2010 Porsche Panamera 4S – Click above for high-res image gallery
It's a known fact that Porsche will launch a hybrid version of its hot-selling Panamera sedan by the end of next year, but what's the chance that a plug-in hybrid could follow? Well, according to Porsche's CEO, Mathias Muller, the chance may be slim, but damn, we'd sure like to see it happen. We hold out hope because Muller has revealed that at least one prototype version of a plug-in hybrid Panamera exists, and it's a drivable one.
In an odd twist, the plug-in version apparently forgoes the 3.6-liter V6 engine that will be featured in the upcoming Panamera S Hybrid and opts for the 4.8-liter twin-turbocharged 500-horsepower V8 monster that resides between the fenders of the Panamera Turbo. When the aforementioned engine is married to an electric motor, this plug-in's power could jolt to stratospheric levels. There's no logic behind dropping a mill like that into a plug-in hybrid, but that's precisely why this Panamera would be a rare and absolute thrill. Leave it to Porsche to find a way to boost plug-in hybrids into supercar territory.
Porsche brass is expected to decide on the project by year's end, but waiting til then for a green light on a vehicle that could forever change the segment will be excruciatingly painful, so here's hoping a decision comes much sooner.