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Porsche’s new Panamera sports sedan gets a high-voltage flagship model

Why it matters to you

Hybrid drivetrains are the future of performance, and Porsche is the industry leader when it comes to electrifying sports cars.

Porsche has introduced a range-topping variant of the new, second-generation Panamera. And for the first time in the company’s history, a top-spec model is powered by a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

In hindsight, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is the model Porsche was referring to when it promised the 918 Spyder’s tech features would trickle down to production cars. Its drivetrain consists of a turbocharged V8 engine rated at 550 horsepower and a 136-horsepower electric motor. Together, the two power sources deliver 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, figures that make the Turbo S E-Hybrid the most powerful series-produced Panamera ever built.

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All that grunt is channeled to the four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The plug-in sedan can drive using only electricity for 31 miles. It’s still a Porsche, so it performs the benchmark 0-to-62-mph sprint in 3.4 seconds, and it doesn’t stop accelerating until nearly 200 mph. It takes a lot of stopping power to bring a big, heavy sedan down from triple-digit speeds, but the Panamera’s large carbon ceramic brakes are up to the task.

A 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack stores the juice needed to feed the electric motor. A full charge takes six hours using a standard charger, or just 2.4 hours when the Panamera is plugged into a quick charger. Users can monitor the charging process with a purpose-designed application named Porsche Communication Management that’s compatible with smartphones and Apple Watches.

Short- and long-wheelbase variants of the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will be offered. Both models receive 21-inch alloy wheels inspired by the ones that equip the 911 Turbo and emblems with a green outline, but it takes a well-trained eye to tell the hybrid apart from the standard, nonelectrified Panamera. Inside, the biggest difference is an instrument cluster that’s specific to the electrified version.

After greeting the show-going public in Geneva, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will go on sale in Europe in July. It will reach other markets — including the United States — before the end of the year.