Archive for March, 2011

Dreaded replacement battery problem for VW or Audi hybrid cars

One common misconception about hybrid vehicles is that their batteries will have dead cells and degraded battery life, requiring battery replacement after only a few years.  This is false!

What is the expected battery life of your VW hybrid or Audi hybrid?

Ruling out defects or other design issues and based off experiences with the first generation Prius, they should last a “lifetime”.  This is generally acknowledged by car engineers as 10 years or 150,000 miles.  However, there are many first generation Prius, not used for taxi service (which would build up high miles in a short amount of time), which have reached this point and are still running fine on their original batteries.

In addition, the VW Touareg hybrid has a 10 year, 100,000 miles powertrain warranty which includes the hybrid battery.  My guess is that this warranty might extend to other VW-Audi hybrid models.  In my opinion, it’s a good idea to instill confidence in your customers to move them into new technology and the warranty will help.

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2014 Golf Blue-e-motion second drive

Yes, we know. “2014″ sounds so impressively future-y, doesn’t it? When we’re testing a car and the R&D people involved look at us and say it won’t be on the market until 2014, our eyes dilate, too. “Wow,” we say to ourselves while keeping a straight face in front of the mega-powerful board member, “That’s like space travel and everything!”

So yeah, we get emotional.

It’s understandable, too, because we’re in the mothership for what seems like half of the world’s significant automotive brands. It’s the Volkswagen Group’s Wolfsburg HQ on the vast verdant lowlands of northern Germany in the region of Lower Saxony. There is no Upper Saxony, by the way. We looked.

We’re here to get a personalized infotainment-filled test of the already much commented-on Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion. It’s coming to the United States in… 2014.

We did have an opportunity to drive the eGolf (they refer to it this way in company graphics displays, so…) toward the end of 2010 in Los Angeles, yes, but the conditions for getting thorough details were simply not there and the drive was a token 15 minutes in downtown L.A., which revealed little.

So, today we hit the road on the more cruising-style roads of the Wolfsburg area and get serious details. We’re with Sören Hinze, one of the key engineers in VW’s electric traction technical development group, and the overall head of technology product communication, Harthmuth Hoffmann, who has accompanied the Golf Blue-e-motion everywhere it has gone over the past few months.

Aesthetically, there’s not much to highlight with the exterior. It’s a Golf. With stickers. What really is different from a strictly stock exterior is the full feature set of VW’s BlueMotion aerodynamic touches. All body panels reduce gaps even further, the grilles and underbody provide less wind resistance, headlights and indicators are combined in one unit, the rear roof spoiler helps make the Golf slipperier and all-season tires are low-rolling resistance units. The central grille in this case is even simpler, too, since theoretically no air-flow is needed on this liquid-cooled electrical drivetrain. Our tires today, however, are rain forest-destroying winter treads – 205/55 16-inch Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D. It’s now German law that winter tires specifically marked “M + S” (mud and snow) must be mounted whenever cold-weather conditions dictate, or it’s one point off your license and a $55 fine – $110 if your negligence results in your car blocking traffic.

The roads were dry today, the winter sky gloriously sunny and we were filled with that let’s-keep-the-air-clean spirit. The Golf VI currently on the market is by far the quietest hatchback in history, with a level of noise-vibration-and-harshness work seen on cars like the Phaeton or Touareg. Take the internal combustion engine, fuel system and exhaust system away and it’s a magic carpet. In fact, the only sound we heard in the cabin besides the typical slight whine of the front AC/DC inverter and electronics management unit (yes, it’s an EMU) orchestrating everything up front was that of the dang-blasted winter tires. The coefficient of drag is pretty fine for this boxy configuration at 0.295. Just to be precise.

Inside, well, it’s also a Golf. The steering wheel with paddles are from the series car with DSG, as is the basic lever by our right thigh on the center console. The paddles in this case work a four-setting brake energy recuperation system, while the console shift lever adds a “B” at the bottom, which takes us straight to the highest level of brake energy recuperation. This extra setting is useful if, for instance, we find ourselves on a very non-Lower Saxon downhill from the Eisenhower tunnel east toward Denver, or whatever hurtling descent you care to mention. The B can also be engaged as heavy resistance as you approach a stop.

Of course, the onboard computer display also takes into account the fact that we’re in a lithium-ion-powered electric vehicle. Between the center screen, the analogue dials and our iPhone’s VW Remote application, Volkswagen has done everything possible to make certain normal drivers don’t experience range anxiety, or to keep them from ever getting caught powerless in the darkest reaches of Lower Saxony or Los Angeles. There are visual reminders everywhere we look of our hypothetical range remaining and the battery pack’s current state of charge.

There’s no sign of a sunroof on the inside, even though there seems to be one as you look at the Golf Blue-e-motion from the outside. Surprise! It’s a solar panel for collecting a little free energy for the battery. Another subtle alteration is the rear cargo floor raised by eight-tenths of an inch for the rear battery element, which lessens slightly the seats-up total capacity reading to 9.7 cubic feet.

In the nearby town of Kassel, Volkswagen’s Electro-Mobility Workshop has founded its own manufacturing facility for the 12,000-rpm, 114-horsepower electric motor weighing 176 pounds and mounted in front of the front axle, and driving same. The current 695-pound multi-module array of 180 lithium-ion cells is distributed in such a way that fore-aft weight here reads 50:50 percent, whereas a standard Golf is more front-biased at 55:45. The added 452 pounds of curb weight versus the heaviest series trim car is also placed way down in the structure. This inherently brings on altered dynamics for the drive, which are frankly in some ways better than anything the standard Golf can approach – at least in normal day-to-day toodling around

For the moment, VW bosses are not revealing the supplier of the lithium-ion cells since VW (and everyone else in this game) is taking proposals from every reliable source in South Korea, Japan and China. Chief engineer and VW brand board member Ulrich Hackenberg told us over lunch that it’s not only a matter of finding the highest-capacity cells at the lowest cost but also of mass production capabilities, the latter, he says, not being truly feasible until 2013. What a timely coincidence….

The current single-speed transmission employed in various forms on VW Group electric and hybrid projects is called EQ 210, and in this case, it uses a sky-high short ratio of 9.8:1 in order to get most all of the electric motor’s promised 184 pound-feet of torque to the ground instantaneously from zero rpm. That the Golf Blue-e-motion at 3,410 pounds and with such normal power and torque numbers can haul itself to 60 mph in “just” 11.6 seconds is a testament to this proprietary transmission mounted directly to the stage-left side of the electric motor. Talk about grace under pressure.

The key to experiencing all of the tree-hugging capabilities of the eGolf, however, is not to keep showing your three pals in the car with you how this thing lays rubber to 60 miles per hour from a stop. There are three drive “profiles” for forward progress – Normal, Comfort+, and Range+, selected via a button in front of the faux-leather skirted shift lever. In Normal and Comfort+ modes, you will not experience the stated possible 93.2-mile range from the 26.5-kWh battery assembly. This distance – as well as the stated distances coming from pies in the sky at any other manufacturer – is sheer delirium. You’ll be really lucky on a normal urban day (i.e. ideal conditions) to see 50 miles before crumbling under the stress of range anxiety. All battery-based drive systems allow the batteries to get only as low as 20 percent remaining charge before shutting down operations, too, so “empty” really isn’t empty, but more for safety so that all electrical engineers the world over can sleep better at night.

It’s so charming that VW has left the ESP Off button on this Golf. We know that it’s for when it might be bogged in mud or other low-traction impasses, but if you’re trying to get the Golf blue-e-motion into controlled slides, just forget it. Between the 50:50 neutrality of the weight distribution, the plumpness of that curb weight, and the generally un-sporty behavior of the car in anything resembling a slalom, all dreams of smoking tires and mayhem must be set aside for the good of the planet. Such is the story for all electric vehicles around and below this segment of the market – at least for now.

As a drive experience, nothing about the Golf Blue-e-motion surprises a lot. This is their proposal of this type of plug-in, it’s quite a capable piece of work and VW is waiting until higher-capacity lithium-ion cells come into real mass production in 2013 – conceivably just to make the price competitive with the Chevrolet Volt/Opel-Vauxhall Ampera. The hatch’s current v-max is not terribly interstate-friendly at 84 mph and your overall range would become anxious very quickly then anyways. The proposed VW Blue-e-motion models are, like the Nissan Leaf, confined strictly to the city or suburbs thereof.

The concept of variable kinetic brake energy recuperation is a good one, and on the Golf it goes in stages from minimum to maximum – D, D1, D2, D3 with the left DSG paddle, reverse order using the right paddle. We feel the greater resistance (i.e. recuperation) mostly in D1 and into D2, while D is barely felt and D3 doesn’t feel that much greater than D2. The B of the console shift lever is a quick way to reach maximum recuperation while approaching all those stops, or while snaking down the famous one-block stretch of San Francisco’s Lombard Street.

With the Nissan Leaf or Golf Blue-e-motion, the full EV is a necessary changer of one’s driving habits. Unless you are an intensely fastidious and sensible person and never drive too far, a sophisticated EV like the eGolf cannot be your only car. Chances are it will be the second or third car in most driveways.

The recharger cable for these eGolf prototypes are European 380-volt monsters that can do a full recharge in about 2.5 hours, but only under closely watched conditions due to any potential Godzilla-wrecks-the-power-station risks. A complete recharge from empty to maximize the next drive’s range will take a frustrating 15-ish hours with a 110-volt U.S. plug, dropping to six hours or so if you rewire your garage to 220 volts. Volkswagen’s e-mobility group is lobbying with others around the world to get a safe infrastructure standard for 300-to-400-volt quick-charge stations where we can all “fill up” in around 30 minutes. You can notice that, among the many bits VW is still experimenting with, VW is toying with the good idea of letting plug-in operations occur via the front-center VW badge or via the typical fuel cap position. It’s one more benefit of an electric car’s possibilities.

Without getting into too much detail, the VW Remote iPhone application is pretty ingenious stuff allowing you to monitor your Blue-e-motion’s recharge progress, current charge levels, interior temperature and possible range depending on your intended journey (which you can send to your car’s sat-nav prior to setting out). The possibilities of smartphone-to-car interactivity are numerous. We’re just at the beginning of this innovation phase, but already the apps are convincingly intuitive and actually helpful to maximizing one’s busy life.

So far as how forward progress feels when choosing Normal, Comfort+, or Range+, in the default Normal mode the EMU lets the system use up to 87 hp and all feels pretty normal around town. In Comfort+ – a questionable name since it’s more about power and not comfort – we got the full overboost of 114 hp when needed, even attempting a couple overtake maneuvers that proved slightly comical, though doable. Drop into Range+, and total power on tap is set at 67 hp, which is the steady-state power while cruising anywhere, or “sailing” as they all enjoy telling us. We are reminded of this latter mode from every start, if only because we were wondering if the VW would ever start moving forward. Pedal to the metal time, kids – an action that only helped things a little.

The modified plan is to have 250 Golf Blue-e-motion units in a test fleet distributed between Wolfsburg and Berlin by May of this year. For the United States, a small fleet will begin testing on both coasts in early 2012 – 10 cars kept at VW’s Westlake, California, facility and 10 kept in New York City.

According to Herr Hackenberg, the production Golf Blue-e-motion will hit the market in Western Europe in 2013 and in the U.S. and China in 2014, but it won’t actually be a for-sale car, remaining instead a lease-only proposal. This is disappointing, but then it was explained why. VW just doesn’t wholly believe in the commercial viability of selling pure EVs on any significant scale. What they envision as a greater strategy is the Toyota Prius-like parallel plug-in hybrid with an ever greater battery energy-holding capacity for greater and greater range and efficiency, plus a dedicated internal combustion engine for the application versus the boat anchor-like normal engines currently used by many. They don’t believe in the case for series-type EVs with extended range internal combustion motors since they have not proven terribly efficient setups in the end, as many initial readings on the Chevrolet Volt have made clear.

We’re in a period, then, where we cannot wait to see what undoubtedly state-of-the-art configuration VW comes out with for the Golf Blue-e-motion and other models, as the multinational perches above the current EV and extended-range frenzy, waiting for the right moment to do it with intelligence. VW may not be the first into the game, but they want to arrive ready to play hardball. Are they learning from the Koreans? They’d never admit to it.

The future awaits.

originally appeared on Autoblog March 21,2011

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More info on early Audi hybrids, the Audi duo

I found some more info on the concept Audi duo and the production Audi duo which should be of interest to you history fans.  Search the blog for past posts on the Audi duo.

The original Audi duo concept debuted in 1989 and was based off the Audi 100 quattro wagon.  It was equipped with a 12.6-bhp electric motor which drove the rear wheels instead of a prop shaft coming from the front transmission.   The battery was a nickel-cadmium unit.  A 2.3-litre five-cylinder engine with136 bhp drove the front wheels.

In 1991, Audi made another Audi 100 Avant quattro concept.  A 28.6-bhp AC electric motor drove the rear wheels but it now had a Torsen differential to route extra power to the rear wheels from the 2.0L 4 cylinder engine up front.

In 1997, Audi made the A4 based Audi duo.  Power was provided by a 1.9-litre TDI engine developing 90 bhp assisted by an electric motor with a further 29 bhp. Both delivered their joint drive power to the front wheels, with a lead-gel battery at the rear of the vehicle providing the necessary electrical energy.

This was the production version but only a very limited number were sold to the public.

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More news on the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro

More news from Audi:

Power like a V6, fuel consumption like a four-cylinder TDI – the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro, scheduled to arrive at dealerships at the end of the year, is the first mass-produced hybrid model from Audi that makes use of two drive systems. Delivering 180 kW (245 hp) of system performance and 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft) of torque, its 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine and electric motor ensure sporty dynamics while achieving an average fuel consumption in the normal cycle (NEDC) of under 6.9 liters per 100 km (33.60 US mpg).

During the development process, Audi focused on a high share of electrically powered driving. The sportiest hybrid SUV on the market can drive up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) under electric power alone and covers about three kilometers locally emission-free at a speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph). With the powerful, lightweight lithium-ion battery and many other solutions, the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro represents the state of the art.

Performance

The 2.0 TFSI and the electric motor of the Audi Q5 hybrid are mounted directly behind one another as a parallel hybrid system – a straight-line concept with impressive efficiency. Together they have a system output of 180 kW (245 hp) and a system torque of 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft). The Audi Q5 hybrid sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.1 seconds, while the interim sprint from 80 to 120 km/h (49.71 to 74.56 mph) is accomplished in fifth gear in 5.9 seconds. The propulsion ends at no less than 222 km/h (137.94 mph).

In the normal cycle, the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro consumes 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (33.60 US mpg) – that corresponds to a CO2 emissions level of 159 g per km (257.50 g/mile). The 75-liter (19.81-US gallon) tank yields an impressive range comparable to that of a TDI.

Drivetrain

The 2.0 TFSI in the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro has a displacement of 1984 cc. Its output is 155 kW (211 hp), with the maximum torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) permanently available between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. The four-cylinder unit combines gasoline direct injection with turbocharging. The Audi valve lift system (AVS) further increases power, torque and efficiency by switching the stroke of the exhaust valves between two stages depending on the load and rpm.

The 2.0 TFSI has been overhauled in some respects for use in the Audi Q5 hybrid. The drive of the ancillary units has been dropped, and the crankshaft bearing and fine tuning of the turbocharger have been adapted to the specific demands. A secondary air system at the cylinder head makes sure that the exhaust gas treatment cuts in particularly fast. Integrated in the engine control unit, the so-called hybrid manager controls the efficient change and smooth transitions between the operating modes.

A largely modified eight-speed tiptronic serves as the power transmission without the aid of a torque converter. Its place is taken by the disk-shaped electric motor, combined with a multi-plate clutch bathed in oil, which couples and decouples the electric motor and the TFSI. The innovative decoupler operates precisely and smoothly in any situation.

The highly comfortable and fast-shifting hybrid gear unit contributes significantly to the efficiency of the Audi Q5 hybrid – its eight gears are widely spaced. When the 2.0 TFSI is deactivated, an electric pump maintains the oil pressure in the hydraulic system to safeguard the convenient start-stop feature.

Power electronics and electric motor

The radiator tank in the engine bay houses the power electronics. The so-called pulse-controlled inverter serves as a controller between the battery, which outputs direct current, and the electric motor that operates on alternating current. Innovative technologies keep the volume and weight of the power electronics low, with cooling provided by a separate low-temperature water-filled circuit. The component includes a DC/DC converter that couples the electric consumers in the 12 V electrical system with the high-voltage network.

A permanently excited synchronous machine serves as an electric motor, as a starter and – during deceleration – as an alternator. It delivers up to 40 kW (54 hp) of power and 210 Nm (155.63 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor is integrated in the engine’s cooling circuit.

Battery

A lithium-ion battery system, weighing merely 38 kg (83.78 lb), serves as the energy store for the electric motor of the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro. The compact unit with its 26-liter (6.87 US-gallon) capacity is positioned in a crash-safe area under the loading floor, with hardly any detriment to the luggage compartment. The battery consists of 72 cells; at 266 volts its nominal energy is 1.3 kWh and its output 39 kW.

The lithium-ion battery is cooled by air in two ways, depending on the requirement. At low-temperature load, it draws temperate air from the vehicle interior by way of a fan. If its temperature exceeds a certain limit, a separate refrigerant circuit is activated. It is coupled to the main climate control system of the vehicle and uses a separate evaporator. This efficient, active cooling mechanism is a major factor in the hybrid system’s high electric availability and sets the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro apart from many other hybrid vehicles.

Operating modes

The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro can be driven in five operating modes. Driving with the combustion engine alone, with the electric drive alone or in hybrid mode is possible, as are recuperation and boosting. At a standstill – before starting or at a traffic light, for instance – both drive sources are deactivated. In this “comfort” start-stop mode, the climate control system remains active. Once the driver releases the brake, the Q5 hybrid quattro begins coasting. It can be driven up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) under electric power – with almost no noise or local emissions. At a constant speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph), it has a range of 3 km – enough for many residential areas and city centers.

The driver can change between three programs using a button on the center console or the selector lever. The EV characteristic map gives priority to the electric drive in the city, the D mode controls both motors for optimal consumption, and the S mode as well as the touch control gate of the tiptronic are designed for a sporty driving style.

If the driver accelerates quickly, the combustion engine takes over and delivers traction. Now the electric motor’s main job is to power the on-board consumers and keep the accumulator battery charged. In quick acceleration, or “boosting,” the electric motor operates together with the TFSI; at full throttle in the S mode the full system output is briefly available. In such cases, the hybrid drive supplies the propulsion power of a large naturally aspirated engine, but with far more efficiency.

When the driver releases the accelerator, the electric motor acts as an alternator and recovers energy. In most situations the TFSI is then decoupled from the drive system so as not to cause any drag losses. The electricity recovered by the electric motor here and in braking is buffered in the lithium-ion battery. If the driver brakes only slightly, the electric motor performs the deceleration by itself; in more forceful braking the hydraulic braking system is simultaneously activated.

Vehicle operation

The Audi Q5 hybrid features a novel display concept, in which each of the hybrid drive’s driving modes can be experienced. The tachometer has been replaced on the instrument cluster by a “power meter,” with a needle that indicates the total system output on a scale of 0 to 100. A second scale is divided into colored segments; its green and orange segments clearly show which drive system the Q5 hybrid quattro is currently using. An additional instrument displays the charge level of the battery.

At the same time, the display of the driver information system and the large monitor of the MMI Navigation plus show the operating states and power flows in the hybrid system in elegant graphics with a three-dimensional effect. The MMI screen also displays differentiated consumption and recuperation statistics in easily understandable bar graphs.

The latest-generation MMI navigation plus is standard in the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro. The storage capacity of the hard drive is 60 GB, the menus can be selected via a state-of-the-art wizard, and the album tracks are displayed using the cover artwork. An external device such as a cell phone or player can be connected via Bluetooth, and the voice input understands town and street names in a single command. The resonant Audi sound system is also standard.

quattro drive and chassis

quattro permanent four-wheel drive reliably applies the power of both power units to the road in any situation. In the normal condition the sporty drive is emphasized at the rear; if need be, it transmits most of the power to the axle with the better traction. The sophisticated chassis includes many aluminum components for reduced weight. The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro is capable of pulling trailer loads of up to 2000 kg (4,409 lb).

The steering is based on an electromechanical system. The system is extremely efficient because it consumes no energy when driving straight ahead. The brake servo is additionally supplied by an electric vacuum pump. A complex control strategy adapts the braking to the conditions of electric driving and energy recuperation.

Exterior

Subtle visual effects on the exterior are a signature feature of the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro. The rear hatch, fenders and aluminum door sills bear hybrid badges. The radiator grill is painted a high-gloss black, and the tailpipes are trimmed in chrome. An exclusive paint finish in Arctic Silver metallic is available as an option.

The 19-inch cast aluminum wheels were specially designed for the hybrid – their ten spokes are reminiscent of turbine blades. The tires are size 235/55. Audi also offers customers 19- and 20-inch diagonal wheels, and an S line bumper is available from quattro GmbH.

The body is extraordinarily light, with the rear hatch and engine hood made of aluminum. The rigid body shell incorporates hot-shaped steel in numerous places, combining low weight with extremely high strength. Despite an extensive array of standard equipment, the Q5 hybrid quattro with its curb weight of less than 2000 kg (4,409 lb) is the lightest hybrid SUV on the world market. All of its hybrid components add less than 130 kg (286.60 lb) of extra weight.

Equipment and trim

The climate control system in the Audi Q5 hybrid is adapted to the requirements of electric driving. A high-voltage electric drive was used for the compressor. It operates on-demand, making it highly efficient. An electric auxiliary heater ensures that the cabin heats up quickly.

The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro offers virtually the same equipment as its successful sibling models – the model series leads the European market in the mid-sized SUV segment. The options also include the advanced Audi driver assistance systems.

A new feature is Internet connectivity via the optional Bluetooth car phone online. A UMTS model connects to special services from Google and the World Wide Web, allowing the car to retrieve the latest news and weather information. Through the fast connection the hybrid SUV also downloads three-dimensional satellite images and aerial photos from Google Earth. These appear in a bird’s eye view on the monitor, and the computer fills in the roads. Another high-end feature is the WLAN hotspot, which allows passenger to connect up to eight terminal devices to the Internet.

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First look: Porsche Panamera hybrid

The Panamera S Hybrid marks the beginning of a new chapter of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart’s Porsche Intelligent Performance, continuing the success story of its four door Gran Turismo. Without sacrificing sportiness and elegance, the new Gran Turismo combines the total power output of 380 hp (279 kW) with best case consumption of only 6.8 l/100 km (41.54 mpg imp.) of fuel based on the NEDC. That equates to CO2 emissions of just 159 g/km. That doesn’t just make the Panamera S Hybrid the most economical Porsche of all time, it also puts it streets ahead of all the full hybrid production vehicles in its class, the luxury class, when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It achieves these values thanks to Michelin’s even lower rolling resistance all season tyres developed specially for the Panamera and available as an option. But even with the standard tyres, the new Porsche hybrid model’s fuel consumption is at an unprecedentedly low level in this class at 7.1 l/100 km (39.79 mpg imp.) based on the NEDC – which equates to 167 g/km CO2.

  • Gran Turismo with 380 hp (279 kW) power output and 6.8 l/100 km (41.54 mpg imp.) combined consumption based on the NEDC
  • Best in class: The new Panamera S Hybrid achieves 159 g/km CO2

The Panamera S Hybrid sets new standards, both in terms of classic performance and when measured against hybrid vehicle characteristics. The Panamera S Hybrid accelerates from a standing start to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.0 seconds, reaching top speed at 270 km/h (168 mph). The range in purely electric mode is approximately two kilometres (1.24 miles) with electric driving possible up to 85 km/h (53 mph), depending on the driving situation. The Porsche hybrid drive is also the only system in the world able to exploit additional consumption reserves thanks to so-called “sailing” on motorways and main roads. This entails disengaging and switching off the combustion engine at speeds of up to 165 km/h (103 mph) (Cayenne S Hybrid: 156 km/h (97 mph) during phases when no power is being delivered by the combustion engine.

The Panamera S Hybrid is driven by the same engine combination that has already proved itself in the Cayenne S Hybrid: The main propulsion is provided by a three litre V6 compressor engine delivering 333 hp (245 kW) supported by a 47 hp (34 kW) electric motor. Both machines are capable of powering the Panamera S Hybrid either alone or in combination. The electric motor also operates both as a generator and a starter. Together with the decoupler it forms the compact hybrid module located between the combustion engine and the transmission. The electric motor is connected to a nickel metal hydride battery (NiMh) where the electrical energy recovered from braking and driving is stored. Power transmission is handled by the familiar eight-speed Tiptronic S fitted as standard in the Cayenne models with a wide spread of ratios.

The range of standard equipment for the Panamera S Hybrid is even wider than that of the already extensive standard equipment of the Panamera S with eight-cylinder engine. For example, the hybrid model is fitted as standard with the adaptive air suspension including the adaptive shock-absorber system with PASM, with Servotronic and a rear wiper. The new Gran Turismo also features the Cayenne S Hybrid’s innovative display concept that provides the driver with all the relevant information about the vehicle’s specific hybrid driving status.

With the new hybrid variant, the Panamera model line now comprises six different models. This offering underlines the strategic importance of “Porsche Intelligent Performance“ and creates totally novel highlights in the luxury segment – from sporty to environmentally friendly. This chimes with what customers want, as the major market success is already confirming. Approximately 15 months after sales started, not quite 30,000 vehicles have been delivered. That means the Gran Turismo has seized a 13 percent share of the upper and luxury segment. The new model will further boost the attractiveness of Porsche’s fourth model line in the market.

The Panamera S Hybrid will come on the market in June 2011 and cost 106,185 Euros in Germany, including VAT and country-specific equipment.

The Panamera S Hybrid will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. The press conference will be held at the Porsche stand in hall 1, stand 1050, at 7:30 a.m. on March 1, 2011 and will be webcasted live at www.porsche.com/geneva.

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