Official hi-res pictures: Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

Porsche’s strong selling Panamera has been given the hybrid treatment in a move that official figures indicate makes it the most fuel efficient production model to ever wear the company’s illustrious badge bearing the coat of arms of Stuttgart.

Set to make its public premiere at the Geneva auto show prior to going on sale in North America later this year, the new gasoline-electric Panamera S Hybrid receives the same driveline architecture as the Cayenne Hybrid and its sister model, the Volkswagen Touareg.

At the heart of the new car is a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine delivering 333bhp.

Sourced from Audi, it is much removed from the in-house developed 300bhp naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 unit Porsche uses in the entry level Panamera and comes combined with a 47bhp brushless electric motor mounted in the forward section of the gearbox to provide the Panamera S Hybrid with a total of 380bhp.

Electric energy for the electric motor is provided by a nickel metal-hydride battery pack sited in the truck, while drive is sent through an eight speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddles to the rear wheels.

As a full hybrid, the new Porsche is capable of running exclusively on either electric propulsion or a combination of gasoline and electric power. In electric mode the Panamera S Hybrid is claimed to achieve a range of up to 1.2 miles (2.0 km) at a maximum speed of 53mph (85 km/h).

Porsche puts its latest model’s 0-62mph time at 6.0secs and top speed at 168mph (270km/h). With optional low rolling resistance tires it is also claimed to return 34.6mpg (6.8L/100km) on the combined European consumption cycle. By comparison, Mercedes-Benz’s S400 Hybrid is rated at 29.4mpg.

The question is: do low rolling resistance tires have a place on a Porsche? Fuel efficiency or not, surely dynamics should be the top priority, even on a Panamera.

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