2010 Porsche Panamera 4S – Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche is banking on the efficiency of hybrid drive models to reduce its overall fleet emissions. In fact, the company's development chief, Wolfgang Duerheimer, is so confident that gas-electrics are Porsche's saving grace that he assuredly told Automotive News that, "In the future, we will have hybrid drive in every model line."

Porsche launched a hybridized Cayenne SUV earlier this year and plans for a 2011 release of its gas-electric Panamera, but has yet to set a time frame for the launch of any other hybrid models. That means the release dates of the gas-electric versions of the 911, Boxster and Cayman are up in the air. With the European Union (EU) on its back – it has set Porsche's target emissions at 216 grams per kilometer by 2015, down from its current overall rating of 255 g/km – the automaker may have no choice but to release hybrid models across its entire lineup soon.

Or are they? Hybrids may not be the only solution to reduce emissions and Porsche is entertaining the idea of introducing downsized engines as well. Duerheimer to Automotive News that:
If the CO2 guidelines require it, then our engines will become smaller and may have just four cylinders. The important thing is that the performance has to be right. The 911 must always be on the cutting edge.
Here's an idea: Porsche could simply combine both emissions-reducing strategies and wrap it up in a single package. Imagine, a four-cylinder hybrid 911. Yeah, that's probably not gonna happen, but we'd be happy to drive one if it does emerge.

Photos copyright ©2010
Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Automotive News Europe – sub. req.]

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