Porsche meets Prius

The Panam­era plug-in hy­brid comes with a su­per­charged engine and a power cord

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

su­per­charged engine and an ex­ten­sion cord.

Un­like most hy­brid cars on sale, Porsche’s Panam­era sedan can be driven up to 36km on elec­tric power alone be­fore its su­per­charged V6 engine takes over. A reg­u­lar Toy­ota Prius can barely travel 1km on elec­tric­ity in ideal con­di­tions be­fore the petrol engine kicks in.

As clever as it is, Porsche ad­mits its hy­brid car is not in­tended to ap­peal to buy­ers look­ing to save money.

VALUE

Al­though the Panam­era’s a lux­ury car, this vari­ant gets a govern­ment tax con­ces­sion be­cause it’s deemed a fuel miser. All new cars above $59,133 are sub­ject to 33 per cent Lux­ury Car Tax on the amount above that thresh­old. But ‘‘ econ­omy cars’’— us­ing less than 7.0L/100km— have a higher tax thresh­old: the 33 per cent LCT doesn’t ap­ply un­til $75,375.

The net sav­ing of $3600 brings the price of the Porsche to $296,900, plus on-road costs. This is the same price as the pre­vi­ous model.

Two months ago Porsche Aus­tralia an­nounced price cuts across the range ex­cept for the Panam­era sedan. Porsche says it ne­go­ti­ated a price freeze rather than the price rise ini­tially re­quested by Ger­many. Porsche Aus­tralia only sold 10 of the pre­vi­ous Panam­era hy­brids over the past two years.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The hy­brid has one re­ally ace trick up its sleeve— it can topup its bat­tery on the move with enough en­ergy to power it an­other 36 petrol-free km.

In ad­di­tion to charg­ing it from a reg­u­lar power socket at your home or of­fice the bat­tery pack can be fully boosted with about 45 min­utes of nor­mal driv­ing. It’s the work of ab­so­lute ge­nius.

Hav­ing found a way to ar­ti­fi­cially load the engine to pro­vide enough charge to the bat­tery pack on the move,

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