Another hybrid Porsche on the way

A version of the new four-door Panamera will use the same gas-electric drivetrain as the upcoming Cayenne hybrid.

Porsche Panamera hybrid Porsche AG

Porsche announced today that it's developing a hybrid version of the Panamera, a four-door GT car that will debut in a traditional combustion engine version in 2009.

The hybrid system will use a combustion engine, plus an electric motor and an additional clutch, along with a battery pack to store power. The system can switch between the combustion and electric motor, or combine power from both, depending on driving conditions. And although we haven't seen specific technical data yet, this system sounds strikingly similar to GM's "two-mode" hybrid system, which can yield anywhere from zero emissions to pretty much standard combustion engine-level emissions, depending on how hard the car is driven. Porsche claims their hybrids will reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent over standard models.

Porsche isn't saying exactly when the hybrid Panamera will go on sale, but says it will be offered at "a later date" than the purely gas-powered 2009 Panamera. It could be a while, since Porsche recently announced that the hybrid version of its Cayenne SUV would be delayed until 2010.

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