Speaking at the VW Group evening the night before the Paris Motor Show, CEO and Chairman of the VW Group, Dr Martin Winterkorn, has revealed plans to introduce seven plug-in hybrids over the next three years. He called the hybrid technology "the best of both worlds."
The plan is to introduce the technology, branded 'e-hybrid' on the facelifted Porsche Panamera - due in early 2013 - first, hence the decision to fit a plug-in powertrain to the Panamera Sport Turismo concept, also revealed today.
The Porsche technology combines a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with a powerful electric motor to produce a total of 416bhp - enough to catapult the Panamera from 0-62mph in under six seconds.
With a fully-charged battery an electric-only range of 20-miles, up to speeds of 80mph is possible (before the petrol engine kicks in to work in tandem with the motor), with fuel economy and CO2 emission of 80.7mpg and 82g/km respectively.
In 2014 the same powertrain will be fitted to the Porsche Cayenne, while a similar set-up - combining a 4-cyl 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor - will be fitted to the Golf, Passat and A3 the same year. In 2015 the Audi A6 and A8 will be fitted with a development of the Porsche plug-in powertrain described above.