Porsche EV Rival to Tesla Model S Looks Unlikely
A change is in the air, and at Porsche that means a reshaped, sexier Panamera, expected to debut for the 2016 model year. Recent spy photos confirm an evolutionary restyle, while various reports suggest a variety of new body configurations coming to market. But the most polarizing claim regards an all-electric version, a direct shot at the wildly acclaimed Tesla Model S. Though, according to Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz, the EV Panamera will not be part of the program. In an interview with the UK's Autocar, Hatz noted, “A Tesla is a fine car, but you cannot drive it enthusiastically without losing range or performance too quickly. Until the technology offers a solution to those problems, we will not be looking at launching such a car.” RELATED: Take a closer look at the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
That being said, the next-gen Panamera won't be losing any plug-in capability. Currently, Porsche markets the Panamera S E-Hybrid, a 416 horsepower saloon which replaces the firm's previous S Hybrid. The E-Hybrid's closest parallel to the Model S is its ability to go more than 20 miles on electric power only, before the 3.0-liter V6 cuts back in. Car Magazine reports that the 2016 model will debut accompanied by a V6 diesel hybrid option, allegedly producing around 360 horsepower, though it's likely that configuration will never cross the pond to the US market.
In terms of body styles, the magazine also hints that the next-gen Panamera will arrive in three five-door configurations: 'coupe', long wheelbase coupe, and shooting brake. The new car will be built on VW Group's new MSB modular platform (a setup also pegged for the new Bentley Continental GT), which should cut a significant amount of weight from the Panamera, even if its size, track or wheelbase increase.
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