RAC Cars News


Porsche Going Green

By raccars Published

Porsche has announced plans to install hybrid-electric technology in all future models. The company has developed a new hybrid unit, combining an electric motor and clutches, together in one module, which it believes will be suitable for its whole range, including the 911.

Porsche's hybrid powertrain research is driven by the necessity of improving fuel economy figures returned by standard driving techniques. The company's engineering department is following a programme of development aimed at lowering an engine's revolutions per kilometre. Initial developments can be seen in the new Panamera plug-in, which reduces its revolutions per kilometre through stop/start technology, coasting, engine-off coasting and using its electric motor.

Porsche plans to further develop the theory through intelligent interaction between the car and its surroundings, with data sourced from incredibly detailed road maps, that include information such as ultra-accurate incline measurements or the radius of upcoming corners. The car will also select an appropriate driving mode automatically, from a selection including electric, hybrid, charging-while-driving and sports. The system is expected to reach the commercial market in 2016-2017.

The much anticipated Porsche Panamera plug-in arrives in showrooms this summer but Porsche's engineering department is already working on an updated version of its hybrid transmission, which will not be seen until the car's next generation version, expected in 2016. The technology will be part of a new platform named MSB, which features rear and all-wheel drive and will also be used by Bentley. By 2017, MSB should be underpinning Bentley's first hybrid car, likely to be the new Flying Spur.

The new hybrid unit currently in development will be cooled by both air and water and be a more potent version of the upcoming Panamera plug-in's 94bhp system. It will be made even more user-friendly by the addition of a higher density battery pack and a lightweight wiring loom, made with aluminium wires instead of copper. A domestic induction charging system is being created for installation in garages, which will do away with cumbersome charging cables and allow the car to be recharged through simple proximity to the charging unit.

While development may have been introduced as a result of the consumer focus on fuel economy, Porsche is keen to exploit its techniques' performance advantages. Its new Panamera's 416bhp is generated by both a 3.0 litre supercharged V6 combustion engine and an electric motor, giving it a kerb weight of 2095kg and a 0-62mph speed of 5.5 seconds.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars