We’re not even halfway through 2014, and the latest news from Motor Trend has us rushing to mark our calendars for 2017. Senior features editor Jonny Lieberman reports that in three years’ time there will be 700-plus-hp plug-in hybrid versions of the 911 Turbo S and Panamera Turbo S, not to mention a high-powered Cayman GT4 with a Boxster GT4 twin dubbed the RS Spyder.
Using plug-in hybrid technology seen in the 918 Spyder supercar, the Panamera and 911 Turbo S will likely adopt e-Hybrid badges to increase performance (there's already an economy-focused Panamera S E-Hybrid plug in). Assuming the 156-hp electric motor from the Porsche 918 will translate to the Panamera and 911, Motor Trend expects 725-730 hp for these range-topping models. Whether the e-Hybrid newcomers will outrank or simply replace the existing 560-hp 911 and 570-hp Panamera Turbo S models remains up in the air. However, as more Zero-Emission Zones come to European city centers, Porsche will have a stronger incentive to launch more plug-in models.
Plug-in e-Hybrid technology (paired with Porsche’s 4.8-liter V-8) will also come along with the first Cayenne Coupe and Panamera wagon, both of which will receive Sport Turismo badging and a formidable $185,000 starting price. (A Panamera Sport Turismo concept was shown at the 2012 Paris auto show.) Later down the line, Motor Trend reports that plug-in hybrid variants of the Cayenne and Panamera Sport Turismo will be paired with the new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 from today's Panamera S.
Perhaps the biggest news for enthusiasts is that a new GT4 version of the mid-engine Cayman and Boxster. Not to be outdone, the Cayman GT4 and so-called Boxster RS Spyder are also rumored to employ hybrid powertrains. Lieberman suggests that, depending on the 919 Hybrid race car’s performance against the competition this summer, GT4 models could either switch to a turbocharged, inline-four plug-in hybrid powertrain or add a hybrid-assist to the current flat-six setup. Either way, power for these models would total over 400 hp, and their starting price of around $125,000 would reflect the added oomph. The current 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS, on sale this summer, begins at $76,195. Its 3.4-liter flat-six makes 340 hp, while the $74,495 Porsche Boxster GTS wields 330 hp.
It’s easy to forget that hybrids once seemed doomed to be forever-dinky eco-machines, like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. Now the super-hybrid technology developed for advanced performance cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder will have the chance to slide down the ladder to relatively more accessible territory. Color us eager for what’s to come.