Porsche has announced a Panamera S Hybrid, while Land Rover has unveiled the Range_e plug-in hybrid prototype based on the Range Rover. Both will get their public debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March.
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
The new Porsche Panamera S Hybrid takes technology already seen in the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid (and the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid), and applies it to the sporting marque’s four-door coupé.
We have to say that the results – on paper at least – are rather impressive. Combining a 328bhp 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine with a 46bhp electric motor produces a large, luxury vehicle with a total power output of 374bhp, yet CO2 emissions of just 159g/km.
Panamera is fast and efficient
This equates to a UK-leading 2.35bhp per g/km CO2 ratio, while the claimed fuel economy is 41.5mpg combined. The Panamera S Hybrid will still hit 62mph in just 6.0 seconds and has a top speed of 168mph.
The drivetrain can operate under electric power only, petrol power only, or a combination of both. The electric-only range is just 1.25 miles, but the car is capable of speeds of up to 53mph in this mode – so once the nickel metal hydride battery is charged, you can take immediate advantage rather than wait until you reach town.
The system also employs a novel ‘sailing mode’, which disconnects the petrol engine from the drivetrain to reduce friction and improve efficiency whilst cruising. This can activate all the way up to 103mph.
Take a look at our green motoring guide
New Porsche on sale in June
An eight-speed automatic gearbox provides a wide range of ratios, while Michelin has also chipped in with a set of specially developed low rolling-resistance tyres. Other items of standard kit include active air suspension, parking sensors and satellite navigation.
The Porsche Cayenne S hybrid already accounts for some 20% of that model’s sales, so even priced from £86,146 we expect the Panamera S Hybrid to prove popular amongst buyers. It goes on sale in the UK in June.
Land Rover Range_e
The 2011 Geneva Motor Show will also see Land Rover present its greenest ever model range.
Alongside the compact new Evoque and two-wheel-drive Freelander 2 – not mention the recently announced £130,000 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition – the company will be showing the Range_e diesel electric plug-in hybrid.
20 miles on electric power
At the moment the Range_e is only a prototype, but we can’t help but be impressed by the ambition. The combination of a 3.0-litre TDV6 Range Rover Sport, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a plug-in parallel hybrid system is said to deliver a full-size premium SUV capable of 20 miles pure electric driving and CO2 emissions of just 89g/km CO2.
Those claimed CO2 emissions match the best available from the current Toyota Prius. Top speed is around 120mph, and the total vehicle range extends to 690 miles.
Clearly, we have to take the whole thing with a substantial pinch of salt – further details will no doubt be revealed at the Geneva show – but such systems certainly show the potential to dramatically clean up the environmental impact of such vehicles.
Land Rover says the Range_e is ‘one of several working prototypes currently being developed’, and originates from its UK design and engineering centre.
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