The 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid will be the first-ever plug-in electric car sold by the German brand.

And the company's engineers are still testing the car in driving tests through the heart of Silicon Valley, where the luxury four-door plug-in hybrid sedan will compete with the Tesla Model S (at least for some buyers).

The photo above of a plug-in hybrid Panamera test car was taken yesterday by reader Darrell Joe, in a downtown public parking garage in Redwood City, California.

He personally drives either a Porsche "996" (1998-2005 Porsche 911) or a 2012 Chevrolet Volt.

As a conscientious plug-in driver, he had stepped over to warn the Panamera occupants that they could be ticketed or towed for parking in an electric-car charging space. (Well done, sir!)

Instead, they pointed out that in fact their Panamera was actually plugged in and recharging its 9.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Our reader Joe said there were five Porsche engineers altogether, and they told him the electric range would be about 20 miles--and that it could out-accelerate his 996.

They also noted that production examples will start to arrive at dealers this November.

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

(We'd add that first cars are likely to be offered in California, and not every Porsche dealer will have the model initially.)

Silicon Valley being what it is, one of the many near-ubiquitous Tesla Model Ses was also recharging, right next to the plug-in Porsche.

Late last month, we were able to drive the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid--and what Porsche told us then squares with what its engineers told Joe.

Porsche's test drivers were sufficiently proud of their car that they even took a picture of Darrell Joe in front of it. Which may not make this a spy shot, exactly.

But as you can see, Joe seems to like the idea of a plug-in Porsche.


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