With optimism for its 2014 plug-in Panamera S E-Hybrid, Porsche says it should account for 10 percent of the global model line’s sales over its lifetime, or around 10,000 units.

This is a doubling of the prior standard hybrid model’s sales and is being projected largely because the Panamera is so capable in all-electric mode, a Porsche rep told us yesterday its capabilities are reminiscent of a Chevy Volt, albeit much more upscale.

More accurately, it could be likened to a similarly priced Fisker Karma, but with 22 miles estimated electric range from its 9.4-kwh battery at up to 84 mph, it would not match the 38 miles estimated for the Volt or 33 for the now-extinct Karma.

However, being that the Porsche is from a proven and world-class maker, it’s perceptibly leagues apart from what could arguably be said was the closest in configuration, the Karma plug-in series hybrid. The Porsche is also a genuine high-performance car, and not as much the poseur as the Karma.

The new Porsche is final assembled in Leipzig, Germany, and a comparatively sizable number for the limited-volume maker – estimated around 900 units – are in process of making their way into the U.S. as we write this.

The new Porsche plug-in could also compete with the all-electric Tesla Model S given that it is a large fast sedan that can work for 20 mile commutes burning no gas, and even for double that distance, it might require little more fuel than a Toyota Prius assuming a moderate driving style.

In a recent media drive in Europe, journalists were invited on a 17.4 mile mixed road drive including a stint on the Autobahn to test its actual mpg potential. The average for that course that day after an average 34 mph was 54 mpg, with one squeaking out 84 mpg.

The main advantage for the plug-in over the first-generation standard Panamera Hybrid is a 95-horsepower electric motor compared to 47 horsepower for gen 1.

The 9.4-kwh li-ion battery also far exceeds the 1.7-kwh NiMh from gen 1.

But when desired, this is no pokey car either. The 416-horsepower total system power is augmented greatly by a 333 horsepower supercharged V6 as found in other VW and Porsche variants.

Official fuel consumption is is 3.1 liters per 100km, according to Porsche – down from 7.1l/100km for the gen 1 Panamera hybrid.

CO2 emissions are said to be 71 grams per kilometer, down from 167g/km.

With a car like this – yet capable of burning a lot of fuel when pushed – these numbers from the already liberal Euro test cycle will of course vary widely.

MSRP including destination starts at $99,995.

Automotive News