The past decade or so has been a tough one for Porsche purists to take. From a range that comprised just the enduring 911 and the Boxster, we've since seen dubiously-styled off-roaders and sedans, diesel engines (in Europe) and hybrid versions.

Not surprisingly, Porsche is also more profitable than ever before - the Cayenne SUV has been a massive success. And to keep this level of success up as the motoring world becomes greener, Porsche could be expanding its hybrid range to include a plug-in vehicle too.

According to Automotive News, Porsche is considering a plug-in hybrid version of the Panamera luxury sedan, due to arrive in 2014.

This will tie in with the plans of Volkswagen, which owns 49.9 percent of Porsche, which also plans to release several plug-in cars under the Audi and VW brands over the next few years.

The plug-in Panamera would likely be sold in the United States, where hybrid vehicles are more popular - and likely to be more accepted by Porsche buyers - than the diesels sold in Europe.

The Volkswagen Group, and by extension Porsche AG, is concentrating on plug-in hybrids as for high-end luxury vehicles they offer the best of both worlds - low emissions and silent travel in a city environment, with the larger ranges required for longer, high-speed journeys. The technology will likely be based on Volkswagen's new modular architecture, allowing the group to benefit from economies of scale.

Before the plug-in Panamera arrives, Porsche will already have released its first production plug-in hybrid, the 918 Spyder, previewed at several auto shows over the past couple of years.


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