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Panamera S E-Hybrid: Is an all-electric version next?

Porsche

Tesla will be challenged.

Tha much is as certain as Lamborghini taking on Ferrari, Ford battling General Motors, Toyota testing Honda.

The only mystery is which auto maker, or makers, will step up.

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Porsche is developing a five-door all-electric mid-size vehicle to challenge the Model S for market share by 2018, according to reports based on company chairman Matthias Muller's interview with a German magazine.

A spokesman for Porsche's Canadian arm says it's "only a rumour" at this juncture. The car would be based on the Panamera's second-generation platform, likely using lithium-ion battery technology and offering a range of some 400 kilometres. Presently, Porsche offers a plug-in hybrid of the Panamera; this car would be all-electric.

Earlier this year, Audi confirmed development of a sports utility vehicle with a range of approximately 500 kilometres, targeting 2017 for delivery. That vehicle would compete with the announced Tesla Model X, which is being marketed as a crossover between a minivan and SUV. The seven-passenger vehicle is expected to go on sale in early 2015.

While Tesla will have the early advantages of being first to market while expanding its supercharger network, Audi is pursuing wireless charging technology that would be available with specially equipped parking spaces.

Stay tuned.

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