The Porsche Panamera will be offered with a plug-in hybrid variant from 2014, according to Porsche sources speaking with industry journal Automotive News.
The German sports car maker is said to be planning to introduce the Panamera plug-in hybrid to the North American market initially, with the rechargeable joining the current petrol-electric Panamera S Hybrid as well as the Cayenne Hybrid.
The introduction of plug-in hybrids are expected to become increasingly common as the next step in hybrid development, offering more electric-only range than non-plug-in hybrids.
Speaking to journalists at last week’s Geneva motor show, Rudolf Krebs, the man in charge of Volkswagen’s electric vehicle development, said he believes the future will be brighter for plug-in hybrids than just standard hybrids.
Porsche’s car business, which is 49.9 percent owned by the Volkswagen group, will benefit enormously from the group’s overall expertise in hybrid and electric vehicle development.
Other members of the group are also on schedule to release plug-in hybrid versions of their models by 2014-2015, including the Audi Q7 SUV and Volkswagen Passat (in Europe). The next-generation Audi A3 is also expected join the plug-in hybrid ranks.
Hybrid development leader Toyota will be putting its plug-in Prius hybrid onto the market this year, with the so-called Prius PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) offering fuel consumption of just 2.2L/100km and a combined overall range of about 764km.
As it stands today Toyota leads the rest in hybrid sales, with over three million hybrid vehicles sold worldwide. However with Europe’s reluctance to move towards hybrids – with strong continued emphasis on diesel power -the company has struggled to make a big dent in those markets.