Volkswagen AG’s Porsche cars generate the highest margins of any brand in the VW stable. Now the company says it plans to invest some of that margin in financing development of additional electric vehicles (EVs) to complement the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid not only sports an electric motor that gives the car a range of 30 miles on electric power but also includes a 550-horsepower 4.0-liter turbocharged V-8 engine and the combined horsepower rating of 680 makes it the most powerful version of any Panamera model.
The company plans to sell an Executive version of the car exclusively in China with a price tag of around $196,000. The base version will be priced at just over $185,000.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Porsche sold 18,126 cars in China during the first three months of this year, a 10% year-over-year increase. By comparison, U.S. sales rose 4% in the first quarter to 12,718. Global sales totaled nearly 60,000 units.
Porsche took the wraps off the Turbo S at last month’s Geneva auto show and the company’s approach to electrification is, so far at least, unique. Porsche has adopted electrification as a performance-first strategy. The company’s U.S. COO, Joe Lawrence, explained the strategy to Green Car Reports:
[The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid] appeals to someone who is a Porsche enthusiast, but it also appeals to someone who’s into hybrid cars and has an attachment to hybrid cars, better fuel economy, and green driving.
Lawrence also expects the EVs to do particularly well in California and also said he believes it will be a “strong vehicle for [Porsche] nationally [in the United States].