Porsche is on fire. The auto manufacturer from Stuggart, Germany is so well branded and internationally known that they can’t keep Panameras and Cayennes in stock. Now, welcome the all-new 2012 Panamera S Hybrid. After all, their eco-friendly fascination was begat by company founder Ferdinand Porsche, who invented the world’s first hybrid vehicle labeled the Lohner-Porsche “Semper Vivus” in 1900.
The Panamera was launched in September 2009 with nearly 30,000 worldwide sales since the debut. The 2012 Panamera S Hybrid is the sixth Panamera model to debut and will retail for $95,000 beginning this fall. With this new hybrid, Porsche would like to target younger buyers who have a higher level of economical awareness (Porsche speculates) and more likely to understand the technological advances in the parallel full hybrid unit, which is exact componentry found in the Cayenne S Hybrid.
Some key driving distinctions with the Panamera S Hybrid:
- E-Power: Engage this button from the right side of the sci-fi center console to drive on electricity alone up to 53 mph for a 1.24-mile range. The internal combustion engine is turned off and the clutch is decoupled. This calls for relaxed and gentle operation of the accelerator. If you press on the pedal too hard the gas engine kicks in.
- Sailing or coasting: Imagine driving the vehicle at 80 mph and you take your foot off the pedal and let the vehicle coast. What’s happening is that the clutch opens and the engine shuts off. The only force slowing the hybrid’s momentum is air resistance. The vehicle can sail up to 103 mph and is especially good for down hill runs, exiting off the highway and open road sailing with no other traffic in order to conserve petrol.
- Recuperation: Basically this is converting kinetic energy from braking into electrical energy to help recharge the battery by using the electric motor as a generator. The harder you brake, the more energy is regenerated. Driving scenarios from the gas V6 will also recoup energy.
The Audi sourced, supercharged, 3-liter V6 compressor engine in the Panamera S Hybrid produces 333 horsepower and commingles with the 3-phase 47 horsepower (34 kW) electric motor for a total output of 380 horsepower. Together, they ride and feel like a conventional V8. The electric motor can drive the vehicle on its own, support the gas engine or can be used as a generator or a starter. A 288-volt nickel metal hydride battery is mounted in the rear below the luggage compartment and does not compromise any typical Panamera hallmarks.
Sit behind the wheel of the Panamera S Hybrid and take in all the futuristic amenities the multi-function cockpit has to offer. Literally, you become a pilot in a Lear Jet. Inputs, gauges, switches and displays are omnipresent. The central PCM (Porsche Communication Management) LCD for example displays not only navigation but also has five screens that showcase what your vehicle is up too.
The visceral experience from the Cayenne S Hybrid has given Porsche a great starting point to work from. And from what I experienced, eco-friendly thinkers with a lead foot are the consummate consumers of the Panamera S Hybrid.
To read the full article, visit www.automotiverhythms.com.