Could Porsche be looking to add yet another alternate-fueled Panamera variant? According to Motor Trend, the signs point to yes for a plug-in hybrid Panamera.
Debuting in mid-2013, the plug-in Panamera would be the first of two Porsche plug-ins to hit the roads next year; however, the Panamera will be much less exclusive than limited-production Porsche 918 supercar. The base for the new Panamera variant will be the already-in-production 2012 Panamera S Hybrid (pictured here). The plug-in version will use the same 380-hp direct-injected 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 and eight-speed automatic, but will utilize a separating clutch that will allow the gas engine to shut off while the car is still in motion.
Instead of the S Hybrid's nickel-metal hybrid battery pack, the plug-in Panamera will use a set of larger lithium-ion batteries. MT says they don't know the final capacity of the new pack, but "expect about 12 kWh." Sandwiched between the transmission and engine is an electric motor that will be able to drive the rear wheels on its own for full-electric propulsion of about 19 miles.
It's no surprise that the Panamera will be the first mass-marketed Porsche to receive a plug-in hybrid powertrain, as the Porsche executives we spoke with during the Geneva Motor Show told us that they are working "for the Cayenne and Panamera to offer plug-in hybrids as soon as possible."
The current 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is rated at 22/30 mpg city/highway by the EPA and retails for a cool $95,975, so expect the plug-in version to top both the hybrid's fuel economy numbers and price tag when it goes on sale next year.
Source: Motor Trend