What Does The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Mean For The Future Of Porsche Performance?
How long until everything they make is hybrid?
It's been nearly two years since Porsche's Mission E electric sports sedan concept was launched at the Frankfurt Auto Show. In that time we've seen very little else of Porsche's full-electric plans, but they have certainly made hay while the sun of hybrid-electric power shone. Since 2015 Porsche has won Le Mans twice with their 919 Hybrid LMP1 racer, they've debuted and updated new hybrid versions of the Panamera and Cayenne hybrids, and they finished out production of the 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar. It's been a busy time for Porsche in the hybrid game, at one time they were the manufacturer with more PHEV cars in their lineup than any other automaker.
While the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid isn't exactly the Mission E we're looking forward to, it certainly carries the hybrid performance car torch for the Porsche lineup. They have yet to build a production-ready hybrid version of their 718 or 911 sports cars, but how much farther into the future can that be? Surely they've got to have one right around the corner, but is the market ready for a hybrid sports car? Considering how well the million-dollar 918 Spyder sold to elite Porsche fans, it would only make sense that a 911 Hybrid or a 718 Hybrid marketed as an advanced performance concept, could easily find acceptance.
Porsche folks are finicky, and the 'purists' will always complain. They complained when Porsche dropped torsion bar suspension in favor of coils with the 964. They complained when Porsche went to watercooled engines with the 996. They complained when Porsche They complained when the 911 Carrera sprouted turbochargers with the 991.2 generation. Porsche has always had a knack for making new technology bend to their performance needs, and electric power has proven no different.
I, for one, would welcome our new hybrid overlords. Porsche hybrid performance has proven the concept in racing and in hypercars. It's likely that moving the Panamera's flagship performance model to hybrid power is just the next step in gradually gaining acceptance for hybrid power, which itself is just the next step in getting people to learn to accept the various Mission E cars that will be coming soon. Porsche's smart. They know what they're doing. When a 911 Hybrid comes to market, don't complain, just buy one.