Horsepower battle postponed from large displacement to hybrid era
As the world became more aware of climate change and the air became more polluted, new emissions regulations came up and changed the auto industry forever. The premium automobile manufacturers found themselves in a major dilemma: How to increase or at least maintain the performance of their cars while keeping emissions low. Only an engine can do that.
In 2008, Porsche announced that it was working on a Panamera with hybrid drive. The fans were initially shocked, but had time to breathe deeply until 2011 when the production version left the factory. In terms of performance, it was a blast for that time. Mercedes-Benz and BMW tried to match this with hybrid versions for the S-Class and the 7 Series, respectively, but they were far from what Porsche had achieved.
On the other hand, Porsche was part of the Volkswagen Group and shared this technology with other Volkswagen / Audi products. This made him better faster than the other two Germans in the new hybrid era. Lexus was also one step ahead with hybrids. But the Japanese automaker mainly focused on fuel efficiency. As a result, the performance was at best acceptable.
In 2013, Porsche presented its first series hybrid supercar: the 918, which was introduced back in 2010, but few believed it would be that fast. Nonetheless, it was a blast with a time of 0 to 62 mph (0-100 km / h) of under three seconds and showed the world what hybrid power can do.
The sports car maker didn’t stop there and pushed the limits of hybrid performance even further when it launched the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and proved that it could compete with or surpass other supercars from the late 2010s. And that with a sedan and a station wagon (Cross Tourismo version). Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz and BMW were looking for electric vehicles like the i3 or the SMART-e to reduce their average emissions.
But now, MercedesAMG, Part of the Daimler group, strikes back. The introduction of the GT63 SE Performance proved to Porsche that it could overtake the Panamera, despite the fact that a number of electric vehicles were being developed. The battle for horsepower in the premium sedan segment thus flared up again. Strangely enough, however, no words from BMW. It will come back for sure. It already has a few plug-in hybrids on the assembly line. Granted, they’re not as powerful as the other two automakers, but it’s clear that there is something cooked in Bavarian cuisine.
But what about the competition between the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and the AMG GT 63 SE Performance? For starters, both cars offer 4.0-liter V8 gasoline engines. But while the Panamera generates up to 699 hp from its hybrid system, the GT 63 SE Performance produces 639 hp from the turbo engine alone. Together with the electric motor, this resulted in 843 hp.
In addition, the GT63 hybrid received more power from its rear-axle-mounted electric motor than the Panamera, which had integrated it into its transmission. So there are two technical solutions to the same challenge, and AMG has done better. As a result, the GT63 SE Performance accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h (0-62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, while its competitor is 0.3 seconds slower.
In the end, the PS battle continued with clever solutions. While in the 1960s it was enough to install a larger engine or more carburetors, it is now even important where you put the engine in a car. But let’s sit and wait for Bayern to answer. For the time being, the M5 Competition corresponds to the performance of the AMG, even if it is without a hybrid system. But you have to keep in mind that the Munich-based carmaker has already made some honorable achievements with the i8 in the plug-in hybrid age.
Meanwhile, in the US, Dodge announced that it would continue its electrification program and we could see the results next year. He already has the technology, and a supercharged V8 plus an electric motor could keep these three European brands in the rearview mirror.