Porsche's Next High-Performance Panamera is a Hybrid

Updated Feb 24, 2017: Canadian pricing and on-sale date added

Porsche is gearing up to reveal a new flagship for its Panamera lineup, marking the first time a hybrid model has topped any of the automaker's model ranges.

Dubbed Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, the latest range-topper builds on the 2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo's 4.0L turbocharged V6, adding an electric motor good for 136 hp, which Porsche says boosts total power output to 680 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque (the latter available from just above idle speed), up from the Turbo's meager 550 hp and 567 lb-ft. The added power is enough to push the car to 100 km/h from a standstill in 3.4 seconds (versus 3.6 in a Turbo with the Sport Chrono package) and to a top speed of 310 km/h (up 4 km/h over the Turbo), both figures, Porsche says, being the fruit of powertrain programming lifted from the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car.

Naturally, the Turbo S E-Hybrid borrows its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) hardware from the regular-grade Panamera E-Hybrid, lending the new fastest member of this four-door family up to 50 km of electric-only driving range, and an eight-speed PDK automatic transmission puts the power to the car's four driven wheels.

Charging the 14.1 kWh battery takes six hours through the charger included with the car, but with an optional 7.2-kW charger, it'll be up to full capacity in 2.4 hours. Porsche says the car is good for 2.9 L/100 km overall, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test regime.

The Turbo S E-Hybrid will be offered in standard-length and extended-wheelbase Executive trims, and will come standard with ceramic composite brakes, Porsche's dynamic chassis control sport and torque vectoring plus, and 21-inch wheels that ape those of the 911 Turbo. Also standard are air suspension, active suspension management and long-wheelbase models also get rear axle steering.

Get used to carmakers turning to electricity as a performance enhancer: It looks like Volvo's next Polestar models will be plug-in hybrids, and future VW GTI models will likely get battery boost, too.

Watch for the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid's unveiling prior to the Geneva auto show's official March 7 opening, followed by a July on-sale date in Europe. It will go on sale in Canada in the fourth quarter of this year, at $209,800 for the short-wheelbase model, and $221,700 in Executive trim.

Hybrid performance charges onward 2/24/2017 7:09:39 AM