Porsche unveils Panamera S Hybrid; 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds

Porsche's new Panamera S Hybrid, the company's most fuel-efficient vehicle to date, has 380 horsepower and tops out at 167 miles per hour.

The makers of the world's first hybrid car -- the Semper Vivus -- would like you to know that they've come a long way since 1900.

German automaker Porsche on Thursday unveiled the Panamera S Hybrid, the company's most fuel-efficient vehicle to date.

The car, revealed at the New York International Auto Show, is a green version of the all-new Panamera Turbo S, a high-performance model with a high-performance price tag: $173,000.

So what does "green" mean to Porsche? Try 380 horsepower, a 0 to 60 m.p.h. time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 167 mp.h.

While official EPA fuel economy figures remain elusive, Porsche says the Panamera S Hybrid can accelerate up to 50 miles per hour on electric power alone and can go a single, very fast mile before running out of electric power. (Thus the "hybrid" approach. This ain't no Leaf.)

It manages this through a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine with 333 horsepower. A 34kW electric motor managing 47 horsepower rounds out the mix, paired to a nickel metal hydride (NiMh) battery and an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission.

In the automaker's own words:

The Porsche parallel full hybrid system also reduces consumption at high speeds thanks to its ‘sailing’ or coasting mode. When the driver lifts off the accelerator at normal highway cruising speeds, the gasoline engine is completely switched off and disengaged from the drivetrain by a decoupling clutch. This eliminates the combustion engine’s drag forces and braking effect in the interest of lower resistance, fuel consumption and emissions. As soon as the driver presses the accelerator, to pass another vehicle for example, the gasoline engine smoothly starts within fractions of a second and engine rpms are increased to match the current vehicle speed. It does this seamlessly thanks to the Hybrid Manager, which also helps the Panamera S Hybrid accelerate dynamically in gears at higher speeds.

The drive units can operate independently or together to drive the rear wheels, depending on conditions. Naturally, an information display in the dash provides the driver with information about the status of the vehicle's hybrid drive systems.

The Panamera S Hybrid will go on sale in the U.S. "later in 2011" for a retail price of $95,000.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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