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Porsche Plans Hybrid In Every Model Line, But Is That A Bad Thing?

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Hybrids and electric vehicles are, without question, part of the future of these four-wheeled conveyances we love so much. So far, aside from the occasional exception, that's been a very unexciting development. But Porsche is now planning a hybrid in every model line. Will it go well, or does it spell the death of the legend of Porsche?

Porsche's Wolfgang Duerheimer, chief of development, has made a rather non-commital statement that "in the future" every model in Porsche's lineup would have a hybrid option. When? Not all that soon, we expect.

Hybrids like the 911 GT3 RS Hybrid are the sort we can get enthusiastic about. Power-adding, efficiency-enhancing, 40,000 rpm techno-cool wunder cars. Hybrids like the Toyota Prius and its ilk are more of the money-adding, mildly efficiency-enhancing, smug-inducing snoozer cars sort. Porsche's image as a sports car maker (and more recently, near-full-line carmaker) tends toward the former. Porsche's 918 Spyder goes one further and puts the combustion-only world on notice.

But that's not the only thing that gives us hope for Porsche's hybrid plans. As much as you may detest the addition of a Volkswagen-based SUV or an apple-bottomed sedan to the Porsche mix, they're still performance leaders in their classes.

Beyond all of that, there's no denying the physics of electric propulsion is a very good thing for performance driving. Instant-on torque, infinitely and precisely variable power-delivery, highly flexible placement within the chassis--all of these things can serve to make electric or hybrid sports cars even better than their gas-only counterparts. But the level of complexity, expense, and weight must all be managed with expertise bordering on artistry for the end result to be a net gain.

Already coming in the near future are the Cayenne and Panamera hybrids. The 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid certainly follows an encouraging formula, pairing a 333-horsepower supercharged V-6 with a 47-horsepower electric motor to boost both performance and efficiency. Porsche is even already at work on an all-electric Panamera.

Will Porsche's hybrid push mean better cars, not just greener cars? It's certainly a possibility, but we'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.

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  1. The problem is that there is no real way to make any of this hybridization economical without $4 gas. For Porsche owners it's less of an issue because they can afford $5 gas but the economics is still relevant. What auto enthusiasts would like to see is KERS performance without the price, complexity or weight of those electric motors or badass flywheel, but that doesn't seem avoidable. The less desirable option is the electric hybrid/battery/milquetoasty version. BTW, real Porsche's don't run V6s.
     
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