Porsche plugs in the Panamera

For its 2014 model year, the Porsche Panamera will be offered in plug-in hybrid form, and boast an electric range of over 20 miles.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Porsche replaces the speedometer with a power gauge in the Panamera S E-Hybrid, and keeps the tach front and center. Porsche

In announcing the 2014-model-year Panamera, Porsche released details of a new plug-in hybrid variant, a replacement for the current Panamera Hybrid model. The new model, termed the Panamera S E-Hybrid, gets a larger battery pack and more powerful electric motor than the previous Panamera S Hybrid.

Porsche says the 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid will drive over 20 miles under electric power.

That distance may not sound like much, but it is a robust number for plug-in hybrids. Ford rates its C-Max Energi at 21 miles of electric range, while the Chevy Volt, the leader in the class, rates at 38 miles.

Porsche also notes the Panamera S E-Hybrid can hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, faster than the previous Panamera S Hybrid model.

Fuel economy numbers have not been released for the new model yet. Mileage will vary considerably on how frequently owners plug the car in and how many miles are driven under electric power.

The earlier Panamera S Hybrid used the same drivetrain as the Cayenne S Hybrid, a supercharged 3-liter V-6 assisted by a 47 horsepower electric motor. The Panamera S E-Hybrid reveals Porsche's further development of its hybrid system, and will likely see use in other models.

The new plug-in model's electric drive system consists of a 95 horsepower motor and 9.7 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Owners will be able to plug it in with standard connectors at home or at public charging stations.

Porsche says it has developed a smartphone-based telematics system for the car as well, letting owners see the charging status and remaining electric range remotely. Most electric cars and plug-in hybrids offer similar smartphone-based telematics.

The 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid goes on sale late this year for a price of $99,000. Porsche will unveil the car during Auto China in Shanghai later in April.

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
The 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid includes a big-enough battery for 20 miles of electric-powered driving. Porsche