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Porsche Panamera S Hybrid: 100 Grand Never Looked So Green!

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On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 6:02PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Porsche Panamera S Hybrid:  100 Grand Never Looked So Green!

So you're finally in the market for a hybrid. Enough of the 7-Series BMWs and the big S-Class Mercedes, you want something different, something that makes you feel a little better about yourself. But let's face it, after working your way up life's ladder for the past few decades; you can't demean yourself to the likes of a lowly Prius or Altima Hybrid. A Tesla looks like fun, but you still have to pick up the grandkids every now and then or take that extended weekend with the wife at the country club, so, of course, you need your space. So, what are you options? Not many, my friend, not many. But, thankfully, there is at least one new option on the block, and it may be the only one you need:  The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid. That's right; the biggest Porsche car is now also the greenest. 

Now that's Pan-a-mer-a, just so you can sound intelligent when explaining to the dealer or your friends what you are looking for. For a base price of $95,975 you can get the fastest hybrid on the market today, not to mention one of the most posh and luxurious to boot. The main thrust of the Panamera S Hybrid comes from two sources. The first is a 3.6-liter 328-horsepower supercharged V6 borrowed from Audi (think S4 engine). The other is an electric motor that is powered by a 1.7-kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride battery that produces a max of 47-horsepower for a combined 375 total horsepower and a muscle car torque total of 427-lb-ft. All that power is needed to shove around the 4,365 pounds of Porsche (almost 400 pounds more than your average Panamera S), but the car seems to maneuver fairly well for a big four-passenger car.

The gasoline engine still has most of the driving responsibilities when the car is in a hurry, but the electric motor kicks in to help out during low-load and easy acceleration in its very 'is it still on?' characteristic manner. The engines are mounted to an eight-speed automatic complete with torque converter that send all forms of power to the rear wheels. Porsche claims a 0-60 mph time of six seconds flat, 0-124 mph (which is 200 km/hr, not just a random choice of speed) in 24.3 seconds, and a hybrid-champion 169 mph top speed. Those numbers may not be entirely impressive compared to your average Porsche Turbo, but most other cars that can beat those performance figures can't beat the Panamera S Hybrid's claimed fuel economy figure of 34.5 mpg.

Those tricky German engineers put some real magic into this hybrid to make it sing a pretty tune at the pump. Not only do you get an electric motor to keep the gas gauge closer to 'F' but you also get some pretty interesting technology beyond what's under the hood. There's an automatic start/stop to make the most (or least) of those pesky traffic light or gridlock encounters, as well as brake-energy recuperation for the battery-pack, and a trick clutch set-up that disengages the transmission from the engine as soon as you lift your foot off the gas (dropping the RPM back down to idle to conserve gas). This method has been used by a few of us with manual transmissions for some time, but it's nice to have an auto that can now reap those same rewards. Don't worry about dipping back into the throttle either; the car will have the revs matched perfectly and waiting for you. The Panamera S Hybrid also uses the latest crazy; low-rolling-resistance tires to help boost fuel mileage just a little more, because, well, why not?

So, there you have it, all for a reasonable (in Porsche terms) price of just about 100 grand, you can have the world's fastest green machine. Porsche is fairly certain you and many people like you will want what they've got, and they've slated a quarter of all Panamera Hybrid S models to head to the States right after summer's end. So, go and check that bank statement, get your ducks in a row and head down to your local Porsche dealer this fall for a car you can feel good about owning. You can tell people you're doing it for the kids, but, hey, do it for you too. You've earned it.


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