Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid- Need to know
Porsche doesn't really do mundane: The Cayenne E-Hybrid that you see here zips to 100 in 4.7 seconds and will bring a smile to your face on a twisting two-lane.The E-Hybrid is the latest addition to the recently redesigned Cayenne lineup. Outside is the sleeker sheetmetal and the full-width taillight treatment that's now a Porsche family trait. Inside is the upgraded interior with the 12.3-inch touchscreen at the center of the dash and the high-mounted center console with haptic-response touch switches under shiny black glass. As with the Panamera Hybrid models, the Cayenne E-Hybrid is visually distinguished by acid-green brake calipers and acid-green trim around the badging. Oh, and the fact there's a flap on the left rear quarter panel for the charge plug, a mirror image of the fuel filler flap on the right.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid's drivetrain consists of Porsche's 3.0-liter single-turbo V-6 and a Porsche-designed e-motor fitted between the engine block and the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The internal combustion engine develops 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, the motor 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Total system output is 455 hp from 5,250 rpm to 6,400 rpm, with a meaty 516 lb-ft on tap from 1,000 to 3,750 rpm.
The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid is not only faster and more powerful than the outgoing model, but will also travel farther in pure EV mode, up to 27 miles at speeds of up to 83 mph. The key enabling technology here is a liquid cooled 14.1-kW-hr battery pack that has 30 percent more capacity than the previous generation pack yet weighs the same. A 3.6-kW onboard charger is standard, and a 7.2-kW charger is available as an option for those who want faster charge times.
Left to its own devices, the Cayenne E-Hybrid starts in E-Power mode, propelled solely by the electric motor. On a full charge, that gives you all the range you need for most local trips, and if the journey includes a freeway section, it'll waft along silently on battery power with the rest of traffic. Need more grunt? Simply push the accelerator pedal past an artificially induced pressure point, and the internal combustion engine will fire up to lend a hand. It's just like the kickdown function in an old-school automatic.
When the battery charge depletes, the Cayenne E-Hybrid automatically switches to Hybrid Auto mode. The internal combustion engine kicks in, and the powertrain system figures out the most efficient mix of internal combustion engine and e-motor power, automatically using every opportunity to kick some charge back into the battery pack so the e-motor can provide torque fill when needed. It can also run in pure EV mode at low speeds over short distances.
The Hybrid Auto mode can be manually adjusted via a submenu on the Cayenne's touchscreen to prioritize the battery charge protocol. E-Hold mode ensures the current battery charge level is maintained—useful if you know you're driving into a city where pure EV running is required. E-Charge mode asks the internal combustion engine to produce slightly more power than is needed to propel the vehicle and directs the excess to recharging the battery. It works: 35 miles of 80 mph cruising in E-Charge mode on a French autoroute during our test drive pumped 15 miles of range back into our Cayenne E-Hybrid's depleted battery.
Sport and Sport Plus are the fun modes. In Sport mode the Porsche not only stiffens its sinews and sharpens its responses, the battery's charge is also kept to the minimum level needed to provide a power and torque boost on demand. Sport Plus takes everything up a notch and increases the rate at which the battery is charged to allow longer periods of e-motor boost, more often. In both modes, the internal combustion engine remains in continuous operation.
Left to its own devices, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid delivers a strong combination of performance and efficiency. But it also allows drivers to switch the emphasis between the two, and not just in a purely binary fashion; there are subtle layers of functionality and capability to explore. It might be a hybrid SUV with a V-6 engine, but it's an engaging one to drive.