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Porsche To Offer Plug-in Hybrid Powertrains on All Vehicles

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On: Fri, May 17, 2013 at 12:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche To Offer Plug-in Hybrid Powertrains on All Vehicles

Back in the 1980s, the automotive industry underwent a golden age of technologically advanced sports cars. Cars like the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 used technologies never before seen on the road, and as time went on, that technology trickled down. Tech-heavy cars are more common here in 2013, but we appear to be on the verge of another technological golden age involving Porsche and Ferrari. Porsche is developing the 918 Spyder, a sort of spiritual successor to the 959, and Ferrari recently revealed the LaFerrari, a direct descendant of the F40. A cornerstone of the new era will be hybrid power. Both the 918 and LaFerrari have hybrid units, and, at least in Porsche's case, plug-in hybrid technology will be trickling down to its entire line.

A plug-in 911? Yep, that'll soon be on the menu, according to a new report from Autocar. The British publication suggests that future Porsches will all ride to the dealer with the option of a hybrid powertrain. Porsche is reportedly developing a new single-unit electric motor-clutches module that will fit in all of its vehicles. In the future, every car, including the venerable 911, will come with the hybrid option.

The hybrid powertrain is one part of Porsche's greater strategy for boosting fuel economies across the fleet. The first stage of that grand plan involves using hybrid technology, stop/start systems, and engine shut-off during coasting to reduce the engine revolutions per kilometer. The second stage will involve more advanced sensory technology that will adjust driving settings for the road ahead. For instance, using GPS mapping, the cars will be able to anticipate hills and corners and prepare appropriately.

Porsche already offers hybrid options on passenger vehicles like the Cayenne and Panamera. It will soon add the 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid plug-in, introduced at last month's Shanghai Auto Show. The Panamera S E-Hybrid uses a more powerful battery pack and motor, complete with plug-in charging system, when compared to the current non-plug-in Panamera S Hybrid. The 416-hp plug-in powertrain nearly doubles the electric motor output over the standard S Hybrid to 95 hp (up from 47 hp). The new 9.4 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged in two hours from a 240-volt source, according to the automaker.

Porsche has yet to announce the Panamera plug-in's estimated fuel economy but promises that the car will be higher performing and more efficient than the Panamera S Hybrid. The electric motor can drive the car for up to 20 miles of emissions free commuting. It also works in concert with the engine to bolt to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

The hybrid module in Autocar's report is a next-generation version that's expected to have a more powerful motor and higher capacity batter, so we anticipate it will also be a plug-in. It will use both air and water cooling.

To make charging easier on its owners, Porsche is working on a wireless induction charging system.


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