You couldn't accuse Porsche of being predictable. After years of making endless rear-engined sports cars, the last decade or so has seen SUVs, diesels and hybrids all join the Porsche lineup.

With the 918 Spyder supercar, plug-in hybrid will also appear. But plug-in technology will reach further than that--it'll be seen on the Panamera sedan too.

An updated version of Porsche's sport sedan will debut at this month's 2013 Shanghai Auto Show in China. And alongside the more overt performance versions, a new 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid joins the range, complete with plug.

According to our sister site Motor Authority, the new car uses the Volkswagen Group's new plug-in hybrid technology, set to appear across all Volkswagen-owned brands.

It's a production development of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo concept's drivetrain, with a 3.0-liter gasoline V-6 and electric motor.

Combined, and driving through an eight-speed automatic transmission, they develop 416 horsepower. It's enough for a 0-62 mph sprint of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph--where legal.

Economy of up to 75 mpg is quoted, though this is likely to drop a little by the time the E-Hybrid is run through EPA testing procedures.

A 9.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack supplies enough power for around 22 miles of electric-only range (to be taken with another pinch of salt) and an electric-only top speed of 83 mph. A full charge from zero takes around 4 hours at 230V.

As with owners of other electric drive vehicles, Panamera S E-Hybrid owners will be able to take advantage of smartphone functions, allowing control over some aspects of the car and its drivetrain. This includes charge status, remote control of the climate system and a program to help search for charging points.

Externally the Panamera is still an acquired taste, but updates see a new LED headlight option, a tweaked nose and tail design and a more swept-back rear screen.

The 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid will kick off at $99,000, plus a $975 destination fee and other charges. It'll arrive in showrooms late this year.


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