Adding a hybrid version to the newly redesigned 2017 Porsche Panamera lineup, the German automaker is bring a plug-in version of the car to the Paris Motor Show. Expected to arrive in America next summer, the 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid borrows key design cues from its conventional sibling as well as the Porsche 918 Spyder to create a meaner-but-greener all-wheel-drive version of this luxury 4-door sports car.

Developing 462 combined horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, the drivetrain for the latest Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is substantially stouter than its predecessor which rated at 416 horsepower/435 lb-ft of torque. It mates the same 330-horsepower/2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the new Panamera 4S with a 136-horse electric motor that complements the gasoline engine’s 331 lb-ft of torque with 295 additional units of its own. 

Exhilarating efficiency

Unlike the previous E-Hybrid which required its accelerator to be at 80 percent to engage E-Boost, this new model takes a page from the 918 Spyder’s playbook and can unleash all of the output the moment a driver’s foot  touches the gas pedal. The result is a 4.4-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed of 172 mph -- 5 mph faster than the vehicle it replaces.

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The plug-in Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can travel up to 31 miles on pure electric power -- which is more than double the previous range – and reach an EV speed of 86 mph thanks to a new, liquid-cooled 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It weighs no more than the 9.4kWh storage unit it replaces and still slips neatly under the luggage compartment floor. The 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is fitted with a new 8-speed PDK double-clutch automatic in place of the outgoing 8-speed Tiptronic S that used a conventional torque converter. It also features Porsche’s next-gen hybrid module with a new electric clutch to quicken response.

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While the E-Hybrid’s basic cabin configuration is largely the same as the standard Panamera, it does get a dedicated “power meter” in the instrument cluster similar to the one in Porsche’s 918 Spyder that monitors real-time electric energy use and the amount of charge recovered through various regen efforts. Standard equipment includes the Sport Chrono Package, which includes “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes that allow maximum power as well as hybrid-specific “E-Power,” “Hybrid Auto,” “E-Hold” and “E-Charge” settings to handle less demanding driving.

Electric-only starts

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is designed to start in its electric-only E-Power mode, while the new Hybrid Auto mode optimizes the gas/electric mix to yield optimum overall efficiency and the E-Hold/E-Charge settings do precisely what their names imply. The new E-Hybrid also features the Porsche Active Suspension Management system with its tri-chamber air underpinnings to maximize pure driving fun.

Pricing for the 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid won’t be announced until closer to its U.S. on-sale date. However, this performance-focused plug-in is certain to slot somewhat above the 2017 Panamera 4S that stickers at $100,600 but considerably below the range-topping Panamera Turbo that kicks off at $147,950, both including destination.  

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