Porsche bumps the Panamera to 550 hp with the Turbo S!

The four-door Panamera gran turismo may be a new type of vehicle for Porsche, but the Stuttgart automaker is following the same basic pattern that has prevailed for all of its previous entries. That is launch the basic model and then augment it with a steady flow additional variants with more power power, better handling, less mass etc.

Following the debut of the Panamera hybrid at the recent Geneva Motor Show, a more powerful flavor will be arriving at the New York Auto Show in a couple of weeks. The Panamera Turbo will gain the always desirable S suffix to indicate the extra 50 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of twisting force generated by the 4.8-liter V8 engine. That translates to peak values of 550 hp and 553 lb-ft.

But wait, that’s not all! The Turbo S comes with the Sport Chrono Package which includes driver selectable Sport and Sport Plus modes. When either of those modes are enabled and the driver stabs the go pedal and triggers a transmission kickdown, a time limited turbo overboost mode will bump the output to 590 pound-feet!

Using launch control, the over two-ton Panamera Turbo S sprints to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds and hits the wall at 191 mph.

This extra juice comes courtesy of  a pair of turbochargers with new lighter titanium-aluminum alloy turbine wheels that spin up faster and revised calibrations in the engine management system. All of the other techno-goodness that’s included in the regular Panamera Turbo carries on including the torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system, stability control and active roll control.

The S is visually distinguished from lesser Panameras with sill extensions from the Porsche Exclusive range and 20-inch Turbo II wheels with a wider rear track. The Panamera Turbo S goes on sale in Jule with  starting tab of just $173,200. Your friendly neighborhood Porsche retailer will happily help you inflate the bottom line with the vast list of customizations that are available for any Porsche.

 

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid Video: Luxury Goes Green

A week after teasing the announcement of a new production hybrid model at the Geneva Motor Show, Porsche has revealed the Panamera S Hybrid.  Everyone knew this hybrid GT was coming; Porsche told us as much when the Panamera debuted in 2009.

In fact, there really are no surprises about the hybrid-electric Panamera. The powertrain is basically the same found in the battery-assisted Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. That means primary propulsion is provided by the sweet supercharged and direct-injected 3.0-liter V6 created by the Volkswagen Group. In the hybrid applications it generates 333 horsepower and a stout 325 pound-feet of torque.

Additional motivation is provided by a disk-shaped 46 hp electric motor that takes the place of the torque converter for the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.  A clutch on either side of the motor allows either blended gas-electric drive, pure electric drive or simple neutral coasting.  Electrical energy generated by the engine turning the motor or regenerative braking is stored in a nickel metal hydride battery pack  that sits under the trunk. Given the price of the Panamera, its odd that Porsche has opted for the older battery technology rather than the lithium ion pack that Audi is using for its upcoming Q5 hybrid. With Porsche’s continuous improvement philosophy, the battery will probably be updated within a year or two.

The motor-transmission configuration means that the motor is spinning at lower speeds  than the motors in integrated power-split hybrids like those from Toyota, Ford and General Motors. That means it can cruise in pure electric mode at speeds up to 53 mph. Oddly, that’s slower than the 80+ mph speeds possible with the Cayenne.

Aside from the powertrain configuration, the rest of the functionality is pretty much what you would expect from any strong hybrid system. That means automatic start-stop, electric boost and regenerative braking.  In addition to the drive system, Panamera hybrid buyers can also select new specially developed Michelin low rolling resistance tires.

On the European drive cycle, that all adds up to a combined average of 34.6 miles per U.S gallon, a mighty impressive number for such a large car that sprints to 60 mph in just 6.0 seconds.  Stick with real tires, and you’ll do a bit worse at only 33.1 mpg.  Results achieved on the EU drive cycle tend to be a bit more optimistic than EPA’s numbers so real world results will probably be closer to the mid-to-upper 20s.

The Panamera S Hybrid goes on sale in Europe in June of this year and comes to America in the fall with a base price of “just” $95,000. That makes it a bargain compared the Lexus LS600h, and the Porsche will actually be entertaining to drive, unlike any LS. Even so, 100G of Porsche money should go to something proper, like the 4S Turbo, but hey, it’s your money.