2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
And yes, that means not just the upcoming 918 Spyder and the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, but also upcoming versions of the Cayenne, and even the 'sacred' mid- or rear-engine sports cars—the 911, Boxster, and Cayman.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid, which Porsche says is the first luxury plug-in hybrid (other than the Fisker Karma) was first shown at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show and will go on sale toward the end of this year, with a sticker price of $99,975.
That system can run the vehicle on electric power alone for 22 miles, yet it has a combined output of 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque and can reach 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph.
Cayenne next... and 918 Spyder
On the way next is a version of the Cayenne, which will continue to also use the supercharged V-6, and the 918 Spyder, which as we reported earlier this week will make a phenomenal 887 horsepower and can get to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds (or a top speed of more than 213 mph).
In that next-generation technology, you can expect a battery pack that's more energy dense (meaning it might have fewer package sacrifices, or more capability for electric-only operation), while the brand is also developing an inductive charging system that may be used by the time it hits the market.
Next-generation plug-in hybrids, Autocar notes, will include map data, to help the systems anticipate when to use engine stop-start, when to coast, and when to use more electric assist—all for even better range and fuel-efficiency.
Could it be repurposed for Bentley?
According to Edmunds, the hybrid powertrain for the next-generation Porsche hybrid module would be built on the Volkswagen Group's MSB platform architecture, which will debut in the 2016 Panamera. And since Bentley will be using this same platform, its cars are fair game, too—if, that is, the system can be reconfigured to fit the British ultra-luxury marque's strong-and-smooth driving personality.
The early reports come via members of the press who were invited to a Panamera Hybrid Technology workshop.
Porsche isn't the only automaker to be angling toward a far greater performance hybrid lineup in a few years. Mercedes-Benz performance division AMG also has long-term plans to offer hybrid performance models, whereas Porsche's VW Group cousin, Audi, may have some hybrid models yet plans to emphasize the performance potential of diesel technology in future sports cars.