2010 porsche panamera turbo 004 2
The Cayenne Hybrid will be launched first, with the Panamera version coming shortly afterEnlarge Photo
Currently, Porsche has a Cayenne SUV prototype that uses a 3.0L V6 hybrid engine sourced from Audi, and it wouldn't be surprising if this engine found its way into the Panamera for the more environmentally conscious Porsche buyers out there.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Porsche executive board member Michael Macht confirmed that there will be a Cayenne hybrid next year and a “Panamera hybrid soon after."
Porsche purists may balk at the idea, but there is also expected to be a conventional V6 engine for the new Panamera - in other words, Porsche's famed flat-six won't likely be making an appearance in the new four-seater model.
Porsche's head of research and development, Wolfgang Durheimer, has previously explained that the flat-six engine doesn't fit in the front of the Panamera because of the particular shape of the engine bay, as well as the fact that the suspension would get in the way.
A V6-engined variant will certainly bring down the cost of the cheapest Porsche Panamera, which for now resides with the Panamera S that starts at a little under $90,000. Assuming a petrol-powered V6 becomes the entry-level model, with conventional suspension rather than Porsche's air suspension system, we could see the Panamera drop a large amount of that $90,000 price tag.