Porsche will unveil a plug-in variant of its 2014 Panamera...

Porsche will unveil a plug-in variant of its 2014 Panamera sports car at the Shanghai Auto Show in China April 21, 2013. Credit: Porsche

Porsche, the sports-car brand owned by Volkswagen AG, will offer plug-in hybrid and extended- wheelbase variants in the second generation of its Panamera four-door coupe, which will be unveiled in China this month.

The revamped Panamera will hit showrooms from July with prices in Germany starting at 81,849 euros ($104,775) for the base diesel version, the Stuttgart-based VW unit said today in a statement. The cars will debut at the Shanghai auto show in China starting April 21.

“An already unrivaled broad base of models has now been extended and consists of 10 models, offering an even further range between sportiness and comfort,” the carmaker said.

Porsche is expanding its lineup after Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, took full control of the brand in August. The maker of the 911 sports car introduced revamped versions of the Boxster roadster and the Cayman sports car last year, making them lighter and faster to shore up its reputation for performance. It will roll out the compact Macan sport-utility vehicle for customers in early 2014.

The 416-horsepower Panamera S E-Hybrid, which is boosted by a 95-horsepower electric motor, costs 110,409 euros. The car has a top speed of 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour and can accelerate to 100 kph in 5.5 seconds. The vehicle can drive 18 to 36 kilometers on the power stored in its lithium-ion battery.

Ferrari Approach

“Offering a plug-in hybrid is just part of the game” and is in line with Ferrari’s approach with the LaFerrari model, said Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Commerzbank AG. Porsche has access to a wide range of technologies now that its fully integrated into Volkswagen.

The 963-horsepower LaFerrari, which was presented at the Geneva auto show last month and is priced at 1 million euros, will compete with Porsche’s own super hybrid. The 918 Spyder, an $845,000 limited-run sportster, will be Porsche’s most expensive model ever when deliveries start later this year.

The 15-centimeter (6-inch) longer Executive variant of the Panamera is priced from 132,662 euros and comes in 4S and Turbo versions. Extended-wheelbase models are geared chiefly at the Chinese market, where many luxury-car buyers have drivers.

Porsche is also introducing a new V6 biturbo engine in the Panamera, replacing a previous V8 as manufacturers look to improve efficiency. The engine boosts fuel economy as much as 18 percent while still adding 20 horsepower, the company said.

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