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

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.

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.