Porsche's hybrid Panamera 17 | 02 | 2011

    SCOTLAND'S PORSCHE dealerships are preparing themselves to receive the model boasting the lowest CO2 output of any sporty large saloon: Porsche’s new 374bhp hybrid Panamera.

    When it goes on sale in June, the Panamera S hybrid will rate just 159g/km in the combined EU test cycle; that's low enough to beat the diesel-powered competitors like the Jag XJ and BMW 7-series by between 19 and 25g/km respectively.

    Cleverly — and most significantly — the CO2 figure is below a government threshold of 160g/km that for tax purposes allows businesses to write off more of the cost of the car; as a result it should boost its appeal to company drivers.

    Centred on a 330bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 sourced from Audi, the Panamera’s powertrain is shared with the Cayenne hybrid, though it’s a different engine family to the 295bhp 3.6-litre V6 that powers other Panamera models.

    In the Panamera, the hybrid mates the 3.0 V6 to a 44bhp electric moto. This doubles up as the starter/generator and is packaged alongside a clutch, so that either petrol or electric power can provide drive. And just for good measure, a nickel metal hydride battery can store enough charge to propel the S hybrid up to 37mph, before the V6 eases itself in. Performance, 0-62mph in six secs and a max of 168mph, sits comfortably between the Panamera Turbo and 4S.

    Price? Again it's sandwiched between the Turbo and 4S at £86,146, about £3k more than the 4S. And just for good measure, as well as helping to save the planet, the S hybrid also gets 19inch alloys and air suspension as standard.

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    Jim McGill

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