Is it not too much to ask such a big luxury car to make a better fist of the electric drive train both from a power and capacity point of view? They are both a bit on the token side.
Porsche has been messing about with hybrids for a few years now. You could even go back as far as 1943 with the Ferdinand Elefant tank destroyer that had a hybrid electric drive. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: no more nickel-metal hydride batteries here The company’s more recent efforts, the first …
With a hybrid, there is a complex efficiency trade-off between the power and charge capacity of the electric components, and the cost of dragging them around with you when the vehicle is running on its internal combustion engine. The designer takes a (hopefully well-informed) view of the likely spectrum of journey distances and road types that the average owner will require, and then optimises the electrical system for overall vehicle lifetime efficiency. (Note: if you are very far from that average owner profile, a hybrid may not be the right vehicle for you).
I'd guess that the electrical system is aimed at use in stop-start urban traffic, and for shorter commutes. Internal combustion engines are at their worst in stop-start conditions. Lighter weight trumps blistering e-acceleration (needs heavier motors) or long electrical range (heavier batteries). Those requirements are satisfied by the other engine. You have the option to engage it even in city traffic, if that's your (energy-wasting) style.
You can always buy an all-electric Tesla ... but you have to be sure about being able to recharge it before its batteries run empty, and even if there's a charging station on route, recharging it is less quick than refuelling. It'll be a fair while before an all-electric car is any good in rural parts (where the locals will tell you that the electricity suppy is less than totally reliable, and many of them own a petrol generator, just in case. Thought -- a multi-kilowatt inverter accessory for a hybrid car might open up the rural market? )
My point was that something like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a far better electrical system for half the price and to my mind is far closer to the hybrid ideal - i.e. enough for a couple of cross-town commutes purely on electrics.
I expect someone like Porsche to aspire higher.
But the overlander wont go like stink if you floor it. This is a decent grand tourer with a "trundle in city traffic" electric motor. Cruise on the motorway on dead dinosaurs then switch to electric for the last bit of city commute. Switch back to dead dinosaurs on the way home to charge up.
This is the car concept that would work for my particular driving pattern and i'd be happy to use this sort of hybrid. Just not in a prius or wallet busting Porsche.
I seem to remember Renault having a petrol/diesel FWD with electric RWD prototype, that would be a good idea too.
In Amerika, the Panamera is considered bad-assed, especially in black w/black wheels and Turbo S form.
It's still BUTT UGLY, even in Real Life, even here in America. An inelegant experiment in trying to make an upper middle-aged plutocrat feel younger, with a failed attempt to evoke the spirit of a 911 (a type of car he would really prefer to have) if only he didn't have the ball-and-chain and 2 brats to bring along, as well as (trying) to impress his peers by (attempting) to demonstrate that "Yes, I still have working baby makers!"
Then again, the new Bentley is butt ugly IMHO as well. The ghost of Chris Bangle now haunts every single high end automobile manufacturer on the damn planet, all trying to out-ugly - I mean, 'create more distinctive products' - than one another.
As the author duly notes, Jaguar is one of the few companies that still has an eye for form, rather than shock appeal - Pininfarina and Sir Lyons are rolling over in their graves as the look at the current status of ugly in the field of modern, stupidly overprices automobiles.
quote: "To be fair, if I'd spent close on 7 years training, I'd expect a decent salary."
The ongoing training required to stay abreast of hardware and software changes over time, means I've been "training" for this job for over 2 decades and I'm still learning now. How much should I be asking for? ;)
"To be fair, if I'd spent close on 7 years training, I'd expect a decent salary."
Glad to hear you'll be supporting a doubling of academic salaries then. Eight years training here, and six years experience, and I could just afford to send a child to Eton, if I forwent eating and accommodation. And I'm comparatively well paid.
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"Porsche has been messing about with hybrids for a few years now. You could even go back as far as 1943 with the Ferdinand Elefant tank destroyer that had a hybrid electric drive."....
Or you could go right back to the 1901 Lohner-Porsche
Calling the Ferdinand Elefant a "hybrid" is just ludicrously ignorant. It was no more a hybrid than ordinary diesel-electric locomotives are, or the turbo-electric aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga were.
The Elefant had two gasoline engines driving electric generators wired to electric motors which drove the track sprockets.
In all these cases the electric drive was a simple replacement for a mechanical gearbox and power transmission system; no more and no less. There is no recuperation of energy on deceleration, no batteries to store electricity or cover peak demands. A hybrid is defined as able to obtain motive power from two or more sources. In all these cases, every last watt of motive power for the entire period of operation is obtained in real time from internal or external combustion engines and nowhere else.
In fact that's pretty much the ideal hybrid design. You can tune the engine to its greatest efficiency, you can run the electric motor from batteries as well, and you don't have to faff around with complex differentials and dual drive trains. The current trend of putting the IC's power to the wheels instead of using the electric motor for motive power strikes me as rather silly and only makes sense if you want a car that goes vroom vroom when you put your foot down.
It's a question of the best design for the job.
The Porsche Panamera is a Grand Tourer - it's designed for you to be able to sweep across europe at will, rolling through any country you come across.
The Elefant is aimed more at protecting your little darlings from other SUIVs on the the school run
I do like Hybrids (especially the simulated 4x4 ones) and fully expect my next car to be one in a few years time.
But as me and my dog were walking back to our car leaving a country event the other day. We were nearly side swiped by a Lexus Hybrid Hatch. He was on grass so no tyre noise, full electric so no engine noise I was in default, listen for engines navigation mode, and I expect the driver was in a similar state of mind, fogetting his car was in stealth mode. Another inch or so and my key bunch would have given him a nice racing stripe.. Even one of the parking stewards said 'that was bit close'..
Forward facing parking sensors with an alert noise, maybe with a variable volume and only active below say 20mph ?? should solve the problem.
I regularly drive the missus' Prius, and yes, when it's operating at low speed (stealth mode) you do find people stepping in front of you etc. Car parks and busy towns with narrow pavements are the worst spots for this.
You soon get used to it mind and start to develop a sixth sense and find yourself taking extra care in these scenarios. That actually isn't a bad thing, as I reckon many of us rely too much on engine noise to announce our presence and expect people to get out of our way? Perhaps it should be the other way round anyway?
As someone who is partially deaf I rely on good old Mk1 eyeballs. On more than one occasion I have had to physically yank someone back onto the pavement to prevent wipeout, these were normal cars. I think that new cars these days are considerably quieter than they used to be, but then again I am hardly in a good position to tell :-)
I've had people walk out in front of my jeep. It is not quiet at all, being a late 90s diesel (great fuel economy though, all things considered). The problem is that people are just dipsticks who seem incapable of paying attention to their environment.
Bu therein lies the rub. How do you get from Cumbria to Birmingham and back in the same day? There aren't that many luxury cars that combine city electric and fossil range. As soon as more domestic grade cars combines a small engine for range and charging with a small battery hybrid then it will take off more. Prius works well but I found to be pretty shit to drive (wallowy and far too cheap inside), the newer focus and mondeos are pretty reasonable to drive IMHO and would be great to hybridise.
That being said, if you charge 5k more for the same model then until resale you'll not make up that 5k on a hybrid. With start/stop engines you can make a fair saving too.
"How do you get from Cumbria to Birmingham and back in the same day?"
Well, Keswick to Birmingham and back is 382 miles. A P85 should do 300 of those on one charge without major problems, meaning that at some point you will need to grab about 85 miles of extra charge. Using a free-to-use Tesla Supercharger would add that in less than the time it would take to go to the loo and buy a latte (not counting drinking it).
Does anyone who can afford to lay out £90K for a car (probably north of £100K with extras) really give a damn whether it does 40MPG or 20MPG? Apart from giving you the chance to flaunt your green credentials at the country club this seems a largely pointless exercise.
As for you can unclip the charger from the wall and take it with you.. Why not just build it into the car then, and fit a power cord reel like on a vacuum cleaner? It could have a nice Porsche-styled 13A plug on the end. No need to unclip and carry anything.
EU emissions rules. Motor manufacturers have to hit EU targets, so that by 2020 their average emissions are down to 95g/km. It's not going to be possible for them to make exotic V12 engined models any more, they are being forced in the direction of hybrids and pure electric because of this.
"Does anyone who can afford to lay out £90K for a car (probably north of £100K with extras) really give a damn whether it does 40MPG or 20MPG? Apart from giving you the chance to flaunt your green credentials at the country club this seems a largely pointless exercise."
Anyone who has £80-100k to spend on a Grand Tourer and doesn't buy a Jag F-Type ought to be sectioned. Dad had one for a weekend courtesy of work and oh my god what a car. Exciting when you want it to be and refined when you take your foot off the floor.
No, I know it's not a hybrid. But it doesn't matter. It's worth every penny.
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The main benefit for these cars comes to company car drivers who'll pay very little tax on the very low emissions. If you're company is paying for your fuel, you won't care what the emissions are but it's good for Porsche as they can sell more of them to company execs who previously would have avoided them like the plague!
I always fancied a Diesel-Electric Car not too keen on all these hybrids with their weighty batteries. Still an Elefant Killer will be useful in dagenham where all the white-elephants hang out -
Wasn't the successful tank for that contract called a Mouse or something (scares the Elefant but not kills it)
Certainly not alone and - though this is more of a subjective matter - they don't even have a single "truly attractive large saloon" (sic!) unless you like ugly-as-hell rear designs like that of the XJ and Maserati/Aston-copying fronts...
We got a 300-ish HP engine that drinks dead dinosaurs (I love that reference) with a 95-ish HP electric motor.
Now we need a car that has a 300 HP electric engine with a backup 95 HP dinosaur drinker.
So you get that feeling "oh cool I'm not burning anything except for smug" that goes to "oh darn, I forgot to recharge, now I must plod along using just 95HP, feeling shame of myself, deprived from my 300HP coiled copper babe". And that feeling will encourage you to recharge OFTEN, and will encourage the jump to full electric, like a Tesla, down the road.
(I hereby set a motion to call electric motors by "coiled copper".)
I say, 30 years down, you will be ashamed when your hybrid kick the gas guzzler on because your forgot to recharge, and everybody will stare at you in anger with that noisy engine.
The Chevy Volt/Vauxhall Ampera works that kind of way. You have an (approximately) 200HP (150kW) electric motor with a 1.4l petrol engine for backup power when the battery runs low. The main trick is that you rarely sustain demand for the full 200HP, so you don't need to be able to generate the full amount continuously from the petrol engine (which is mostly used coupled to an electric generator to feed the electric motor).
The rest of the planet uses, actually, kilometers per liter or km/L. It relates directly to MPG, and the larger the number, the more economic the car is, just like miles per gallon. More miles per fewer gallons... right?
For example, one of the smallest bike engines out there (250cc or 0,25 liter) can get up to 25 Km/L which would amount to 4L/100Km or 58.8MPG. Any fuel mileage better than that would get you weird numbers like 0,2L/100Km.
And, it is really easy to calculate your own car consumption, by reading your partial odometer (that was zeroed the last you topped off) and dividing by the amount of liters in the pump you just paid to top off this time, *just like doing a miles per gallon math*.
I don't know about you, but using L / 100km is just to obscure how crappy some cars are, and how americans or europeans have NOT improved mileage in the last 30 years. Japanese cars, neither. The larger the number, the worst the car is.
Another napkin math: If I am filling 10 liters, how far can I drive with that? On my '99 Honda Civic that is doing crappy 8Km/L (and that is 18.8MPG , thank you), I can go 80Km before running out. Now try to do that math with L/100 Km and you will... need a calculator to achieve the same number. Not practical. Yeah, 12.5 liters per 100 km doesn't help much in figuring out the 80km as result, while the 8km/L suggests the 80km right away.
We usually have precise control of how much liters we put in the car, so we can estimate how far we can get with that, and not all the way around.
I don't know how much of that made sense to you.
If you are not sold, slap them on google, he will do it for you. "8km/L to L/100km" or "8km/L to mpg" worked great.
> The rest of the planet uses acually, kilometers per liter.
No we don't. We measure L/100km and spell them litres and kilometres respectively. It is a far more meaningful way to express an efficiency figure to boot. Upgrading from a 18 MPG car to a 25 MPG car will save you roughly three times the amount of fuel/money/CO2 as upgrading from a 40MPG to a 50MPG car.
Expressed as L/100km, you are comparing 13L/100km -> 9.4L/100km (3.6L/100km saving) vs 5.9L/100km->4.7L/100km (1.2L/100km saving). Having a figure in MPG (or km/L) would only be useful if for some reason you had aquired exactly 1 gallon (or 1 L) of fuel and you wanted to know how many miles (or kms) you could possibly travel with different vehicles. Most of us have the inverted problem statement. I have a requirement to travel distance X miles/kms per week for work/school/fun/dads taxi. How much fuel do I need to buy/money do I need to spend/CO2 do I need to emit to do that with this car vs that one.
quote: "Since it's volume/distance - the sensible way to measure fuel consumption would be in mm^2 or sq. in."
But mpg is distance over volume, making it a square root of distance. Neither is a directly useful measure even if they are both mathematically correct; is 0.01cm2 better or worse than 228.39in-2?
Not too impressed by this - the Tesla and the i8 still have their parking spaces in the fantasy garage.
However, what increasingly fills my waking hours with dread is how we are going to deal with near silent engines as electric cars become more mainstream. There's a lot of jokey talk about Smart cars pumping out a Vantage soundtrack, but it could happen. Imagine a busy road filled with electric cars each singing their owner's favourite automotive song. Or any sound, come to that. And you thought mobile ringtones were bad.
"You could even go back as far as 1943 with the Ferdinand Elefant tank destroyer that had a hybrid electric drive."
You'd be mad if you did, though, since the drive was a miserable failure in the competitive tests vs MAN* when bidding for the intended use (the Panzer VI aka Tiger) and when the chassis was repurposed as the Ferdinand aka Elefant it was a death trap on tracks due to other ridiculously obvious design issues (the most prominent being no self-defense machine gun; there are credible reports of commanders opening the gun breach and firing pistols down the barrel in an attempt to stop an onrush of infantry bent on close-quarter tank vandalization and the ever-popular dropping-of-grenades-down-hatches).
Most Ferdinand/Elefant AFVs were abandoned by crews once they ran out of ammo. I never saw a picture of one repurposed for "the other side" (usually the Russians, who had a few panzers of various marks wearing the red star by the end of WWII) which speaks volumes for the market for them. Or, the lack of willingness of people to photograph them. Or both.
* So was the MAN chassis. It broke down several times during the trial. But Team MAN were better at explaining why than Team Porsche were.
"And of course you can now plug your Panamera into the mains as you can Toyota’s Plug-In Prius, a car particularly close to the new Panamera hybrid in spirit and engineering, if not performance and price."
Once again, El Reg has a writer who has no idea what a car is. How can you compare a Toyota PiP with 134HP (gas and electric power combined) to a Porsche Panamera with 416HP (gas and electric power combined). How is this anywhere close in performance?
Please do yourselves a favor, and stop writing car articles.
I will wait until the true Electric car is upon us. The hydrogen fuel cell powered one.
My neighbour actually got rid of his new Prius in favour of a Diesel powered car because he said in winter and cold weather the batteries are so rubbish that he gets worse fuel economy than most pure petrol cars. Yes diesel is more polluting than any other fuel type out there but seeing as they get good fuel economy and range its no surprise that diesels are still selling so well.
We definitely need more research into Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars. They produce zero pollution (water) and fill up in a matter of seconds/minutes just like todays fuel cars. I don't want to sit at a pub for 8 hours waiting to charge up.
And for all those that are going to say where do we get the hydrogen from? Well the most logical thing to keep it zero carbon footprint would be to use solar/wind/wave energy. There are many North African and South European countries that get huge amounts of good powerful sunlight so a good solar farm can produce masses of hydrogen and just export it.
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