Hybrid technology, for the most part, tends to be associated with more sensible, environmentally friendly vehicles like the best-selling Toyota Prius, which focuses on better fuel consumption and cleaner driving.
But reducing your carbon footprint isn’t necessarily on the minds of all car manufacturers – icons like Ferrari or McLaren are using hybrid technology not for fuel efficiency, but as a tool to make their heart-racing vehicles go even faster.
Porsche has also been getting in on the act – its latest hybrid offering comes in the guise of the four-door Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which combines a 136 hp electric motor with a 550 hp 4.0L V8 twin-turbo engine, for total system power of 686 hp. Given the hybrid set-up – inspired by the face-meltingly fast Porsche 918 Spyder – the Panamera has 850 Nm of torque available pretty much from idle, and can charge from 0-100km in just 3.4 seconds using launch control, topping out at 309km/h. To say that’s quick would be a bit of an understatement.
According to Porsche, the new Panamera can also be quite efficient, should you choose, quoting a figure of up to 2.9L/100km or 97.4 mpg (key words here being ‘up to’), with a range of around 50km on electric power alone. It also features a fast-shifting, eight-speed double-clutch transmission, adaptive air suspension, and a battery charging system that can be controlled remotely, along with the usual premium features you’d expect from a Porsche.
Making its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, orders for the new Panamera in Ireland and the UK have been opened, with the first deliveries due in July. It’s not one for the masses though, with prices starting at £137,140 (€162,252). Just a little more expensive than the Prius, but a hell of a lot more exciting.