Porsche made a splash in the hybrid vehicle market with the Cayenne S Hybrid sedan released in North America in November 2010. This four-door sedan achieves a modest fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon with a steep price tag of $67,700. The next entry in the hybrid market for Porsche is the Panamera S Hybrid based on the popular Panamera luxury sedan design. Representatives from Porsche announced last week that the Panamera S Hybrid will hit American showrooms by December 2011 with a starting price of $95,000.
The heart of the Panamera S Hybrid is a 3.0-liter V6 engine capable of producing 248kW of power. This gas engine is paired with a 34kW electric motor to reduce fuel consumption. Porsche incorporated a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery into the drive system instead of a lithium-ion pack to keep battery costs low. The
This luxury hybrid is estimated to hit 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in 5.7 seconds. Porsche also notes that the Panamera S Hybrid can reach a maximum speed of 167 miles per hour. All-electric range for this hybrid is limited to about a mile with the electric motor aiding acceleration up to 50 miles per hour. The Panamera S Hybrid pushes Porsche into a new level of fuel efficiency with an estimate fuel mileage of 33 miles per gallon. This detail might raise eyebrows among eco-conscious consumers but in the realm of luxury vehicles, Porsche is breaking new ground with the Panamera S Hybrid.
Porsche understand that its latest addition to the hybrid market is aimed at that select group with $95,000 to spare on a car. This consideration informed the addition of new features in the Panamera S Hybrid that meet the needs of 21st century drivers. The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system includes point-by-point navigation and an audio system that can accommodate MP3 players, laptops and other external sources. Porsche added advanced Bi-Xenon headlights that produce a brighter light without burning out as quickly as traditional lights. The Panamera S Hybrid might not be a Toyota Prius, Tesla Roadster or Nissan LEAF in terms of mileage but it is a big step forward for Porsche.