Plug-in hybrids are the way forward for German automaker Porsche, according to research and development boss Wolfgang Hatz.
Porsche Cayenne Expected to Get Plug-In Hybrid Treatment Soon
"I believe plug-in is the best solution for customers for the next ten years. Right now it is the ideal concept and that's why we pushed so hard to bring it to production."
"It is the right technology for the Panamera and maybe also the Cayenne, but it is clear that the rest of our cars are not ready, they must remain true sports cars."
"For now, we can be proud of being far ahead of the opposition. You can never say we are a green company, but it does allow us to show our concerns for the environment. We understand our responsibility and that is why we have made the huge effort. Sustainability is not just a word – it needs demonstrating, and the Panamera E-Hybrid does that."
Rear Shot of Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Those were the words of Katz who spoke with Autocar at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, where the recently unveiled plug-in Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid was on display.
The Panamera E-Hybrid represents Porsche's first attempt at a mass-produced plug-in vehicle at its specs are impressive.
Porsche’s first plug-in hybrid cranks out a total of 416 horsepower, with the electric motor providing 95 of those horses. Electricity is stored in a 9.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is claimed to provide the Panamera S E-Hybrid with 20 miles of electric-only range (NEDC test cycle).
918 Spyder Plug-In Hybrid
Top speed in electric-only mode is listed at 84 mph, but it jumps to 167 mph with the gas engine cranking. 0 to 60 mph is accomplished in 5.2 seconds. Official fuel economy figures will be released closer to the vehicle's launch date of late 2013. The price tag for the 2012 Panamera S E-Hybrid is $99,000, or less than $6,000 more than the Panamera S (non-hybrid, non plug-in version).
We expect Porsche to release a plug-in hybrid version of its Cayenne SUV possibly in 2014.
Additionally, it's worth noting that Porsche does have a plug-in hybrid supercar in the works. It's called the 2014 918 Spyder and is sold out despite its base price of $845,000, so Katz isn't entirely accurate in saying that plug-in hybrids don't work for Porsches "true sports cars."