Hy­brid hits the mar­que

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

A PLUG-IN hy­brid that can fully recharge in just four hours will lead the charge of Porsche’s up­dated Panam­era range when it ar­rives here mid year.

The Ger­man mar­que is claim­ing the ‘‘world’s first plug-in hy­brid drive in the lux­ury class’’ — Panam­era S E-Hy­brid has 306kW of com­bined petrol-elec­tric power, thanks to up­grades on the elec­tric side.

The elec­tric mo­tor now of­fers 70kW (up from 34kW) and takes charge from an up­graded lithium-ion 9.4kWh bat­tery pack with five times more ca­pac­ity over the out-go­ing car’s nickel metal hy­dride unit, with a plug-in charge time of four hours — or two-and a-half hours from an in­dus­trial fast-charge sys­tem.

The Panam­era S E-Hy­brid

Part of the po­si­tion­ing of the Panam­era is the top-end models have ex­clu­sive Porsche en­gines

has cut its fuel use al­most in half, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial Euro­pean test­ing — down from 7.1 to a Prius-beat­ing 3.1 litres/100km— as well as in­creas­ing its elec­tric-only driv­ing range to a claimed 36km, although the com­pany sug­gests a ‘‘ re­al­world’’ range be­tween 18km and 36km, although per­haps not when test­ing the elec­tric-only sys­tem’s top speed of 135km/h.

When all is asked of the en­tire driv­e­train, the S E-Hy­brid claims to hit 100km/h in 5.5 sec­onds (half a sec­ond quicker than the pre­de­ces­sor) and reaches a top speed of 270km/h.

Porsche Aus­tralia’s Paul El­lis says the hy­brid cur­rently rep­re­sents about 5 per cent of Panam­era sales but the new sys­tem may change that.

‘‘We would ex­pect that to go up with the new hy­brid. It’s an im­proved sys­tem that is more tac­tile, plug­ging in to the charge— they see it at work and it’s not hid­den,’’ he says.

‘‘We will start with the V6 diesel, the new S and 4S three-litre V6 models, and the V8 Turbo — then phas­ing in be­fore the end of the year with the V6 petrol in rear and AWD and the S E-Hy­brid,’’ Mr El­lis says.

Sadly for those who like to ride in the rear, the two lux­u­ri­ous Ex­ec­u­tive 150mm-longer-wheel­base ver­sions are mak­ing their de­but (aimed at the Chi­nese mar­ket, hence the Shang­hai un­veil­ing), but won’t be of­fered in Aus­tralia.

Forced in­duc­tion will ap­pear through the mid­dle lev­els of the up­dated Panam­era range with the in­tro­duc­tion of a Porsche-built twin-turbo V6 to re­place the nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated 4.8 litre V8 in the S and 4S models, of­fer­ing 309kW and 520Nm — up from 294kW and 500Nm — with a thirst cut by up to 18 per cent.

Mr El­lis says the V6 is a Porsche-spe­cific en­gine.

‘‘It’s a brand new en­gine. It’s a Porsche en­gine that’s made for the Panam­era — part of the po­si­tion­ing of the Panam­era is the top-end models have ex­clu­sive Porsche en­gines,’’ he says.

Trans­mis­sions re­main as seven or eight-speed (the lat­ter for the diesel, which gets an up­grade next year from 184kW to 200kW, with torque un­changed at 550Nm, and the hy­brid) dou­ble-clutch units, with an up­graded stop-start sys­tem for ear­lier shut-off and in­creased fuel sav­ings.

The body de­sign has been given a make-over, with larger front air in­takes, a change to the rake of the wind­screen and a widened rear win­dow and rear spoiler among the key changes, with op­tional LED head­lights also set to fur­ther change the new model’s ap­pear­ance.

Panam­era own­ers else­where with smart­phones will be able to con­trol myr­iad ve­hi­cle func­tions via a new Porsche Car Con­nect app, but that func­tion won’t be avail­able to Aus­tralian cus­tomers.

Mr El­lis says the app is pro­duced by an out­side sup­plier that doesn’t op­er­ate in Aus­tralia — ‘‘it’s out of our hands as it is done by an ex­ter­nal sup­plier.’’

Else­where, drivers can check on the car’s charge sta­tus in­di­ca­tor, as well as util­is­ing the aux­il­iary cli­mate con­trol op­tion of the plug-in hy­brid to pre-heat or cool the car, as well as ac­cess­ing other ve­hi­cle in­for­ma­tion like re­main­ing driv­ing range or even the car’s lo­ca­tion when parked by for­get­ful own­ers.

Other petrol-only Panam­era models can also be con­nected via a phone app.

Up­grades in the bat­tery packs have given Porsche’s Panam­era S E-Hy­brid im­proved per­for­mance and it now only takes four hours to charge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.