The new model goes by the full title of Porsche Panamera S Hybrid and develops a total output of 380 horsepower--333 horsepower from a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 and 47 horsepower from an electric motor.
Porsche claims that the sophisticated powertrain in the Panamera S Hybrid is good for a fuel economy of 34.6 mpg for the European combined cycle. Note that this figure applies only when the car is equipped with Michelin low rolling resistance tires. Switch to standard tires and you’re looking at a fuel economy of 33 mpg.
Despite the frugality, the Panamera S Hybrid will still accelerate from 0-62 mph in a brisk 6.0 seconds flat and go all the way to a top speed of 168 mph.
Being a parallel hybrid, the car can also drive on electric power alone. The range in purely electric mode is approximately 1.24 miles with electric driving possible up to 53 mph, depending on the driving situation. The Porsche hybrid drive is also the only system in the world able to exploit additional consumption reserves thanks to so-called "sailing" on motorways and main roads. This entails disengaging and switching off the combustion engine at speeds of up to 103 mph. You may recognize this as the same system found in the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid.
2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
The electric motor essentially operates both as a generator and a starter. Together with the decoupler, it forms the compact hybrid module located between the combustion engine and the transmission. The electric motor is connected to a nickel metal hydride battery (NiMh) where the electrical energy recovered from braking and driving is stored. Power transmission is handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission.
First sales of the new Panamera S Hybrid are scheduled to start in Europe this June. Expect U.S. sales to start shortly after, in time for the 2012 model year. Standard features will include adaptive air suspension, adaptive shock-absorbers with PASM and a rear windscreen wiper.
The 2011 Geneva Motor Show kicks off on March 1. Follow our complete coverage of the event by clicking here.