While some automakers have been content to offer just a couple of hybrid vehicles, Porsche is planning something a whole lot more intensive.
Subaru, for example, has only just gotten into hybrid vehicle technology, which is kind of surprising considering Subaru’s link to all things outdoors. Still it’s a start, but other companies like Toyota, who pretty much single-handedly started the hybrid revolution, are planning to have as many as 18 different hybrid models across the lineup.
We may not consider the words hybrid and performance in the same sentence to be correctly associated, but Porsche is planning some big changes to their lineup. Adding hybrid technology to a Porsche doesn’t automatically dictate a cut in performance, but what happens when you combine hybrid and performance vehicles? Hybrid vehicle powertrains are more powerful and offer more torque than conventional powertrains, while at the same time increasing fuel economy and reducing emissions.
Porsche’s plan is multifaceted, and includes a powerful hybrid system based off everything they’re learning while working on the Panamera Plug-In Hybrid due for the 2014 model year. They’ll be adding enhanced computer controls to more intelligently reduce the amount of time the engine runs by making use of some highly detailed maps and software upgrades. For example, curves and inclines can be used to recharge the battery, so the computer plans for these by cutting out the engine and engaging regenerative braking.
The hybrid vehicle system that Porsche developed in the Panamera starts with a 3.0ℓ supercharged V6 engine mated to an electric motor for a total power output of 416hp and 435lb•ft of torque. The result is obviously more power, but still manages better fuel economy than current conventional models. What is more, Porsche will have hybrid versions of their entire lineup, instead of just a couple models or hybrid-only models.