Porsche Panamera to Offer Hybrid Drive
Porsche has announced that its new range of four-door GT sports cars, christened Panamera and scheduled to reach the market in 2009, will include a hybrid-drive model.
The Panamera will benefit from the development of the Cayenne Hybrid prototype, due to go into full production by the end of the decade. As with the Cayenne, the Panamera will offer the option of a full parallel hybrid drive system, aiming to give greatly improved fuel-efficiency. In the Cayenne this is predicted to be around 31mpg.
Porsche’s full parallel hybrid system consists primarily of a battery unit in the luggage compartment, the power electronics, and the hybrid module between the engine and transmission comprising an additional clutch and the electric motor. Depending on driving conditions, the hybrid module is able to disengage either the combustion engine or the electric motor, or to combine both drive systems as one joint power unit. Hence the Panamera will offer a number of different driving modes, ranging from all-electric (and totally free of emissions) through to a sporting mode more typical of a Porsche.
Porsche tells us that the Panamera’s wide, low body and muscular design aims to convey a highly sporting yet compact look. The roomy interior includes two single rear seats, with generous headroom for adults, while the elegant and modern cockpit promises high-quality materials and an ‘unmistakable Porsche’ driving experience.
The new Panamera Gran Turismo will be making its world debut in 2009 and will be introduced initially with proven drive concepts. The hybrid version will follow later, depending on market requirements.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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