Panam­era: plug, play, punch on

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Prestige - RICHARD BLACK­BURN

PORSCHE is plan­ning a high­per­for­mance ver­sion of its Panam­era hy­brid. Just hours after the com­pany un­veiled its new plug-in Panam­era at the Paris show, re­search and de­vel­op­ment chief Michael Steiner con­firmed en­gi­neers were al­ready work­ing on a more pow­er­ful hy­brid vari­ant.

A V8 is an op­tion, given the just re­leased six-cylin­der car clocks un­der 5.0 sec­onds for the 0-100km/h sprint.

“This Panam­era 4 E-hy­brid is a pretty sporty hy­brid com­pared to the last ver­sion, with much more per­for­mance, much more agility and also more range, but there will be some­thing that is clearly per­for­mance-wise ahead of this,” Steiner says.

The plug-in Panam­era‘s out­puts are 340kW/700Nm while the twin-turbo V8 de­vel­ops 404kW/770Nm, leav­ing space for a V8 hy­brid.

There’s also room from a price point of view — the new plug-in V6 has had a huge price cut to start at $242,600, against $376,900 for the twin-turbo V8.

A “sports tur­ismo” wagon will join the per­for­mance hy­brid, Steiner says.

Fans hop­ing for a high­per­for­mance hy­brid ver­sion of the 911 will have longer to wait, as Porsche’s pri­or­ity is the al­l­elec­tric Mis­sion E, its Tesla Model S-fighter.

It is test­ing com­po­nents for the Mis­sion E in ex­ist­ing cars and aims to de­velop an en­tirely new, fully elec­tric plat­form to give scope to spin more body shapes from the Mis­sion E.

“There is no rea­son why this only has to be a one-style body plat­form. Tech­ni­cally our plat­forms are de­signed (to do more),” Steiner says.

He also ap­peared to put the brakes on a two-door ver­sion of the Panam­era to ri­val Fer­rari’s GTC4 Lusso.

“For sure there would be a mar­ket for a car like that. This busi­ness is as much about the pro­por­tions, about the look and the Panam­era plat­form has the genes where you could do an at­trac­tive coupe,” he says.

How­ever, other pro­jects were also at­trac­tive — as he says, “spend your dol­lar or your euro only once” — and the fo­cus would be on petrol, hy­brid and elec­tric driv­e­trains.

Porsche won’t in­vest in diesel en­gine re­search and de­vel­op­ment but will con­tinue to bor­row diesels from VW, even in the wake of Diesel­gate.

“The de­vel­op­ment of diesels was not done by Porsche and will not be done by Porsche,” he says. “Diesel is to Porsche more a me-too tech­nol­ogy.”

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