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2014 Porsche Panamera swaps V-8s for a twin turbo V-6, plug-in hybrid

April 3, 2013

There remains something mystical about a booming, raucous V-8 motor, gurgling and growling its way to redline. But in the quest for improved efficiency, smaller turbocharged engines are becoming the norm. For 2014, the Porsche Panamera S and 4S models receive such treatment, as a 3.0-liter twin turbo V-6 replaces the outgoing 4.8-liter V-8.

Smaller, however, does not mean less powerful. The new, more efficient motor churns out 20 additional horsepower and an extra 15 lb.-ft. of torque. The full 384 lb.-ft., according to Porsche, will be available across much of the rev range. How much more efficiency the V-6 offers remains to be seen, as fuel economy figures have not yet been released.

Sticking with the quest for more power and less pump time, Porsche announced the new Panamera S E-Hybrid today, replacing the outgoing S Hybrid. It boasts a more powerful 95-hp electric motor; roughly doubling the old hybrid’s electric power. A new lithium-ion battery drastically increases capacity from 1.7 kWh to 9.4 kWh, and can be charged within two and half hours when using a 240V adapter.

Again, efficiency numbers are not available, but Porsche says early indications suggest the S E-Hybrid can travel in all-electric mode for over of 20 miles; one can be sure that figure is achieved by switching off the heating and cooling devices, making real world numbers run less. The new hybrid reportedly reaches 84 mph in electric mode and claims a half second improvement in 0-60 mph time, mastering the run in 5.2 seconds. Top speed should be around 167 mph.

Two new Panamera Executive models join the mix: the 4S Executive and the Turbo Executive. Both models feature a wheelbase lengthened by 5.9 inches, making the already stretched 911 appear like a lump of Play-Doh being used in a game of tugging war.

From a visual perspective, subtlety remains the German automaker’s philosophy. The air intakes up front are increased in size and the trunk lid receives extra glass along with a larger deploying rear spoiler. Full-LED headlights are now an option, but when LED accents come standard on a $15,990 Nissan Sentra, making this an option seems a tad stingy — although that remains another of the manufacturer's key philosophies.

Pricing for the base Panamera starts at $78,100, flowing to $99,000 for the S E Hybrid, up to $161,100 for the Turbo Executive (a $20k premium over the standard Turbo). The refreshed Panamera hits dealerships late this year, with the Turbo S and Turbo S Executive following in 2014.

With the new and improved twin turbo V-6 powering the S models, fortunately, we can still count on the GTS and Turbo variants to utilize the raucous, gurgling V-8 we all love.