High fuel economy and earth-friendly zero- or low-emissions are all fine and dandy, but with limitations perceived by electrified technologies, Volkswagen-controlled Porsche has only come online over the past several years with hybridization. Its diesel variants, particularly in Europe, with some imported here, have been more up its alley, if a nod to CO2 emissions and fuel economy was needed. The mandate for the originator of the air-cooled, flat-six, rear-engined and revered 911 was not to dilute the formula that made it what it is. But desiring to grow its now lucrative market of well-heeled aficionados, and cater to the times, Porsche has been tinkering with the formula – with front-engined cars many moons back, and more recently with SUVs and a big sedan, that made some traditionalists cringe, but have helped fund the company while it keep making faster cars, including its now ultimate – a hybrid! That is, the 918 Spyder pug-in “hypercar.” And following mildly more efficient hybrid Cayenne S and 2011-2013 Panamera S is the Panamera S E-Hybrid, its first plug-in sedan. Where’s this going? Porsche has said by decade’s end, it will have hybridized variants of everything, even – brace yourselves purists – the 911. Like other European elite car makers, the advantages of zero-emisson electric torque are being worked with, so stay tuned for what’s next. What ever it is, it won’t likely be boring.
|MPG||Plug-in Hybrid||$99000||November 2013|