If somebody expected Porsche would be one of several types leading the cost 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 presently has three plug-ins, more than any other car maker. Of course, among 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, on the Audi-sourced supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 for the Aisin eight-speed automatic. Torque is routed to all four wheels with a limited-slip center differential using a rear-biased (58-percent) torque distribution.
The residual car is identical for the recently revamped Cayenne, with a few exceptions. The 282-pound battery, consisting of 104 individual cells, consumes the space normally available for an extra 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 possible. This increases fuel consumption by about 20 percent, based on Porsche. In “E-Power” mode, though, the Cayenne moves solely on the single electric motor at speeds up to 78 mph. This ability is mainly aimed at European markets, where it allows users to avert congestion fees in certain cities. Americans are able to use this silent-running mode to sneak up on friends or, at the least, valets.
Each time a 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 using the standard 3.6-kW charger; an optional 7.2-kW unit can reduce that to 90 minutes assuming you have access to a high-voltage feed.
Driving in a city will make it difficult to desire more power compared to electric motor produces. Maximum acceleration with any 416 gas-and-electric horses should return a zero-to-60-mph sprint well below six seconds, along with a quarter-mile will pass in just over 14 ticks, as stated by Porsche. No too shabby for any two-and-a-half ton ute.
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