Porsche leverages 918 Spyder tech to build a fast, fuel-sipping Panamera

Demonstrating its commitment to electrification, Porsche has expanded the second-generation Panamera lineup with a plug-in model dubbed 4 E-Hybrid.

The Panamera’s hybrid drivetrain is built around a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine. It works with an electric motor and a liquid-cooled 14.1kWh battery pack mounted below the trunk floor. Total output checks in at 462 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, enough to send the Panamera from zero to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 172 mph. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission channels the drivetrain’s output to all four wheels.

As with the sold-out 918 Spyder, the electric motor can work jointly with the internal combustion engine to delivery extra power at all times, as soon as the driver presses the accelerator pedal. Alternatively, the 4 E-Hybrid can drive on electricity alone for up to 30 miles at speeds of up to 86 mph.

Topping up the battery pack takes 5.8 hours when the Panamera is plugged into a European-spec, 230-volt outlet, but Porsche offers an optional quick charger that lowers the time to 3.6 hours. A purpose-designed smartphone application lets owners remotely start the charging process and turn on the A/C or the heater.

As further proof that hybrids aren’t appliances, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid comes standard with Porsche’s vaunted Sport Chrono package. That means it boasts two built-in driving modes called Sport and Sport Plus, respectively. Additionally, four hybrid-specific modes dubbed E-Power, Hybrid Auto, E-Hold, and E-Charge are also available.

Porsche has fitted the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid with a model-specific instrument cluster that includes a power meter, another piece of tech inspired by the 918 Spyder. Visually, it receives discreet add-ons such as green emblems on both doors and on the trunk lid, and rectangular exhaust tips. It certainly doesn’t scream “I’m a hybrid!” To the uninitiated, the 4 E-hybrid looks just like a standard, gasoline-powered Panamera.

Read more: It’s official, Porsche’s iconic 911 is going hybrid

The 2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is scheduled to go on sale across Europe in April, and it will arrive in the United States shortly after. Pricing information and fuel economy figures for the U.S.-spec model will be published closer to its on-sale date.

Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Cars

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.