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A turbo V8 could make Porsche’s hybrid Panamera big on power, efficiency

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For Porsche, going hybrid is the future of high-performance cars.

Porsche could develop a more powerful version of the Panamera hybrid. The yet-unnamed variant will be sold alongside the existing gasoline-electric Panamera 4 E-Hybrid (pictured).

The second plug-in Panamera will ditch the 4 E-Hybrid’s 2.9-liter V6 engine and adopt a more powerful turbocharged V8, according to Australian website Motoring. The two additional cylinders will allow Porsche engineers to build a high-performance hybrid positioned near the top of the Panamera lineup. It could even wear the Turbo S nameplate, sources familiar with the brand’s plans have revealed.

More: Porsche is going electric, but the flat-six isn’t going away

Robert Hahle, the Panamera’s electronics director, confirmed the arrival of a second hybrid, though he stopped short of confirming whether the model will use a V8 engine. However, he hinted that the easiest way to get more performance out of a hybrid is to install a more powerful engine. The electric motor and the battery pack will remain largely the same regardless of how many cylinders are under the hood because upgrading them is a much more complicated process.

“Changing the battery or the e-motor is something more difficult. It’s not so easy because of cooling and those sorts of things,” said Hahle.

Porsche told Motoring we’ll see the second Panamera hybrid “sooner rather than later.” That time frame is vague at best, but we’ll learn more about the model either in March at the Geneva Auto Show — when the Panamera shooting brake debuts — or in April at the Shanghai Auto Show. Sales will kick off before the end of the year.

Looking ahead, both of the Panamera’s hybrid drivetrains are expected to trickle down to the next-generation Cayenne that will break cover before the end of the year. Porsche has made it clear that electrification is the future, but it stresses enthusiasts shouldn’t worry about hybrids diluting its DNA.

“Hybrid stands for additional performance. Hybrid is the performance kit of the future,” affirmed Dr. Stefan Utsch, the Panamera’s sales and marketing director, in an interview with Motoring.