Porsche is adding two new hybrid cars to its Panamera lineup

Porsche has announced two new Panamera hybrid cars, as the German automaker looks to hedge its bets by offering a wider range of electric options.

Late last year, Porsche unveiled the third-generation Panamera, which included the Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid as the first of four Panamera E-Hybrid models that would eventually be offered. Today, the automaker is adding two more vehicles: the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. The fourth model will be announced later.

Porsche says it is responding to “the huge demand for efficient and dynamic E-Hybrid engines” with the launch of these two new models. Indeed, demand for hybrid vehicles is increasing in a variety of markets, even as growth in sales of pure battery electric vehicles has slowed.

But it's a Porsche, so it won't come cheap. The 4 E-Hybrid will start at $117,495, while the 4S E-Hybrid starts at $128,795 (both include destination charges). Pre-orders can be placed starting at the end of March and deliveries are expected to begin by the fall.

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will deliver better acceleration and improved torque by combining a new hybrid system with a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with 224 kW or 300 hp. The combined system produces 346 kilowatts or 463 hp, with a maximum torque of 479 lb-ft, 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 174 mph.

Meanwhile, the 4S E-Hybrid will also have a 2.9-litre six-cylinder engine with a slightly higher performance of 260 kW or 348 hp. The total system will get 400 kilowatts, or 536 horsepower, and a maximum torque of 553 pound-feet. This allows the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and have a top speed of 180 mph.

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There's more to like about these two new models, including faster charging speed and better throttle response. The new battery is also larger, with a total capacity of 25.9 kWh, putting it among the upper echelons of plug-in hybrids. Porsche says it represents approximately 45 percent more capacity than its predecessors.

An 11-kilowatt AC charger can charge the battery in less than two hours under the right conditions. The all-new electric motor, which complements the gas engine, will itself produce 140 kilowatts, or 187 horsepower, plus 331 lb.-ft. of torque, making it more powerful than that used in the previous generation.

Both the 4 and 4S will start in all-electric mode when turned on. Once the battery state of charge falls below a certain minimum, Porsche says the system will automatically switch to auto-hybrid mode, which manages the powertrain based on the current driving situation. The intelligent navigation system sends route information to the car, which is processed by Hybrid Auto mode to “optimize the drive system strategy.” For example, the driving mode can be optimized to use less energy when driving in the city, with lots of stops and starts.

Two additional driving modes, E-Hold and E-Charge, also offer unique benefits. In E-Hold mode, the current state of battery charge is maintained. In E-Charge mode, the battery is charged to 80 percent by the combustion engine at speeds above 34 mph.

In Sport and Sport Plus modes, the target battery state of charge is reduced to 20 and 30 percent respectively (previously 30 percent and 80 percent). This aims to improve battery life without sacrificing performance.

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Porsche has been on a tear lately, announcing an all-electric Macan and an updated Taycan with super-fast charging capabilities. But with electric vehicle sales back on the decline, the automaker is hedging its bets by expanding the number of hybrid models it has available.

Porsche has been in the hybrid car business for more than 10 years, offering plug-in hybrid versions of the Cayenne and Panamera, as well as non-plug-in hybrid models of the Panamera and Cayenne.

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