Few brand names generate as clear and immediate an image as Porsche. But while most motorists will readily associate the brand with high performance sports cars, founder Ferdinand Porsche was arguably one of the pioneers of environmentally friendly automobiles, developing what was arguably the world’s first hybrid automobile.
So, perhaps it’s fitting that the maker is now making an aggressive push into battery power, with its new Panamera S Hybrid making its formal debut at this year’s very eco-conscious Geneva Motor Show.
The second Porsche to use a gasoline-electric driveline is a version of the German maker’s popular – if controversial – 4-door coupe-like sedan. Set to go on sale next year for $95,975, the Porsche Panamera S delivers the performance long associated with the brand yet boasts a Combined fuel economy rating of 33.1 mpg.
The trick is pairing a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 developing 330 horsepower with a 47-hp electric motor/generator. That part of the driveline relies on a set of nickel-metal hydride batteries packed into the trunk. Under full acceleration, the system can call on a combined 380-hp, enough to launch it from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds and push it to a top speed of 167 mph.