‘Six tracks six records’ was the target Porsche set for itself. Mission accomplished! The six tracks, within the wider region of the Middle East, India and South Africa are the Kyalami (South Africa), Buddh (India), Losail (Qatar), Bahrain International, Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina. The record is the fastest lap timings for a production-spec luxury four-door hybrid saloon. The car is the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. Porsche put its performance credentials to test and came up trumps.
This achievement also reinforced the benefits of transferring technology developed on the track, to road-legal models. As a descendant of the three-time Le Mans championship winning 919 Hybrid race car, the Panamera Hybrid is the fastest and most fuel-efficient Panamera to-date and forms an integral part of the brand’s E-Performance strategy.
Piloted by Porsche Testing and Development driver Lars Kern, a standard production version of the four-door sports car, took on the challenge of setting benchmark lap times at two of UAE’s FIA sanctioned racetracks. At the Dubai Autodrome, a 5.39 km circuit which features six different configurations, it achieved a lap time of 02:19:15. At the Yas Marina Circuit, it was 02:31:79. Both tracks also host race rounds for the brand’s regional championship, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
While discussing the campaign, Markus Peter, Marketing Director at Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, said: “Setting the benchmark lap time for hybrid saloon models offered Porsche a unique opportunity to bring to life our Performance Electrified campaign – a communication platform that demonstrates how the combination of an electric motor and combustion engine results in the delivery of impressive power. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid was also chosen for this activity because it bridges our 70-year history of sports car innovation, to our future of sporty mobility.”
“To further demonstrate the model’s outstanding credentials, we took it to a total of six high-profile racetracks across the region, with expectations surpassed at every turn.” – Markus Peter, Marketing Director at Porsche ME and Africa
The Panamera Hybrid operates in the purely electric “E-Power” mode as standard and can be driven locally over a distance of up to 50 kilometres. When a specific pressure point is passed on the accelerator pedal, or when the battery charge level drops below a minimum value, the Panamera switches to “Hybrid Auto” mode, at which point the power of both the combustion engine and electric motor are made available.
The electric motor provides an extra boost to the V8, four-litre twin turbo combustion engine, enabling the luxury saloon to complete a 100 km/h sprint in just 3.4 seconds and offers extraordinary tractive force at higher speeds. It can deliver a top speed of 310 km/h. The high-voltage battery integrated into the rear can be fully charged with 10 A via a 230-V connection within six hours, using the standard 3.6-kW charger. The charging time can be reduced even further with the optional 7.2-kW onboard charger coupled with a 230-V connection with 32 A which manages it in just 2.4 hours.
Porsche has continuously been at the forefront of advancing hybrid sports cars. In 2014, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer was the first to offer three plug-in models across three segments. Fast forward to the present day and electrification continues to form a crucial part of its product offering, with the Panamera Hybrid as proof of what electric technology represents for the brand.