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New models - Porsche - Panamera - 4 e-Hybrid

Paris show: Porsche amps up Panamera range

Hybrid theory: A plug-in hybrid variant will return to Porsche’s Panamera range midway through next year.

New Panamera e-Hybrid a large Porsche that travels faster, further

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Porsche logo9 Sep 2016

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

PORSCHE Cars Australia (PCA) has slashed the price of its Panamera 4 e-Hybrid by $42,700 as it switches to a new, more powerful generation set for public debut at the Paris motor show this month before landing locally mid next year.

The $242,600 plus on-road costs 4 e-Hybrid will become the most affordable second-generation Panamera, sitting beneath the $304,200 4S, $312,100 4S Diesel and $376,900 Turbo all set for a first quarter 2017 local arrival, however entry petrol and diesel replacements are still to come.

Every metric except charge time and petrol engine power has improved compared with the outgoing Panamera S e-Hybrid that launched in 2014 as Porsche’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Total system power and torque has been pegged at 340kW and 700Nm respectively, up from the previous 306kW/590Nm totals.

A new 2.9-litre bi-turbocharged petrol V6 engine contributes 243kW of power and 450Nm, virtually identical to the outgoing 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6’s 245kW/440Nm. However, a new electric motor produces 100kW and 400Nm – a healthy step up from the 70kW/310Nm previously.

A seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission has replaced the former eight-speed automatic, and with standard all-wheel drive Porsche has claimed the new Panamera 4 e-Hybrid will accelerate 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds – 0.6s quicker than the previous model.

On the efficiency front the new generation can, on a full battery charge, be driven up to 50km on electricity alone if speed does not exceed 140km/h, versus the 36km/135km/h limits before.

Official combined cycle fuel consumption is now rated at 2.5 litres per 100 kilometres, down from 3.1L/100km.

Battery size has increased by 50 per cent, from 9.4kWh to 14.1kWh, however Porsche says new technology has made the larger package of cells lighter than the previous smaller unit.

A greater number of cells has resulted in longer charging time, however.

Depending on the power outlet the Panamera 4 e-Hybrid can be recharged from 3.6 to 5.8 hours. The previous model took between 2.5 and 3.8 hours.

The latest petrol-electric Porsche also has three unique driver-selectable modes beyond the standard Hybrid Auto, tagged E-Power, E-Hold and E-Charge, and respectively prioritising maximum performance, reserving battery power for later use and utilising the V6 petrol engine to recharge the batteries on the run.

Separate Sport and Sport Plus modes mirror those on other Panamera grades by changing settings for the standard air suspension and steering weighting, among others including using the V6 to ensure enough battery reserve is retained for the ‘e-boost’ function to be used.

Porsche has drawn parallels between its 918 Spyder hypercar and the new Panamera 4 e-Hybrid’s electric motor, which is now able to deliver an electric performance boost at any throttle position previously it required 80 per cent of accelerator travel to access the extra surge.

“At Porsche, this new type of ‘E-Performance’ – more power, more driving fun, lower fuel consumption – is seen as the performance path of the future,” the Stuttgart brand added in a statement.

“The plug-in hybrid version is the fourth model in the new Porsche Panamera range … (and) these four models represent a fusion of sports car and passenger car to form a Gran Turismo concept offering a unique combination of dynamism and comfort”.

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