation of the United State’s federal EV tax credit, as it’s a long way from using up its 200,000-unit allotment. Still, the plug-in hybrid’s popularity (and promise) remains higher in jurisdictions eager to make ownership of gas-burning cars a hardship. Naturally, sending the E-Hybrid models to China was a must. The model went on sale in the Far East in October.

The E-Hybrid line encompasses the full second-generation Panamera lineup, including the Turbo and fetching new Sport Turismo wagon variant. Power output ranges from 462 to 680 hp.

[Image: Porsche]

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23 Comments on “With These Sales, It’s No Wonder Porsche Wants a Plug-in 911...”


  • avatar
    stingray65

    Just what the 911 needs – 600 lbs of batteries and electric motors for more road hugging weight. Nothing says sports car like 4500 pound curb weights.

    • 0 avatar
      namesakeone

      This.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo driver

      Let’s face it, the 911 is already a fat f__k. Another 600lbs won’t make any difference to the vast majority of buyers.

      I’m all for it. The less gasoline other people buy the cheaper it is for me. Thank you for subsidizing my cheap gas.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        The upper end of the weight of a 911 is 3,600 lbs. A Koenigsegg Regera hybrid is 3,500 lbs and a full electric Model 3 is 3549 to 3800. So, the 911 is unfortunately already into EV sedan weight range. By the time an electric 911 is in production, an EV version might actually be a bit lighter given the advances in battery tech coming down the pike.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        yup

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Eh. The Panamera e-Hybrid only weighs about 225 lbs more than the Panamera Turbo. That’s less than the difference between a 991 Carrera 2 and a 991 Turbo.

      Here in California, plug-in hybrids get to use the carpool lane at rush hour. That’s more of a speed advantage than 300 more horsepower, in any car.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I have my personal preferences. I would prefer supercars hypercars and plain sports cars to be under 1,500kg or about 3,300lb.

        I give some leeway for muscle cars and stuff like the Porsche 918 which is something like 1,690kg etc. so IMO Porsche being experts, would build a 911EV at under this.

        I would expect them to do stuff like maybe 150 miles and they should do a mclaren thing put the EV into a boost mode to ‘torque fill’ the places the 3.0 turbo flat six might have.

        Panamera? That’s a 4,400lb super saloon so I dont care what that weighs.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Hybrid gear will probably add 200-300lb of curb weight to the 911. No worse than the Turbo. In 2018 let’s commit to being less reactionary.

  • avatar
    Joss

    but there’s all the up & coming independents in EV platform and suspension technologies that are gonna eat from the inside out.

  • avatar
    Heino

    Airbus and NASA are looking at electric airplanes. You can also buy electric motorcycles. All my gardening equipment is battery powered. Look forward to iToiletpaper and iShower.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Yes I’m sure an airplane with 50,000 to 100,000 lbs of batteries will be perfect – and when the battery goes flat at 40,000 feet they can be recharged in only 30 minutes if you have a really long extension cord and access to Elon’s supercharger network.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @stingray: Yes I’m sure an airplane with 50,000 to 100,000 lbs of batteries will be perfect – and when the battery goes flat at 40,000

        The fuel for a 747 -8 weighs 970,000 lbs, so 50,000 to 100,000 lbs of batteries would be an improvement. Also, the general idea with vehicles is to refuel them before they run out. Gas or electric, you just fuel it up before it runs out. Simple. Now, maybe we want to talk about carburetor icing and other issues with ICE powered aircraft.

        Then again, since you seem to think you’re an aviation expert, maybe you should call up boeing and advise them of the evils of electric aircraft.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-aerospace-hybrid/boeing-backed-hybrid-electric-commuter-plane-to-hit-market-in-2022-idUSKBN1CA16A

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          The difference is that jet fuel burns off and the plane gets lighter and more efficient, while a flat battery weighs the same as a full battery. Given that 1 gallon of jet fuel weighing about 7 lbs contains 37kWh of energy, and the equivalent capacity battery will weigh several hundred pounds, I don’t think we’ll see electric planes until the laws of physics are changed. I expect any EP interest shown by Boeing is purely PR to keep tree hugging regulators out of the aviation business.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          An electric/solar plane has flown around the world. They can “refuel” while in flight, unlike fossil fuelled planes. It’s early days for the technology. My guess is that air travel will be shorter distances, electric and slow, to avoid the heavy air resistance penalty of high speed. Quite likely with lighter than air craft so no propulsion is needed to create lift. Notice that supersonic passenger jets have gone away, rather than become common.

          High speed long distance travel probably will be electric and in tunnels where air resistance can be contained and managed. Musk’s Boring Comoany is already working on this. (Cue Musk haters.)

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Yes I’m sure that solar planes will soon be replacing airliners with that 50 mph cruising speed and 23 day round the world performance. That speed is about the same as the Wright Model B from 1910 and the round the world performance is only 3 times longer than Wiley Post in the Winnie Mae time of 8 days in 1931. By the way, fossil fuel planes have been refueling in the air since 1923. As for Elon’s tunnel train – I’m pretty sure solar airliners will happen before his tunnel trains allow round the world travel – so set your clocks to the year 2492.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          975K lbs is the max take-off weight of a 747-800, so you obviously have not a clue what you are on about, as usual. 100K lbs of batteries would get a 747 about one circuit of the field.

          At best, they are saying very short range regional airliners in the <100 seat class, maybe 200 miles range. But I cannot see any airline buying one outside some truly ludicrous government subsidies and requirements. If nothing else, making money on small airplanes absolutely depends on quick turns and as many flights as possible in a day. If the airlines were actually interested in reducing their fuel costs considerably in this area, all they have to do is go back to turboprops. But they don't, with exceptions, because the general public doesn't like propellers, and in the grand scheme of things it just doesn't matter.

      • 0 avatar
        volvo driver

        Yeah sure Einstein. Whatever you say.

  • avatar

    “If European sales of the recently introduced Panamera E-Hybrid are any indication, an electrified 911 is an insurance policy that’s sure to pay off.”

    Isn’t that an apples-to-oranges comparison ? The Panamera is a family sedan for well-heeled businessfolk that only really exists so they can say “Let’s go for lunch in the Porsche”. Being able to sneak inside the EV-only areas or Paris or London in search of a pumpkin spice latte is central to the needs of most of its buyers. The thought of stop/start commuting is (or at least should be) the anathema of every 911 driver.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Should be? Why? The base 911 has always been the everyday sports car, not some razor’s edge track beast. Better to have people in hybrid sports cars than hybrid land whales like the Panamera. Welcome to 2017

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