If anyone predicted Porsche would be one of the brands leading the charge on plug-in hybrids back when Chevrolet launched the Volt in 2010-just as Porsche was debuting its first-ever production hybrid with the Cayenne-that person should be dealing futures on Wall Street. By replacing that SUV with this 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid plug-in, Porsche is now offering three plug-ins, much more than another car manufacturer. Of course, one of those three is the 918 Spyder, which isn’t exactly mainstream production. But still.
To get the Cayenne to plug-in status, Porsche basically grafted within the Panamera E-Hybrid’s high-voltage battery, electric motor, and power electronics, upping the lithium-ion battery capacity to 10.8 kWh on the sedan’s 9.4. Otherwise, the powertrain is identical, through the Audi-sourced supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 for the Aisin eight-speed automatic. Torque is routed to all of four wheels using a limited-slip center differential utilizing a rear-biased (58-percent) torque distribution.
The residual car is similar on the recently revamped Cayenne, with a few exceptions. The 282-pound battery, containing of 104 individual cells, consumes the space normally available to an additional tire. Versus other Cayennes, the $77,395 E-Hybrid has two additional buttons on its center console. Selecting “E-Charge” prioritizes replenishing a depleted battery so future electric driving is achievable. This increases fuel consumption by about 20 percent, based on Porsche. In “E-Power” mode, though, the Cayenne moves solely in the single electric motor at speeds up to 78 mph. This ability is mainly aimed at European markets, where it enables owners to avert congestion fees in certain cities. Americans will be able to utilize this silent-running mode to sneak up on friends or, at the very least, valets.
Anytime the Cayenne starts, it’s in E-Power mode by standard, assuming you will find enough juice in the battery. Porsche claims that charging with a 240-volt hookup takes about three-and-a-half hours with the standard 3.6-kW charger; an optional 7.2-kW unit can cut that to 90 minutes if you've got admission to a high-voltage feed.
Driving in a city makes it hard to desire more power compared to electric motor produces. Maximum acceleration with all of 416 gas-and-electric horses should return a zero-to-60-mph sprint well below six seconds, and a quarter-mile will pass in just over 14 ticks, as stated by Porsche. No too shabby for a two-and-a-half ton ute.
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