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Porsche will expand its hybrid offerings into the realm of sports car in the future says the German automaker’s CEO. During the world premiere of the all-new Cayman R, Porsche Cars CEO Metthias Muller confirmed the upcoming launch of the new Panamera Hybrid as a followup to the Cayenne Hybrid. He then commented that Porsche is, “confident hybrid technology will find its way into sports cars.”
Currently the only 911 with a hybrid powertrain is the GT3 R Hybrid race car. Based on the GT3 chassis and powered by a traditional 4.0-liter flat-six engine making 480-hp the car also gets two electric motors that are used to power the front wheels, with 60 kW of power going to each axle. The driver can call up this extra power on-demand, giving the GT3 R a temporary all-wheel drive setup as well. The power surge is expected to last between 6 and 8 seconds.
In addition, Muller made remarks that would indicate Porsche is very close to introducing a Cayenne diesel model to the U.S., stating that dealers are asking for it.
Toyotas are notoriously un-fun to drive, but the company’s new boss aims to change that, infusing some driving character into even the greenest of the brand’s beige offerings. In numerous interviews since Akio Toyoda took over at the helm of the world’s largest automaker, he has repeated that the brand needs products that are more fun to drive. More recently he even commented that company engineers have been instructed to add more excitement to the cars – especially the hybrids.
To prove that this is possible he points to the Hybrid Sports Car Concept, which is based loosely on the MR2, something he says is the sort of car to expect from Toyota while he’s at the helm. “I wanted a car that shows what we are aiming for, something affordable, fun to drive and good for the environment,” he says.
Toyota’s first real effort to win back younger buyers and enthusiasts, the FT-86, has created a ton of buzz but delays and development costs are driving the model up in price and pushing back its release date, having doubters wonder if Toyoda really understands what they want.
Along with the first officially showing of the new 5 Series, BMW will have on display the Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid at the Geneva Auto Show next week. Following closely after the ActiveHybrid 7 Series and ActiveHybrid X6, the hybrid 5er gets a third hybrid setup. Powering this concept is a 300-hp inline-six mated to a twin-scroll turbocharger – the same unit found in the 535i. This is then combined with a powerful 40kW electric motor (the motor in the 7 Series hybrid is just 15 kW) enabling this version to operate as a full two-mode hybrid. As a result, the Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid can operate on electric power, gasoline power or a combination of both. The transmission used is an eight-speed automatic.
BMW says the electric battery is located in the trunk, although it has not specified if the battery is a more advanced lithium-ion unit (like in the 7 Series) or an old school nickel metal hydride unit like the in X6.
No fuel economy numbers have yet been released, but BMW is claiming an improvement in fuel economy by roughly 10 percent, which is pretty good when you consider this concept is likely to deliver improved acceleration over the standard 535i.
We’ll bring you more details on this car and the rest of the debuts with live Geneva Auto Show coverage starting Monday, March 1st.
GALLERY: BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid
Official release after the jump: