Although a good many detail specifics remain undisclosed, Porsche has released the first official images of its upcoming Panamera sedan. In addition to being the firm's first four-door passenger car, the Panamera also will be its first hybrid car. "Car" is the operative term here, as the four-seat Panamera -- which launches in Europe next spring and goes on sale here by year's end -- will roll into showrooms on both sides of the Atlantic offering buyers only the choice of conventional gasoline V-6 and V-8 engines tuned to make 300-500 horsepower, depending on the model. The German automaker has previously announced that its first-ever hybrid vehicle will be a gasoline-electric variant of the Cayenne SUV, which is due to debut "sometime before the end of the decade."
While Porsche remains equally -- and purposefully -- vague about the intro timing of the Panamera Hybrid, it does admit that it's likely to follow the hybrid version of the Cayenne by at least several months, and possible longer. Both of high-efficiency Porsche models will share a specifically dedicated version of the same hybrid system, a package the automaker claims can help increase fuel economy by up to 30 percent relative to an equivalent gasoline engine.