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Porsche’s facelifted Panamera to go plug-in

Heart transplant: The Porsche Panamera’s controversial styling will remain largely intact in a facelift that will focus on powertrain advances next year.

Plug-in hybrid, more diesel grunt confirmed for updated Porsche Panamera next year

2 Nov 2012


PORSCHE’S Panamera luxury sedan range will not only gain a plug-in hybrid powertrain but also get more grunt from the current V6 diesel in a makeover to be unveiled mid-2013.

However, the styling changes will be minor and a wagon version – as previewed at the recent Paris motor show in the form of the Sport Turismo concept – will not be part of this update.

Instead, the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid powertrain of the concept will be transplanted into the updated Panamera, and the wagon-like Turismo will form the basis for the all-new Panamera due in a few years.

The facelifted Panamera will be revealed in Europe in the middle of 2013, and is expected to arrive in Australia late in the year or perhaps early 2014.

However, the plug-in ‘e-hybrid’ version – which is expected to replace the current conventional petrol-electric hybrid Panamera – will not hit the market anywhere before 2014 in a typical Porsche phased roll out.

The concept’s plug-in powertrain mates a 245kW supercharged petrol V6 with a new 70kW electric motor and a powerful 9.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack to create a vehicle that will be good for a combined fuel consumption rating of just 3.5 litres per 100km and the 0-100km/h dash in less than six seconds.

This compares with 7.1L/100km and a neat six seconds for the current hybrid, which has a less powerful electric motor and minimal all-electric range.

As well, the bigger battery – that can be recharged at a wall socket in as little as 2.5 hours – will be capable of propelling the Panamera for up to 30km at up to 130km/h before the petrol engine kicks in.

Less dramatic but no less important for Porsche sales will be a revised V6 diesel engine for the Panamera base model – the only variant with a price tag under $200k – that Porsche insiders say will get higher performance this time around.

The current 3.0-litre diesel V6 – sourced from parent company Volkswagen and sister operation Audi – generates 184kW of power and 550Nm of torque, driving the Panamera from zero to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.

Figures for the new variant have yet to be revealed, but Porsche sources at this week’s media launch for the 911 Carrera 4 and Cayenne S Diesel in Austria confirmed the engine would also spread to the Cayenne SUV in time.

However, the newly introduced 4.2-litre 284kW/850Nm in the Cayenne will not be heading the other direction, into the Panamera, any time soon – it won’t fit in the current engine bay.

Panamera buyers wanting this class-leading V8, which can shoot the Cayenne from standstill to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, might have to wait until the next generation of the four-door sedan, which is at least two years away.

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