By Jody McCutcheon
Prepare yourself for luxury like you’ve never experienced, as Porsche introduces the world’s first plug-in luxury hybrid. Now you can enjoy all the power, beauty and extravagance of Porsche, while steering eco-friendly transport into new territory.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid trumps other parallel hybrids (and the original S Hybrid), channeling more power through a superior electric motor and a higher-performance battery. The 9.4kWh lithium-ion battery is five times more powerful than the nickel-metal hydride model commonly used in hybrids, while the electric motor offers 95hp (70kW), doubling its predecessor’s 47hp. Add to that a 3-litre, V-6, 333hp bi-turbo combustion engine, and the S E-Hybrid’s total output is an uncompromising 416hp, with 435lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 270km/h.
Focusing on improved e-drive performance, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid delivers quicker acceleration, faster top speed and greater range. Electrically assisted acceleration enables 0-100km in 5.5 seconds, a half-second faster than the S Hybrid. Top speed in pure electric mode is 135km/h, which leads the luxury e-car pack. The advertised e-mode range of 36km was achieved only with climate control turned off; when using climate control and other power-draining functions, a range of 20-30km is probably a safer estimation.
Fuel consumption also improves, as the S E-Hybrid advertises 3.1L/100km, or 76mpg. That’s a 56% reduction from the previous model’s 7.1L/100km. Subsequent press-event testing–with three to four people per vehicle and climate control in use, while reaching speeds of 230km/h–produced a fuel consumption average of 4.4L/100km (53mpg), with a low of 2.8L/100km. So a value of 3.1 doesn’t seem out of the question.Hybrid mode produces modest carbon dioxide emissions of 71g/km, and of course e-mode uses zero fuel and allows for emission-free driving–optimal specs for urban travel. The S E-Hybrid also has a “coast” function, in which the engine disengages and the vehicle coasts (either in transit or in coming to a stop), allowing the battery to generate additional electricity.
The lithium-ion battery can also be charged from an external power source. A full charge from an industrial outlet via the integrated onboard charger and Porsche Universal (AC) charger takes about two and a half hours, whereas charging from a conventional household charger takes about four hours. Various smartphone apps allow the user to remotely check remaining range and battery charge.
A car this special will set you back $150,000. But it will save you both gas and guilt, while cutting no corners in delivering comfort and luxury.