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Porsche Panamera set to go electric

Porsche hints at an EV future for its Panamera, citing no conflict with the Taycan

27 Aug 2020

THE Porsche Panamera sedan could be set to undergo an electric makeover in coming years and wind-up being the bigger EV brother to the all-electric Taycan.


Speaking with Australian media following the global reveal of the new Panamera, product line vice-president Dr Thomas Friemuth revealed that an electric version of the brand’s executive sedan was under consideration.


“We have to think where are the markets going and we have to now follow what’s happening with our Taycan – our smaller limousine in terms of battery electric vehicles – and then we will see in the future what is happening,” he said.


“We don’t see a big overlap between these two cars … it’s a different car coming from Panamera.


“Panamera is luxury sedan and a sportscar and a big car with a lot of roominess and interior space and so on to drive long distance comfortably with four adults.


“When you see the Taycan, you will vastly imagine that this is a different car – we don’t see much overlap from the customer perspective between Panamera and Taycan.”


It is little wonder Porsche is considering going down the fully-electrified route with its biggest passenger vehicle given that 60 per cent of all European Panamera sales have been hybrids.


As for the Australian range, Dr Friemuth confirmed that two more hybrid versions were slated for a local introduction in the coming months, those being an entry-level variant and the range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid.


While the Turbo S E-Hybrid will top the range in terms of brute force (and price), Dr Friemuth revealed it would not be as fast as the new Turbo S variant on a circuit like the Nurburgring


“It (Turbo S E-Hybrid) has more horsepower or PS (than the new Turbo S) but in terms of the weight of the car, on the Nurburgring, the conventional Turbo S is faster,” he said.


While the Turbo S will rule the track, Dr Friemuth was certain the new Turbo S E-Hybrid – which has not officially been announced yet – will be faster in a straight line, meaning a sub-3.0-second 0-100km/h time could be on the cards for what will be a more-than-2.5-tonne four-door.


For reference, the new Turbo S is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine good for 463kW of power and 820Nm of torque, enough to sling it from 0-100km/h in 3.1 seconds.


The outgoing Turbo S E-Hybrid meanwhile produces 500kW/850Nm, however Dr Friemuth would not be drawn into specifics for the new iteration, instead opting just to say that they “will increase the main data”.


In terms of all-out electrification, the Panamera is far from the first ‘traditionally’ powered Porsche to be slated for a move to battery power, with the Macan medium SUV set to touch down in zero-emission guise around 2022.


Furthermore, global head of the 718 model line Frank-Steffen Walliser revealed earlier this year that the Cayman and Boxster twins could also be headed down that route.


Speaking to journalists following the debut of the latest 911 Targa, Mr Walliser said the next 718 could end up “way more different” with “more options than only six cylinders”.


“It (electrification) would be one of the options,” he said at the time.


“Can I imagine an electric sportscar? Yes, of course I can.


“With the 918 Spyder I think we had the first taste of it … so I definitely think we can do a very, very good electric sportscar, but I do not intend to make an electric 911.”


He also confirmed that there were no plans to introduce a third sportscar or grand tourer into the Porsche model line-up, further pointing to the possibility of an electrified 718 given there will not be an electric 911.


In the meantime, Panamera sales are down 64.9 per cent year-on-year to the end of July with just 13 units shifted so far in 2020.

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