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Porsche refreshes Panamera lineup, adds plug-in hybrid

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It’s nip-and-tuck time for Porsche’s Panamera sedan.

A midlife refresh will give 2014 models an updated look, a long wheelbase option and new engine choices, including a turbocharged V-6 and a plug-in hybrid. All three variations will make their world debut April 21 at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The greenest of the Panamera models makes a notable shift from hybrid to plug-in hybrid. Undoubtedly the byproduct of what the company is learning from the plug-in 918 supercar coming to market later this year, the Panamera announced Wednesday will be officially known as the Panamera S E-hybrid.

Photos: Porsche's 2014 Panamera lineup

The electric motor will put out 95 horsepower, compared with 47 from the older non-plug-in hybrid version, which Highway 1 tested in 2012. The gas engine’s output is 333 horsepower, and total horsepower is 416.

An eight-speed transmission will remain the only gearbox on the car. Porsche said its zero-60 mph time drops from 5.7 seconds on the older hybrid to 5.2 second on the 2014 model.

A 9.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery replaces the old nickel-metal hydride unit, and Porsche said it will charge fully in about two and half hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. The Panamera S E-hybrid will be able to travel in electric-only mode for as far as 20 miles and as fast as 84 mph.

The 2014 Panamera S E-hybrid, in addition to a mouthful of a name, will start at $99,975, a jump of about $3,000 over its predecessor.

Non-hybrid Panamera fans can look forward to a new twin-turbocharged V-6 engine in the S and 4S models. This 3.0-liter engine replaces the outgoing 4.8-liter V-8. Horsepower jumps to 420 from 400, while torque rises to 384 pound-feet from 369 pound-feet. 

Porsche says the switch to the smaller displacement engine is in keeping with the core philosophy of the brand, as the move increases both performance and efficiency. The automaker declined to give specifics on estimated fuel economy. Porsche did say both the Panamera S and all-wheel-drive 4S will come with its seven-speed dual clutch PDK gearbox.

Porsche said the Panamera S will start at $94,175 and the 4S at $99,275. Each price is roughly $2,000 more than the previous versions.

Finally, Porsche’s 2014 Panamera 4S and Turbo models will be available in extended wheelbase versions. In a nod to the Chinese market which is witness to their world debut, each Panamera Executive model stretches the wheelbase of the standard car by 5.9 inches. Nearly all of this pays dividends in rear leg room, which many Chinese buyers prefer over the driver’s seat.

The Executive line will also give buyers more space in their wallets, as the cars will command at least a $20,000 premium over their non-stretched counterparts. This means a Panamera Turbo Executive will start at $161,000.

In addition to the various powertrain upgrades and wheelbase options, all 2014 Panameras get subtle interior and exterior upgrades. These include a cleaner lower grille in the front, refreshed taillights, a new trunk lid with a larger glass area, and additional standard and optional safety equipment.

The 2014 models will roll into dealerships at the end of 2013.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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