German sportscar-maker Porsche has introduced the world's first plug-in hybrid luxury car, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, for Thai customers, priced at Bt9.6 million.
One may wonder why a luxury car costing this much would need a plug-in hybrid system, which dramatically reduces fuel consumption for customers who are wealthy enough not to worry about fuel costs. It’s called environmental responsibility, since lower fuel consumption also means lower emission levels.
In the past Porsche was heavily criticised by environmental groups with its humongous Cayenne SUV, which had the highest fuel consumption among production cars. Since then the company has been developing and offering hybrid versions in order to help erase the fuel-thirsty image of some of its models. The Panamera is the latest model to get that treatment, this time bettering the previous model thanks to its plug-in capability.
The car is powered by both a gasoline engine plus an electric motor that teams up to produce a combined 416hp. The electric drive system produces 95hp, up from the previous generation’s 47hp, and a new lithium-ion battery has four times the energy capacity of the previous nickel metal hydride battery. According to Porsche, the battery can be fully charged within a few hours, depending on the type of external electricity supply. As the car is driven, an energy recuperation system also recharges the battery. A new start-stop function deactivates the engine earlier while coasting to a stop, allowing it to use less fuel.
Official importer AAS Auto Service says it offers a 9-year factory warranty for the Panamera S E-Hybrid, but terms and conditions apply.