Porsche made a big splash here at the Paris Motor Show with the debut of the Panamera Sport Turismo Hybrid concept. First off, it was unexpected. Secondly, it is gorgeous. Seriously, it's beautiful.
And third, it has some pretty awesome tech under the hood. This is how it works.
Taking a cue from the uber-sexy Porsche 918 Spyder, the Panamera Sport Turismo is a plug-in hybrid, much like the Chevy Volt or the Toyota Prius Plug-In. But, being Porsches, they're far from boring. Or cheap.
Porsche is now giving their plug-in hybrids the designation "e-hybrid." The intention is for the Panamera Sport Turismo to achieve 30 km, which is about 18 miles, on electric power alone. It should also be able to reach 130 km/h, or about 80 MPH, on electric power alone.
The Sport Turismo Concept is a parallel hybrid, which means that the wheels can be driven by the electric motors, the gas engine, or both at the same time. When working together, the car produces 416 horsepower, enough to make it accelerate to 60 in under six seconds.
It always defaults to electric mode, which Porsche calls e-power. That's how they get such great efficiency, with a claimed 67 MPG on the European Cycle. When needed, the engine will drive the wheels or charge the battery... or both.
Porsche also has a quick charger, which apparently can charge the battery in 2.5 hours, depending on the infrastructure. That is mega fast.
Now, I couldn't get Porsche to confirm that the car was coming, but Martin Winterkorn, the head of the VW Group, did say something interesting this week that leads me to believe it's imminent.
The VW Group believes that plug-in hybrids are the future of cars, and especially those from Porsche. There will be the 918 Spyder hybrid, but he also said there will be plug-in versions of the Panamera and the Cayenne on the way as well.
Porsche rarely makes a concept car just to make a concept car. They have a frighteningly awesome record of turning them into production cars. The Boxster, Carrera GT, and the 918 Spyder all started off as concepts that made it to production relatively unchanged.
I'm willing to bet that this is the next Panamera gussied up a little for the show circuit. It took a minute, but Porsche may have finally gotten the design right for a four door.